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BMW M3 Buyer's Guide

BMW M3 Buyer's Guide

The BMW has been a much sought-after high-end car for over 30 years. It has been produced over six generations, each improving on the last, and here are the details you need to know when seeking out a vintage BMW M3 in Toronto.


First Generation (E30) 1988-91


The first M3 was available internationally in both coupe and convertible formats, with North America enjoying the hardtop only. The powertrain was based around a 2.3L four-cylinder engine making 192 horsepower and 170lb-ft of torque, paired with a five-speed manual transmission. This model is now highly collectible, so expect to pay a premium for an example in great condition.


Second Generation (E36) 1995-99


The second generation M3 introduced a six-cylinder engine with a capacity of either 3.0L or, more commonly, 3.2L. The larger option pushed the output up substantially to 240 horsepower, and also added a six-speed automatic transmission to the powertrain. This M3 was available in coupe, sedan, and convertible formats, and strong sales mean there are plenty of them available on the used market.


Third Generation (E46) 2001-06


The next M3 in the series pushed the boat out in performance terms, with a 3.2L inline-six engine rated at fully 333 horsepower to deliver searing 0-100kmh acceleration times of below five seconds. What's more, the overall handling and performance is rated by many to be among the best of any BMW model of any year.


Fourth Generation (E90) 2008-13


The M3 lineup continued to improve with the fourth generation, which upgraded the engine to a mighty 4.0L V8 mill that delivered 414 horsepower and 295lb-ft of torque. This was the one and only M3 ever to include a V8, so expect to pay a substantial price for an example in well-maintained condition.


Fifth Generation (F90) 2014-18


The fifth generation drops the V8 in favour of a twin-turbo inline six, but pushes up the output to 425 horsepower and 406lb-ft to force the 0-100kmh time below four seconds. And if that's not enough, a later CS variant released in 2018 pushed up the ponies to an exhilarating 453 hp.


Because of the recent release date and extreme performance, a mint condition version of this M3 will likely have a cost approaching six figures, and considerably more for the CS model.


Sixth Generation (G80) 2021-Current


The current, sixth generation of the BMW M3 narrows the range down to a sedan only but reaches new heights in performance. A twin-turbo inline-six engine delivers up to 503 horsepower and 479lb-ft of torque, while this iteration of the M3 is the first to offer all-wheel drive as an alternative to the standard rear-wheel. Considering the young age of this generation, expect to pay near to full sticker price if you can find an owner willing to sell one used.


Experience the BMW M3 in Toronto


Whichever vintage of BMW M3 catches your eye, you'll find the perfect model at our Toronto dealership. Call us now to check availability and book a test drive, and get behind the wheel of your dream BMW with an unbeatable deal.

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