1993 BMW M3

E36 3.0 Coupe 3 L

Vehicle values by condition

Condition 4
#4 cars are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped.
Condition 3
#3 cars could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 car, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior.
Condition 2
#2 cars could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 cars that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws.
Condition 1
#1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best car, unmodified, in the right colours, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours.
Insurance premium for a
1993 BMW M3 E36 3.0 Coupe 2990
valued at £12,300
£317.36 / year*

History of the 1992 - 1995 BMW M3

1992 - 1995 BMW M3
1992 - 1995 BMW M3
BMW E36 M3 (Saloon), 1992-1998

The BMW E36 M3 was in production from 1992 until 1999. Styled in house by Olivier Boulay, it is a front-engine, rear wheel drive saloon seating five adults, also available with coupe and cabriolet bodies as with other E36 models.

The E36 was the second generation of BMW M3, and used a derivative of the M50 engine tuned for high performance. This engine was called the S50 – or the S52, in later 3.2 litre guise. Early M3s used 3.0 straight sixes with five speed gearboxes, developed to produce 282bhp, while later Evolution cars from 1995 used a 3.2 litre variant tuned to 321bhp. While coupes are most prevalent, saloons and convertibles were also available. In each instance, bumpers, skirts and wheels are the key means by which the casual observer can identify an M3, but these were among the last of BMW’s subtle performance saloons and in a world of lowered and bodykitted E36s the M3 cuts rather a subtle dash today. Production ended in 1999, with its E46 successor launched the following year.

It’s not as sharp or as entertaining as its predecessor, the E30 model. But then, it’s a different kind of car. Less a homologation special and more a long legged GT, it’s fairer to consider it as a replacement for the 635 to slot in below the 8 series flagship. With that in mind it’s very good, lots of power and torque, comfortable seats, engaging steering and firm yet well damped suspension. Cabriolets have a little more body flex but most of the time you won’t notice it, while the extra stiffness of the two door coupe makes it the best drivers’ M3 of the trio.

Check the front wings, boot floor and jacking points for signs of corrosion. Also check the screen for a BMW logo – if missing it’s a replacement, so check for water ingress and poor sealing. The variable valve timing can fail, causing a lumpy idle and poor low end power. Exhausts can crack, and water pumps can fail. Rear damper mounts weaken over time, but many have been strengthened by now. Rear trailing arm bushes are often neglected and need a special tool. Brake calipers can seize and pipes ca corrode – the latter is expensive, so walk away from a car which may need brake line replacement. Air con condensers can leak, so beware a car which “just needs a regas”. Check the hoods on convertibles, not only for tears but to ensure that the mechanism works.

Most valuable are the convertible models, while collectors will prize the rare four door saloon models. Most on the market, and thus the best value, are the coupe models. 3.0 M3s are better value than the 3.2 Evolutions, but some people prefer their power delivery and we certainly wouldn’t rule a good car out for its 3.0 engine. Condition matters more than colour and trim, but sober metallics will sell more easily than statement colours such as Dakar Yellow.

The Mercedes-Benz W124 E36 AMG would be an interesting alternative to the rare M3 saloon, while larger engined variants of the CLK such as the CLK430 and CLK55 make excellent alternatives to the coupe and convertible. The Audi S2 Coupe offers similar performance, delivered in a different manner. This era of M3 was a more refined machine than its predecessor, in the manner of the 635CSi. If you were buying the car for its executive image when new, you might also have considered the Jaguar XJS – though the performance and handling would be found lacking in comparison.

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