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      01-06-2010, 03:46 PM   #11
Red Bread
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Drives: Smog machines
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Dallas, TX

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Need a back seat? If not, and if you don't mind "ugly" cars, consider an M Coupe. I have a 2000 M Coupe, with the S52. It's more entertaining to drive than the E36 M3's I've driven, it just feels more raw and connected, but it has a small gas tank and can feel a little nervous on longer drives, and while fun on the track, tends to be a bit squirelly without some suspension tweaks.

The funny thing about it is that it's better at carrying larger items like boxes and kegs than the 135i, gets better mileage and certainly gets more attention and comments. I've got 118k problem free miles, aside from tires, fluids and basic preventative maintenance, it hasn't consumed anything. They do have weak rear-subframes, but so do E36 cars, but it is worth having it inspected, and consider doing the aftermarket fix to add the two eared rear diff hanger to replace the single ear OEM version.

You'd likely get a lower mileage E36 M3 for the same money as a 1999 or 2000 M Coupe, but if you don't need the back seat and don't mind the styling, my experience is that you'd have more fun. Of course, for $12k, I'd be tempted to try to find a decent E30 M3 over an E36 too, but that's a whole other story.

Oh yeah, I've done the glovebox fix on my M Coupe too, I guess all BMW's of that era had lame glove box supports.