15k: 2002 BMW M3

Not another BMW..you guys must be on the payroll…seriously…we are too busy cashing the big oil checks for throwing away the design for our gasless engine to bother getting sponsored from BMW – but we can tell you that they are the Ultimate Depreciating Machine.  This well depreciated 2002 BMW M3 is for sale in Scottsdale, AZ for $15k via craigslist.

For years BMW had spared the US market the cost of insurance and tickets by offering lower power version of their M3 stateside – (1995-1999 M3 USA: 240 horsepower vs Euro: 321 horsepower). The E46 M3 launched in 2000 solved this problem (ok – truthfully the Eurocrats got 5 more horsepower). 

 The M3 is powered by the S54 3.2 liter inline 6 making 333 horsepower and 262 ft-lbs of torque; enough to propel the 3450 lb coupe from 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds.  Back in 2000 the S54 had one of the highest brake specific horsepower (hp/liter) of any non-turbo cars on the market and the inline 6 will happily pull a howling 8000 rpm redline. 

Inside the cabin the driver is treated to great ergonomics, a smooth shifting transmission, comfortable sport seats and a contoured steering wheel delivering feedback equal to any sports car- save the previous generation M3.  Handling is suberb in the M3 – that most novice flat brimmer will be able to do Ken Block style drifts right out of the box – which is why some many E46s have salvage titles – be sure to inspect potential cars carefully for signs of impact.

 BMW also has this annoying habit of mounting anything with a moving
part(engines, trans, diffs, driveshafts, cupholders etc) on flexible
(rubber) couplings.   These couplings are made from rubber that live for exactly 100k miles and then disintegrate (perhaps triggered by an odometer based telemetry system using remote explosives) – turning that nice BMW smoothness over rough surfaces into something more akin to riding a Radio Flyer on cobblestones. 

Bottom line, this car will thrill – but it may also chill.

See another cheap Bavarian?  email us here, we won’t tell on you:  tips@dailyturismo.com