The BMW E36 M3 Might Be The Best M3

Illustration for article titled The BMW E36 M3 Might Be The Best M3
Photo: FavCars

The BMW E30 M3 is the darling of BMW fans. It’s boxy, fast and has a powerful inline-four under the hood. They’re sought after by everyone and prices are only getting higher. BMW enthusiasts often call it the best M3 that’s ever been made.


Drew Johnson thinks differently. In a video for Left Lane, states his defense for the E30's often overshadowed younger brother.

I’m not a big BMW apologist but I agree with a lot of the points that Drew made. The E36 M3 is newer so it’s worlds more comfortable to drive and still looks great with a classic ‘90s look. It’s also a fairly reliable car. What’s not to love? What’s wrong with you, BMW fans?

While the E30 M3 was only available as a coupe, the E36 M3 was available as not only a sedan but also a convertible in the United States. It’s a fast car that’s actually useable.

You be the judge. Does the E36 M3 deserve to be loved as well? Is it the Ultimate Driving Machine™?

(Correction: My lizard brain said that the E30 M3 had an inline-six. It obviously doesn’t. The error has been fixed.)

Lance Tedford spends his energies working on his 1985 Chrysler LeBaron. He is extremely tall and can never die.



I prefer my cars simpler and more reliable, so the E30 wins all day in my book.

But that’s not the E36's problem. The E36 is a different car with a different purpose, and that’s fine. But everything the E36 is supposed to be, the E46 is that and better. Which is nice, in that the E36 has avoided some of the ridiculous pricing nice E46s have now. But the cars on each side of its history, both predecessor and successor, are better.