Awesome piece of kit
I've always driven German and was brought up on BMW's. My parents have always had at least one as far back as I can remember. Bought my first in 1998 and fell in love with Munich marque.
Bought my M3 convertible (the roof should come off every fast car in my opinion ????) in early 2012 from a friend who'd had it from new but wanted to get out of the monthly payments. Great as I'd known the car from new and picked it up for a good price - bonus.
Loved it when I bought it and still love it now.
For a fast car it's pretty practical. DTC gearbox means you can cruise in automatic when your're not in a rush or in traffic and switch to manual paddles when you want to have fun.
Front seats are great and the side bolsters can be inflated to hold you firmly in place when in 'M' mental mode.
Back two seats are also fine for adults on short journeys. Not sure if they'd be great for long journeys for anyone 6ft plus.
Interior space is fine and its got all the toys one would need.
Boot space is more than adequate with the roof up but is of course compromised with the roof down. It will still take a weekend case but you have to put int in the boot before lowering the roof, and have to put the roof back up to get it out again.
I suppose the ride is a little hard even out of 'M' mode, and on motorways (in the UK) there is road noise from the big fat tyres but this is a sports car. If you want a soft, quiet ride, buy a 5 series or equivalent!
The BMW M3 is a great all round sports coupe for the price (especially second hand). It can be driven as softly or as hard as you like. The fact the roof is metal means that when the English weather sets in it's just like a normal coupe. Much better than the canvas roofs of previous M3 convertibles.
Fuel economy isn't great with that big V8 sat up front (around 18mpg average around town) but if you're considering one of these then fuel economy shouldn't be on your wish list.
Servicing is little and often rather than one big service every year/18 months and costs are as expected.
Never had an issue when it comes to performance. press 'M' and you feel the car tighten up, it switches to manual only and goes like stink. Even though it's a 9 year old car there's still not much that will beat it in a straight line or from A to B.
When driving fast the throttle blips on the downshift which sounds awesome. Not this artificial noise that modern cars pipe in through the speakers - real noise.
Handling is great and there's tonnes of grip. In all my years of ownership she's only caught me out once.
Even when I think I'm driving on the limit, I'm sure the car could be pushed further. I'm just not a good enough driver to take advantage!
Absolutely. I've owned the car for longer than I've owned any other, the main reason being - where do I go from here? I can't afford a new 911 Targa so the only way to go is a new M4 with the competition pack. Even though I think they look a bit more aggressive (and an 'M' car should look aggressive) I'm not convinced the new version is different enough to warrant the cost of a change.
Also, with this being the last of the naturally aspirated 'M' cars, a possible future classic...