Pros: "Handling, good engine, engaging and fun to drive!"
Cons: "Interior door panels tend to fall apart with time"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Even with the horsepower hobbled (compared to the Euro engine), the USA E36 BMW M3 is a special car. It does everything well. The handling is superb, driving dynamics spot on, and overall weight is reasonable. For track days, ditch the heavy Vaders for real sport seats, Koni's, sticky tires and the car is ready to rip. The handling is so good that 240 hp goes a long ways. A Euro 321 hp would be unreal. The USA engine still has good grunt, power everywhere with good low end torque, and always willing to rev to redline. The overall gearing is short, and the car revs quite high at highway speed. The gearing works well at the track however.
When looking for used get the best you can afford, and have the cooling system checked!"
"I have owned over 70 vehicles in the last 14 years from 1000+hp drag lexus to built supercharged c5 corvette, this 1995 m3 is almost stock and besides a full straight drag race, it is hands down the best handling, instant throttle, great power, and looks are top notch. 1995 was the first year for the e36 m3 and only year to have obd1, the 3.0 liter and a few different paints."
"I've owned my 1995 E36 M3 since new, and have had almost 200,000 miles on the car. The car has been very reliable and fun to drive. I will keep this car until BMW would make one similar to the E36 - relatively light weight, simple, reasonably powerful and lots of road feels. Newer M3s are faster and more sophisticated, but they don't have the earlier cars' vivid road-feels and driving dynamic anymore. It is pretty sad indeed."
Pros: "Classic looks, super handling and perfomance"
Cons: "Haven't found any"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bought this 98 M3 in early 2001 with 11K miles. Now has 115K. Has been great both on the street and the track (HPDE events). I have done suspension upgrades with Bilstein shocks, H&R springs and sway bars (at 60K miles). Has been reliable with minor repairs along the way(you do need to do regular maintenance). I have driven new cars, including the newer M3s, but this car has handling and road feel that cannot be beat. I use this car as my daily driver. I will keep this car until it dies (or I do!). If you can find one in good condition...get it!"
"This is my 3rd and favorite BMW. 98 M3 convertible - it has enough power to make you smile (I don't race it and yes, a lot of souped up Japanese cars will best it from a dead stop - but over 80mph, I still have tons of top end and she's pulling strong). This car is great for someone who can do their own maintenance - in fact it is pretty inexpensive to maintain if you do it yourself. Near perfect weight distribution and never met a turn it couldn't handle - even at scary speeds... Look for one that has not been modified or beat on. AC is weak, electronics are finicky - but driving fast on back county roads with the top down - can't beat it..."