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The BMW E46 M3 Is On The Rise: A Pure Driving Experience!

One fact in the collector car world is indisputable—the BMW E46 M3 is a rising star. This car represents the epitome of the modern classic market—the E46 is a fast, nimble, fun car that is still trading at a relative bargain price. The E46 M3 is one of the great cars of the modern era and arguably the best M3 since the E30. The convertibles are cheap but the market prefers the tighter fixed-roof version. Coupes have been steadily rising, but examples with some miles are still reasonable. Either way, the E46 is a great car as a coupe or convertible. We believe that the E46 M3 is one of the great buys in the collector car market at this moment in time. Our recent article in Sports Car Market goes into detail as to why this modern classic is so attractive—both from a value and driving perspective. Photographs courtesy of Enthusiast Auto Group.

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6 Responses to The BMW E46 M3 Is On The Rise: A Pure Driving Experience!

  1. ara September 3, 2019 at 5:28 pm #

    cardenas is correct

    e30/e36 are much better “driver” cars than the e46. great steering and lightweight

    e46 steering has no feel and car is heavy, add to that all the many issues the car has and no one in their right mind would pick one over the e30/e36 m3’s which have some of the best steering in the business and weight hundreds of lbs less…..

    • Melissa October 26, 2019 at 8:10 pm #

      I don’t know what you are talking about.
      I currently own 2. And I am constantly getting offers from random people to buy it and comments about how beautiful the car is and how this was the last great M3.
      And these comments are getting more and more common as the years go by.
      I am fortunate enough to own a low mileage 2006 zcp dinan stage 4, black on black and that sucker has appreciated over 10k in the past year and a half.
      My daily driver has not depreciated at all in the past 5 years even though it has 30k more miles on it.
      Everyone loves these cars and they are not losing value, losing their looks or their appeal.
      This is the last of the real BMW’s and people are willing to pay BIG MONEY for them already. And they are only going to appreciate more as time goes on.
      It’s a truly amazing car, it’s the ultimate driving machine, nothing handles like the E46 M3, the engine cannot be duplicated, the whole car is BMW’s finest hour.

      • Leo January 17, 2021 at 9:40 pm #

        Hello melissa i so very much agree with you on every word and statement you said.i also have an e46 m3 and god damn its just a raw fun car to drive and own. Everything about these cars are on point yes i keep up with all my maintenance and all oem,not so much of an investor i am more of a driver yes every day and wouldn’t change it for anything else just simple and elegant car with that high reving s54 hiding under the aluminum hood i also get comments and offers on an everyday basis people like to talk to me about it ask questions and especially when i say its a 2002 they just can’t believe it its design is truly timeless i also have black on black and just elegant and fun and mine already has 178.000 miles sure a lot but hey i love driving it every day and i live happy doing it.rock on melissa

  2. Mark Greene September 1, 2019 at 11:16 am #

    I love mine!

  3. C.A. Cardenas September 1, 2019 at 5:54 am #

    Well, you really got it wrong on this one. Let’s start by clearing up the fact that design work of the e46 was all done under the watchful eye of design chief Chris Bangle. As a side bar, I’m no Chris Bangle apologist, but he gets all the credit for the ugly cars and none of the credit for the good/great looking cars (e46, e52, e53, etc.).

    The more important point is that the 3,400 lb. e46 M3 is not nimble by any stretch of the imagination; rather it’s a unnecessarily fat pig. Drive the (woefully underpowered) e30 M3 or the “just right” e36 M3, and the e46 M3 back to back, as I’ve done, to realize just how unnecessarily heavy the e46 M3 is.

    • Philip Richter September 1, 2019 at 6:19 am #

      Bangle may have had a hand in the E46, however, the car clearly is dominated by traditional BMW design theory, not the controversial “Bangle Butt” styling that affected the entire model range under his leadership in later years. As for being nimble, relative to the later eight-cylinder M3’s, the E46 is not overweight. The driving experience of the E46 M3 is fantastic and pure, especially the three-pedal version. I’ve driven every version of the M3 before and since and I’m probably not alone in saying that from a purist, enthusiast, and investment perspective, the E30 and the E46 represent two of the best M3 models ever manufactured.