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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Sat, Dec-26-2015, 03:11:05 PM   #1
Killbot711
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Default Which M3 is the best? Only God can judge...

http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-cult...-back-to-back/

Saw this on Road & Track the other day. It's just one dude's (experienced amateur) opinion but I thought it was interesting. He picked the E36 to buy though. I'm sure cost was a factor in considering the other cars, except the E46, which he seemed to like better. I hope this doesn't spark another Euro vs. U.S. engine debate. Some members here have owned/driven different M3s; what do y'all think about this article? Agree/disagree?
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Old Sat, Dec-26-2015, 03:44:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: Which M3 is the best? Only God can judge...

Pretty aggressive wet road driving in a bunch of borrowed cars. Just makes me want to go out and buy one of each - except I'll save my $$ and pass on the e30....
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Old Sat, Dec-26-2015, 04:15:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: Which M3 is the best? Only God can judge...

Preface -

I have not driven the E30 M3 but I'm sure it would bore me in most situations because slow. Plus, it's probably very unrefined and so annoying as a street car.

I have not driven the F80 M3/4 but turbo power bands bore me and can be frustrating. I bet the car is amazing though, otherwise.

With that, I'd agree with him in that the 46 is by far the most involving and thus the most exciting. It's significantly more athletic and responsive and hardcore than the 36. Further, while the S65 is hands down the best motor, the E92 isn't a big step up from the 46. It's better, yes, but not as hardcore.

So I'd say from a purely "behind the wheel" perspective he's right on the money.
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Old Sat, Dec-26-2015, 04:27:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Which M3 is the best? Only God can judge...

I've owned the first three M3's and it's really hard for me to pick one over an other.

Combine the best chassis with the best engine and you got yourself a e30M3/S54. If there was a way to get a restored, reliable and smog legal version of this, then that would be the best M3 IMHO
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Old Sat, Dec-26-2015, 04:30:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Which M3 is the best? Only God can judge...

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricSMG View Post
Preface -

I have not driven the E30 M3 but I'm sure it would bore me in most situations because slow. Plus, it's probably very unrefined and so annoying as a street car.

I have not driven the F80 M3/4 but turbo power bands bore me and can be frustrating. I bet the car is amazing though, otherwise.

With that, I'd agree with him in that the 46 is by far the most involving and thus the most exciting. It's significantly more athletic and responsive and hardcore than the 36. Further, while the S65 is hands down the best motor, the E92 isn't a big step up from the 46. It's better, yes, but not as hardcore.

So I'd say from a purely "behind the wheel" perspective he's right on the money.
For the e30, skip the ///M and buy a normal 3 series. Swap engines and have fun. Not a great DD if you drive a lot, but a spectacular car to drive and tons of charm.

I would agree with everything you said E and most of the video.

Mr. Wolfe
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Old Sat, Dec-26-2015, 04:33:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Which M3 is the best? Only God can judge...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nasieg View Post
I've owned the first three M3's and it's really hard for me to pick one over an other.

Combine the best chassis with the best engine and you got yourself a e30M3/S54. If there was a way to get a restored, reliable and smog legal version of this, then that would be the best M3 IMHO
Each M3 undeniably is fit for a broader audience. I get what you are saying though, each M3 has it's place. I love the first 3 generations, but my heart is still with the e30 and e46. The e30 is the only one of the group that I don't feel the need to own the ///M version of it though. I most surely wouldn't kick it out of bed though...

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Old Sat, Dec-26-2015, 04:36:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: Which M3 is the best? Only God can judge...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Wolfe View Post
For the e30, skip the ///M and buy a normal 3 series. Swap engines and have fun. Not a great DD if you drive a lot, but a spectacular car to drive and tons of charm.

I would agree with everything you said E and most of the video.

Mr. Wolfe
Yes, but the E30 M has an incredible body. But that does not matter behind the wheel.

An S54 swapped 36 is a hoot as well but it's still a far cry from an E46 M3 as a 'package'.

Don't get me wrong - in some ways I still prefer the 36 but when push comes to shove the 46 is way better. It's like a double shot of espresso.
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Old Sat, Dec-26-2015, 04:47:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: Which M3 is the best? Only God can judge...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Wolfe View Post
Each M3 undeniably is fit for a broader audience. I get what you are saying though, each M3 has it's place. I love the first 3 generations, but my heart is still with the e30 and e46. The e30 is the only one of the group that I don't feel the need to own the ///M version of it though. I most surely wouldn't kick it out of bed though...

Mr. Wolfe

I agree, e30 & e46 are my two favorites. The e46M3 is the only one I went back to, so that would suggest it is my favorite.
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Old Sat, Dec-26-2015, 05:20:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: Which M3 is the best? Only God can judge...

I like love cars. All kinds. I even read reviews of Camrys and SUVs. I'm constantly shopping on eBay for cars. I actually bought my E36 3/4/5 sight unseen as I just needed a beater when I moved from Alaska to Texas and wasn't super concerned about it's condition and didn't feel any reverence for the M brand. I've owned a couple BMWs when I lived in Germany, a 316 E36 and 535 E34, so I figured it would be at least a fun POS to commute in. Well here I am 5 years later and I love this car more than I thought I could ever love an inanimate object. More than my previous cars: Z32 300zx, 68 & 67 Firebirds, Audis, or trucks. I've since replaced all suspension bushings/ball jonts, subframe and differential bushings, end links, springs/shocks, driveshaft, clutch, flywheel, clutch cylynders, motor/transmission mounts, installed all reenforcements, shifter bushings, radiator, water pump, starter, wheel bearings, cv boots (cleaned up bearings and repacked grease), E46 716 steering rack installed and probably other stuff I can't remember. But I hear so many good things about the E46 M3 that I'm afraid to drive one. This might sound like a completely asinine thing to be concerned about but how is the back seat in the E46? I have kids and having the 4 door M3 is like having my cake and eating it too. Plus I'm sure it will drive me crazy to have kids climbing in the back seat, kicking the seat back panels and stomping the weatherstripping on the way in. I know. It's stupid but I can't ignore the fact that any car I own will have to pull duty as a family car sometimes. Anyone else deal with this?
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Old Sat, Dec-26-2015, 05:33:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: Which M3 is the best? Only God can judge...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killbot711 View Post
I like love cars. All kinds. I even read reviews of Camrys and SUVs. I'm constantly shopping on eBay for cars. I actually bought my E36 3/4/5 sight unseen as I just needed a beater when I moved from Alaska to Texas and wasn't super concerned about it's condition and didn't feel any reverence for the M brand. I've owned a couple BMWs when I lived in Germany, a 316 E36 and 535 E34, so I figured it would be at least a fun POS to commute in. Well here I am 5 years later and I love this car more than I thought I could ever love an inanimate object. More than my previous cars: Z32 300zx, 68 & 67 Firebirds, Audis, or trucks. I've since replaced all suspension bushings/ball jonts, subframe and differential bushings, end links, springs/shocks, driveshaft, clutch, flywheel, clutch cylynders, motor/transmission mounts, installed all reenforcements, shifter bushings, radiator, water pump, starter, wheel bearings, cv boots (cleaned up bearings and repacked grease), E46 716 steering rack installed and probably other stuff I can't remember. But I hear so many good things about the E46 M3 that I'm afraid to drive one. This might sound like a completely asinine thing to be concerned about but how is the back seat in the E46? I have kids and having the 4 door M3 is like having my cake and eating it too. Plus I'm sure it will drive me crazy to have kids climbing in the back seat, kicking the seat back panels and stomping the weatherstripping on the way in. I know. It's stupid but I can't ignore the fact that any car I own will have to pull duty as a family car sometimes. Anyone else deal with this?
I have owned all e46 M3's since my kids were just born until now and they are 6 and 8 years old (almost 7 and 9). My wife and I are pretty small people so using a baby seat didn't effect us much. I do remind my children to step over the plastic step panel and to keep their feet off the seat back, but I wouldn't change a thing. Great dual purpose car IMO, but so is the e36.

Mr. Wolfe
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Discussing Which M3 is the best? Only God can judge... in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)