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Talk me out of it: M3 vs M3

Talk me out of a BMW M3 Convertible. Actually, talk me out of two, with n E46 and E93 both up for sale. Which one is better?


It’s fine, I’m not hurt. 80% of you said stay away from that Z. But I still think early 2000s was a golden era for cars, so let’s look at an E46 M3 this week. Since we’re here, can we look at two? It’s a BMW M3 Convertible battle.

2003 BMW M3 Convertible vs 2010 BMW M3 Convertible

See the E46 listing

See the E93 listing

I know, I know. M3 convertibles are heresy. I don’t think that’s true, because you can hear the engine best with no roof. And really, don’t these two engines deserve to be heard?

I picked these two because they are both hot hot hot in the market right now. Well, not these exact two. As I love to do, these have both seen some things. But do the prices come from the history, or the fact that verts are for poseurs while us hardtop peeps take our 500-horsepower cars to a parking lot every Sunday for special circle time?

Wait, which one of us is the poseur?

2003 BMW M3 Convertible

The E46 in Jet Black. Photo: CarFax

Step right this way, little E46:

  • 125,677 miles
  • The uh, SMG. I’m sure that’ll work just fine
  • Three owners.
  • Lived in California, New Mexico, West Virginia, and Virginia
  • Jet Black on black, so not the #1 color combination.
  • A really nice price of $14,997.

Remember that some of these can go for $100,000. I understand that those are Coupes with low miles, desirable colors and manual transmissions. This car has none of that.

But we can fix the SMG really easily! It involves dropping the car off at TySpeed, throwing the trans in the junk yard, and bolting a manual in its place. The Takata airbag recall is also still open on the car, but that’s a dealer visit away from being a non-issue. To help ease the elements, the E46 M3 had an optional hardtop, still an option if you’d like to drive it around all year.

E46 M3
You probably want the Coupe. But it might not be as fun!

Otherwise, this looks great. The interior is well-kept, the top is free of cuts. It needs a new M3 badge in the rear. Oh, and there’s no mention of sub-frame replacement, so count on that.

I’m really digging this car. But there might be one better.

2010 BMW M3 Convertible

The E93 M3 in Jerez Black. Photo: CarFax

E93, talk to me.

  • 124,241 miles
  • DCT
  • Damage to the rear bumper, seems to be fixed.
  • Window tints.
  • Again with the black on black. This time, it’s Jerez.
  • Lived in Florida, Massachusetts and Connecticut
  • $23,500

These two are pretty much generational twins. For your extra ten grand, you get the DCT, which is far superior to the SMG, and the S65 V-8, also better than the S54. Come at me bro.

What’s not better might be that hardtop – it’s a love it or leave it deal (I think it looks weird). The interior is in worse shape too – a lot worse. As in reupholster the driver’s seat. How you rip them this much is beyond me, even considering the miles.

E93 M3
You probably want the sedan. But come on, take off the top and show us your V-8.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an M3 without some built in problems. No notes on engine bearings and other S65 goodies, so that’s a must. The hardtop can sometimes leak, but it’s a lot more expensive to fix than the E46’s softtop. And it’s also heavy, coming it at about 4,000 pounds.

Finally, I never understood why BMW did not use Shadowline trim for the window surround. The silver is atrocious. Might as well put wood in the cabin. That was an option too, actually.

M3 vs M3

I think both of these cars are pretty good deals. They need minor love, and since they are so cheap, you don’t mind sacrificing color combinations or transmission choices.

Put an intake and exhaust on both, and you have some sweet sounds without any roof to block them. And if anyone thumbs their nose at me on Sunday, whatever. I’ll just go find the nearest tunnel.

Want your car reviewed?

If you live in the tri-state area and want me to check it out, send me an email!

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