2nd Hand Spotlight: BMW M3
There’s a certain something about a fast coupe. And there’s arguably no fast coupe more iconic than the BMW M3. Okay, the Porsche 911 probably beats it, but we’ll ignore the 911 for the purposes of this article. Moving on….
Since the original E30 M3 there have been M3 models based on mundane repmobiles, creating handling magic from relatively modest underpinnings. In reality, they are designed in from the start these days, so it’s no surprise the M3 is so good. The latest e92 M3 excites with its V8 and sleek looks, and the new M3 won’t even be a coupe, but the ‘sweet spot’ for most people is the e46 M3. With 343 bhp from a screaming 3.2 litre straight six engine, combined with perfect balance from the rear wheel drive powertrain and lightning quick steering the M3 has few equals in the fun department, but it also counters with a big boot, full size rear seats and a calm demeanour when required to do daily duties.
So we find it amazing that we managed to find this M3 for just £9,981. Yes, there are cheaper cars but this one is full of ‘buy-me’ points. Firstly, it’s Imola red, which we love. Secondly, it’s riding on the 18-inch alloys which offer much better handling and ride. Thirdly, it’s got the manual gearbox. And fourthly it’s from the BMW Approved Used Cars scheme. This means it will have had a thorough check and you get some comeback if anything goes wrong, plus you can add a warranty should you so desire.
Yes, it has 76,000 miles, but these are built to last and with that AUC scheme you know it won’t be a dog. Only other apparent negative? No factory satnav – but we actually see that as a positive as any factory satnav unit will be horribly out of date after a couple of years and a brand new TomTom is only £200. So this really is a serious chunk of performance car for under £10k.
If high miles and a private sale really don’t worry you, you could save £3000 and go for this 118,000 mile M3 in the same Imola red, though we’d be worried about the potential bills on a private purchase with that mileage.
Either way, the e46 M3 represents serious value for money. Now, how much does a kidney fetch these days?
Images courtesy of Auto Trader