Top 5 Things You Have to Know Before Buying the E92 BMW M3

  • The E92 M3 is only reliable if you fix everything
  • Don’t expect more than 25 MPG
  • Automatic E92 M3s are reliable and cheaper than a stick

The BMW M3 is about as coveted as “normal” cars get. Pretty much anyone who has a passion for all things automotive has wanted one at one point, or at a minimum, given the BMW sports car the respect it deserves. The E92 M3 is still a bargain, for now, and one the last and only V8 M3 ever made. And if you want one, this is everything you need to know about the last naturally aspirated M3.

A dark blue E92 BMW M3 sports car shot from the front 3/4 in a photo booth
The E92 was the last of the naturally-aspirated M3s | BMW

The E92 BMW M3 is only reliable if you pay it to be reliable

Did you really think we were going to be able to talk old German sports cars without talking reliability? The E92 BMW M3 has its fair share of issues, and it’s certainly not one of the most reliable sports cars. Until you throw cash at it. Throttle actuators can go bad, costing thousands. However, more notably, the infamous rod bearing issue from the E46 BMW M3 is present in the S65 engine as well. It’s a big job, so budget more than $2,500 for it.

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The last V8 BMW sports car is going up in value

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Despite the reliability concerns surrounding the famous S65 engine, the E92 BMW M3 is rapidly rising in value. In fact, this may be your last chance on this BMW. Well-kept examples can easily exceed $70,000 at auction in a heartbeat, especially in this market. However, finding Bring A Trailer bargains is possible, and you should expect to pay $30,000 for a good one.

Automatic E92s are actually reliable

A silver BMW E92 M3 shot from the front in shadows
The first E92 debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 2007 | Jeff J Mitchell via Getty Images

Unlike the previous E46 BMW M3, the 2007-2013 M3 actually had a reliable automatic transmission. There’s no SMG pumps to go bad here, and by the time the E92 hit showroom floors, BMW had the automatic down pat. Plus, automatic M3s are consistently worth less than their manual transmission brethren.

If you can afford an M3 sedan, buy it

A rear 3/4 shot of a blue M3 sports car shot in a photo studio
Competition Package and sedan E92s are exceptionally rare | BMW

A final note on the rarity of the E92 BMW M3. If you find a sedan (chassis code E90), and you can afford it without remortgaging your house, do it. BMW made significantly fewer sedans than they did coupes and convertibles. A sedan with a manual transmission and a carbon fiber roof will command increasingly more money.

The E92 M3 gets terrible gas mileage

The M3's S65 V8 engine, the last naturally aspirated M car engine
The last and only M3 V8, the S65 | BMW

Finally, don’t expect rising gas prices to do you any favors with the E92 M3’s S65 engine. It gets truly awful fuel economy. You’ll struggle for 25 MPG, especially once you hear what the S65 sounds like. But you’re not buying an M3 for the fuel economy, are you? That’s as it should be, because this last-chance M car is meant to be driven.

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