It’s too big, it’s too soft, it’s not special enough. The E36 M3 is everyone’s go-to for the worst of the right-sized M cars, practical and powerful in equal measure. But the reality of the thing is different.
In spite of everything, the E36 M3 has made a total comeback in recent years, partially because they’re affordable and partially because the nostalgia generation for it has some money now.
People aren’t seeing it as a disappointing follow-up to the legendary E30 M3; they’re seeing it as a light, strong usable, straight-six powered performance car, good for 240 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque. Do you really need to care now that the Europeans got more oomph from their spec engines? Not really. That time has passed.
But even on this wave of good will, I just know in my heart that the E36 M3 has utterly defeated some of the most optimistic budget car enthusiasts and aspirational car buyers of its day. Shit BMW E36 Drivers Say didn’t come out of now where.