Sunday, January 10, 2016

SMG Shifted: 2004 BMW M3 E46

Few cars offer the driving experience of a BMW M3, but they can also be expensive to maintain and costly when something goes wrong.  However, prices for the E46 generation M3 are just so ridiculously low these days that I can't help but salivate when I see one of these. Find this 2004 BMW M3 E46 here on eBay bidding for $8,802 reserve-not-met with $12,995 buy-it-now located in Bohemia, NY.

Oddly enough, the SMG transmission is actually a better choice for your inner racer (than the 6-speed manual) because it is far more competent on the track then in your driveway. Either way you get the same 3.0 liter S54 naturally aspirated inline six that puts 333 horsepower and 262 ft-lbs of torque.  The S54 is an expensive beast when things go wrong, but they are pretty rugged engines that drink 10W60 Castrol oil specifically formulated to lubricated the money out of your wallet with $150 DIY oil changes.

See another way to get supercar performance for econobox money?


  1. Such a great looking car.
    Between this and an e39 M5 you can't do much better for 12k

  2. Whoever did the aesthetics for this car must have been a Grand National fan.

  3. Looks like a good example. If you shop around and DIY, the oil change will only cost $100.

  4. I shopped for a decent M3 and called a halt after several months. The ones I found were either very expensive 5th or 6th cars of a wealthy guy and out of my range, or crap cans with blacked out windows and 8-10 air fresheners festooning the interior.

    Worse were the conflicting SMG horror story/love affair stories and a lack of 6sp cars. Convertible M3's are just, well not to my taste. Often quite a bit cheaper than the smelly beat the balls-off lower end cars.

    This one is 20 minutes from me. If anyone is serious, I would be thrilled to test the guido joints' integrity, and the clutch's effectiveness after a series of balls out, sideways corners with massively smokey exits. Whoops.

  5. I'd never buy a black car, but the SMGs can be reverted to stir-it-yourself for a couple thousand in parts and a fair bit of labor (DIY or otherwise) if one is so inclined.


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