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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Sat, Mar-18-2017, 10:38:20 PM   #1
Sephiroth
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Default Would you buy a 2001?

They don't seem to be common in the FS section, but wondering about consensus feelings about the 01 cars. If the mechanical flaws of the car are addressed would you still hesitate?
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Old Sat, Mar-18-2017, 11:03:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Would you buy a 2001?

I was looking for any year when I landed on an 03 with low miles...as long as it was under 50k miles and in great condition (SMG or 6sp). It didn't even need all the issues fixed, I was budgeting to do them anyway. From what I understand, if the vanos, subframe, valve adjustments weren't hanging by a thread and regular maintenance was shown and a thorough PPI...I was going to buy an m3. I'd rather a 30-40k mile 01 than a 100k+ mile 06. Make it my own. Drive it and break it in my way. Just my n00b 2 cents. My opinion.
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Old Sat, Mar-18-2017, 11:37:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: Would you buy a 2001?

Professional opinion: I didn't notice any of the typical German car 'first year of production is a GIANT POS' problems with any of the 2001's. E46 had already been sold here since '99 MY. While those weren't the most trouble free car, by first year BMW standards they were still pretty good! From memory, I think the trunk sheetmetal was thinner on those early cars, with more failures, but on the M's, I saw it pretty evenly distributed, and not a guaranteed failure to be sure. I think they redid the trunk sheetmetal in '05?
I'd say look around, and buy the nicest, least abused one you can find regardless of year. If you're planning to mod anyway, look for a nice one with those mods already... they should be essentially free on the used market!
Take your time, have it inspected, and don't be afraid to pay top dollar for a sweet car. Paying less for a problem child will cost you a lot more in the long run, and you'll still have a POS when you're done.
Just my $.02
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Old Sat, Mar-18-2017, 11:43:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Would you buy a 2001?

01, 02, 03 more or less are the same. 03.5+ is ideally better but for the former years just go by best overall condition.

One small caveat for '01's... they are all 6MT and all have the piano black interior trim. Which seem to be favoured by most on these forums.
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Old Sun, Mar-19-2017, 02:41:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: Would you buy a 2001?

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Originally Posted by e46IX View Post
One small caveat for '01's... they are all 6MT and all have the piano black interior trim. Which seem to be favoured by most on these forums.
Really? I did not know that and I have been around the e46s since 03.
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Old Sun, Mar-19-2017, 03:48:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: Would you buy a 2001?

I owned a clean Carbon Black 01' for about a year. Had zero issues and wouldn't hesitate to buy a clean 01' again.
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Old Sun, Mar-19-2017, 06:48:37 AM   #7
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Default Re: Would you buy a 2001?

Have an 01 also, besides every damn part number being different. But yes I would buy a 01 again.
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Old Sun, Mar-19-2017, 12:15:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Would you buy a 2001?

I bought a '04 with worn out rod bearings and a torn RACP. Things may have been changed or updated, but problems were not "fixed" on later cars. So, I would suggest buying the best car with the best maintenance history for the best price regardless of year. Just always keep a couple thousand in the bank for when stuff breaks.
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Old Sun, Mar-19-2017, 12:19:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Would you buy a 2001?

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Originally Posted by Chris_M View Post
I bought a '04 with worn out rod bearings and a torn RACP. Things may have been changed or updated, but problems were not "fixed" on later cars. So, I would suggest buying the best car with the best maintenance history for the best price regardless of year. Just always keep a couple thousand in the bank for when stuff breaks.
My first E46 was an '01 which was "affordable" - which is code for neglected by its previous owners. Still treated me well overall so I wouldn't worry too much about it as long as it's been maintained well.
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Old Sun, Mar-19-2017, 02:24:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Would you buy a 2001?

Yes, no question. Condition/history are the most important factors.

The only thing an '01 really needs is the LED taillights. Other minor differences notwithstanding.... virtually the same car as a later model. I briefly owned an '01 and from behind the wheel it is 100% identical to the '04s I've had.
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Discussing Would you buy a 2001? in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)