Which BMW M3 Is Best M3? | Carguments

Which BMW M3 Is Best M3? | Carguments


– Well, I think on that
note, we’re all going to, I don’t know, curl up and die and regret everything that
we’ve said. (laughs) – This has been educational.
Congrats on being wrong again. – [Raphael] I regret
entering this conversation, and there are no winners. (light playful music) – Hey Raph. – Oh, hey Patrick. – Do you wanna remember some cars with me? – (laughs) You know what, I really would. – Welcome back to
Carguments, the award winning video series on Jalopnik,
where we argue about the cars because we have nothing
better to do with our days. – Yes. (laughs) – Joining me today, is once again, my beautiful car son, Raphael Orlove. – Yes. – [Patrick] How are you, Raph? – I’m good though I’m afraid. – [Patrick] Why are you afraid? – Because we’re going to talk
about which M3 is the best M3, and I’m slightly afraid
we picked the same one. – I’m also afraid we picked the same one. – I’m trying to look into your M3 soul. – Yeah. – [Raphael] And see
which generation you are. – And we’ve got five to pick
from, where there’s a very– – Do we have five? I feel like really it’s between,
probably not one of them. – There’s like two or three that’s really the solid choices here, so there’s a very good chance that
we picked the same car. – Okay, what are our contenders? – We start with the first one, the E30 M3. – [Raphael] Legend maker. – [Patrick] Legend maker, street legal, touring car of the 1980s. Boxy, four cylinder, rev-tastic. – Super weird because the
top 3 Series of that time would have been a straight
six. E30 M3, four cylinder. – [Patrick] Right, a four
cylinder racing engine. It was a very special engine,
very high revving motor, but buyers in America were
like, “What the hell?” – [Raphael] Four cylinder? – Why would I spend more
for the four cylinder car when I can get a 325is? What is an M? That’s bullshit. That’s
stupid. And nobody bought it. – Like the yuppie who’s
wearing like the M jacket kicks them in the face and is just like, “No, S14 is better.” – Yeah, there was like one
guy and then all the other ones just rotted in a lot
until the internet was invented and eBay came along and they
all like skyrocketed in value. And we got the E36. – [Raphael] Yep. – [Patrick] Bigger,
heavier, plusher, nicer, far more modern, very much a modern car. Also a straight six
there for the first time. – And then we had the
E46, which is the one that everyone’s like, “Whoo, it’s
the last tried and true, naturally aspirated, straight six M3.” And like everyone reminisces about it, lots of them too with
manuals, they’re like, of that generation, that
still looks really good. – We have the E92 M3 after
that, which is really fast and really bad ass and awesome, but it has a V8 for some reason? – [Raphael] Unclear why, yeah. – Unclear why. It was like,
“Why are we doing this exactly.” Okay, great. And then it brings us to the M3 and M4 of today,
the F80, which is back to having a straight six, but with two turbo chargers for
the first time ever. First forced induction M3. – It’s twin turbo? – [Patrick] That’s right, yes. – Wow. – And it is one of the most competent track cars I’ve ever driven. – Is that right? – And so, okay, now I think
what we have to do here is we have to figure out
which one we like best, and the way to do that is
to go, I think, on three. – One, two, three, shoot? – Yeah, one, two, three,
and then shoot we go? Okay, cool. – One, two, three… E90.
– E46. Oh thank God. – Son of a bitch, really? – [Raphael] Yes! – Really? – And, don’t think I don’t
have a chart. (laughs) – Diagrams, there’s always diagrams. Why did I agree to do this? – Ah, simple Patrick. – So you went with the V8 M3. – Ah yes, the good one. – That shocks me because I
feel like you are one of these, you and like Jason and
like David are kind of like the old-school people on Jalopnik. You hate everything that
doesn’t have like Weber carbs. I’m never even sure I’ve
even seen you drive a car that was made past the
Reagan administration. (laughs) So for you to go with the late
2000s M3 with the V8 engine, it’s an extremely modern
car, that surprises me. – Very, but I think there
are reasons why you may think that the E46 is your savior,
when in fact it’s a false god. – Explain to me why I’ve been
a heretic all of these years. – I do understand what you’re saying, cause I’m like a tried and
true, like old-school guy. I like it as simple as
possible, you know like don’t give me this whole hydraulic
versus electronic steering. Give me manual steering. Give me some. – Give you a Tiller. How about a Tiller? – [Raphael] Ideally. – Yeah. – Give me reigns, with which I could individually pull each wheel. However, I think a lot
of people point out, the E46 M3 served the last true one. I think if you go over some of the specs, you will soon find it’s not
exactly how you think it is. Because, the E90 is merely
one or two hundred pounds heavier than the E46, the
engine is actually lighter, and it revs even higher. And if you think of the E46
as sort of like your last “true, simple, old-school”
BMW. If you go back to sort of when it was new and people were actually reviewing it, it’s super techy. It’s got all sorts of electronic controls. It’s not a carburetted old,
you know, 2002 or something. It’s got traction control, it’s got every modern anything on it. Like if you want to work on it,
it’s not like you’re dealing with some old-school
something, it is a modern car. – Very true, yeah. – The E90 is actually not
greatly different in any sort of way of like modernity, simplicity versus complication. And if you want sort of like
high revving whatever stuff of this like pure driving experience, that’s the V8 not the straight six. And if you think that the
V8 is wrong for an E30, or it was wrong for an M3, the
first one was four cylinder. Cylinder count does not an M3 make. – (sighs) I definitely see
where you’re coming from, and I like that car and I respect it. But you also have to remember this one important thing
– Oh my god. – It’s trash. – [Raphael] Whoa, what!? – And I’ll tell you why. It’s
because everyone thought, “Oh the V8 M3, everything is amazing, and BMW is the king of the
land, and there’s sunshine and rainbows, and they’re so great.” And then in 2011, Ford. – Oh no. – [Patrick] Puts the
5.0 V8 into the Mustang. – Oh my God. – Which, even though it
had a live rear axle, still it kicked the shit out of
that M3 for 30 grand less. I have heard from people
within BMW that they went into panic mode and
all of a sudden, that humble Ford Mustang GT could
outpace that thing on a track and probably outrun it in a straight line. Oh my God, why on Earth
would you buy an M3 when you can save a lot more money
getting a humble Ford Mustang? That’s sad, that is shameful. That car should have been
just like you’re out. You’re out of the family.
Stick an AMG badge on you, maybe they’ll show you some
love, we’re done with you. – This is this false dichotomy
that one V8 equals another. The S65 is perhaps the
greatest V8 that BMW ever made. And this is including the E39 M5. It revs like crazy, it’s
got ITBs from the factory. No Mustang is this. Anyone who thinks that
like a Mustang of that era, with like a big ol’ five
liter has anything to do with like a real competition to like a four liter BMW V8, madness. – No Mustang ever took
down that M5 of the 90s, so we can take that off the table. Look, the E46 is the best. You know this in your heart to be true. (grumbles) It is everything literally that you used to love about BMWs and that people like us came up loving and respecting about BMWs. Rear-wheel drive, a good manual gearbox, still had good steering,
it had an in-line six, a naturally aspirated in-line six. Not a V8, no turbo trickery, just like what they were known for
like the best version of the same engine layout
they put in all of their cars. It was like the purest, most distilled version of what they were good at. – Say that until you’re going to these car shows and it’s a
hundred guys with E46 M3s and they’re all going to be like, “Did you know this has
a straight six in it?” – [Patrick] That’s years
away from happening. That’s years, we have decades. And there’s still like– – Time is an illusion, Patrick. That future exists in
your mind at all times. – It is an illusion. We
can all agree that time is a bullshit human
construct that isn’t real. – I’ll give you one– – You know the thing
that is going to happen to the V8 car at some point? – No, it’s not. – There’s all these douche
bags sitting around in like BMW Polo shirts talking about how
turbo charging is the devil. – I will tell you why not. The gas tank is too small,
you can’t use it as a regular car, and they’re all gonna
blow up like 30 years from now. I assure you, every person
who owns an E90 sedan drives them 100% of time sideways
with two kids in the back. – Yeah. – That’s just 100% of how are driven. – And they’re just going
to explode at some point. It’s like you’re a
kamikaze pilot right now. – I will give you a final point why the E90 M3 can only be the best. In America we would say
that has 414 horsepower. In Europe you would say it has, in PS… (pen drops) 420. (hip-hop music) – Yeah, that’s hard to refute that logic. – Well, I think on that
note we’re all going to I don’t know, curl up and die and to regret everything
that we’ve said. (laughs) – This has been educational.
Congrats on being wrong, again. – I regret entering this conversation and there are no winners. – I can’t believe you
went with the V8 one. That’s really surprising for you. – You know you just
have to see through what you think are the constructs,
see the pure form of light existing in the center
and it radiates in 8. – I feel like someone like
you would have picked the E36 and the reason would have
been, “Oh, because it’s a sweet 1JZ swap drift missile
for when I go to Englishtown.” (laughs) And that’s your only reason.
– It’s a 1JZ away. – That’s your only reason
for liking the car. But you surprise me.
– You make a good– – I’ve known you for years
and your surprise me. That’s kind of nice, you know? – You make a good point. Oh I didn’t even get to
the point that they made a GTS and a CRT version.
Bored it out to 4.4 liters. – It’s a shame we never
got to that, it really is. – And it was just as light as the E46. – Did you know that they
put a V8 into the E36 too? For the racing version the–
– For the 46. – For the E46, yes. They
put a V8 into the E46 also for the GT racing version. I guess the straight six couldn’t hack it there, so they put a V8 in that. – They did one– – And they did like a 20
production-legal cars of that. – They also did one year of
the GTR race one with the six back in it from some really
weird rules regulation, and supposedly that one was
like the best of the best. – You know why? Because it
had an in-line six in it. I just won the Cargument
and defeated you, so we’re going to cut it off there
now that I’ve won. Ha! Thanks for watching Carguments. If you’ve got thoughts
about the Carguments, send us an email at [email protected] We wanna hear your ideas on
what we should Cargue about. (Thunder) – That’s God, mad at you at your take. – [Patrick] That’s God, that’s
God mad at our BMW takes. He’s an AMG guy (Raphael
laughing) and he’s going to smite both of us, which is fine. I’m amazed it’s taken this long – I welcome it at this point. – Yeah I welcome the
sweet release of death. I said it’s the Porsche that doesn’t give a shit about lap times. – Yeah. – And that’s what makes it good. – Yeah, yeah yeah yeah. It’s like when you go for
the boss and you’re just like, “Yeah, you know I’m really worried about this TPS report.” And they’re like, “You think I give a damn about a TPS
report? Get outta here.” Neither here nor there, alright. – [Patrick] You believe
the V8 M3 is the best M3.

100 thoughts on “Which BMW M3 Is Best M3? | Carguments

  1. A Mustang can't seat 4 people comfortably. That Mustang came in 2011, whereas the E92 M3 came in 2007. 8400rpm limit also sounds better. E90 comes with a more desirable interior. Also, most people spend mroe than 60% of driving the car on roads than on a racetrack to even care about laptimes. Its all about how much fun a car is to drive.

  2. I've driven all of them and owned 3 of the generations. The E90 is my favorite, but not because it's the best. The E46 drives the best, the E36 is the most balanced, but the E90 has the most character and thus the most fun to drive. Plus it's the best sounding.

  3. The reason the E9X has a V8 is because that’s what was used in GT series M3 racecars starting back in 2001 so it was inevitable for the next M3 to have it. It couldn’t have a straight six because it wasn’t competitive enough with Porsche’s so there’s your “some reason” … do your homework

  4. The e46 is actually my favorite but man, after driving an e92… Listening to that V8 roar down the road. Goosebumps.

  5. just watch nurburgring videos …most bimmer cars participated in track days are E36s ….. after ALL THESE YEARS …nuff said.

  6. E36 restyling aka evo has almost same BHP/tonn ratio as E46 but lighter and it saves brakes for longer track runs and it breakes better. It is MORE reliable, suspension is steel instead of alluminium in E46 that is more rigid and can handle some rough ride and still the car is lighter than E46.

  7. Bought my first M3 in 1998, a brand new E36 and fell in love immediately and was hooked on them. I followed that car up with a 2001 E46, 2005 E46 Competition, 2008 M3, and finally my 15’ M4….bought all of them brand new and anxiously awaited every new version, probably not a lot of people that love M cars more than me. Anyways, in my opinion both E46 models were the best, most enjoyable models to drive particularly the 05’ Competition although I will admit it didn’t drive much different than the 2001 standard E46. I think the E36 was a better car than history has given it credit for and that the 3.2L US version is not a bad engine at all and feels significantly more powerful than 240HP would have you believing. I initially liked the E92 however the more I drove it the more bored I became with it and I missed the raspy engine, better seating position, and generally better dynamics of the E46. It wasn’t just in my mind either as I had a chance to drive a coworkers E46 after owning the E92 for a little bit and I remember thinking that it def felt like a more focused drivers car by comparison. The E92 was a better all around car particularly with the EDC that made the ride a lot more livable but that was also its downfall…..it felt compromised and not that special. I had high hopes that the M4 was going to be a return to greatness but unfortunately it was immediately clear to me after less than a week of ownership that BMW M cars were no longer the exceptional drivers cars that they once were. I hated the detached steering, and general American muscle car rather than precise German instrument feel of old. Also, I remain mystified on how BMW managed to make a turbocharged straight 6 sound so terrible, particularly since my wife’s E90 335i had such a decent sound even with it being turbocharged. Despite being severely underwhelmed with the M4 I kept it until the M2 came out in 2016 and although it was in my opinion significantly better than the M4 in pretty much every way I once again realized that BMW M cars just aren’t the peerless/focused drivers cars they once were so last year after reading all the rave reviews I ended up buying a Guilia Quadrofoglio and despite having a few minor issues and the fact that it eats tires like I’ve never seen it is the best driving vehicle in its segment by a mile and thankfully has returned that incredible driving experience from the early days of BMW M Cars. I know BMW fans like to shit on the Guilia and call out it’s typical Italian quality issues and I will admit my car hasn’t been completely glitch free but the truth is the have all been minor and my M4 actually had more issues and ironically felt like the more “Italian” car between the two…..plus, the trade off for having a vehicle that feels “special” is absolutely worth it. I have heard that newer E90 M3/M4’s have come a long way as far as being better to drive and not sounding as awful as the early cars but I would find it hard to believe that they could even come close to the Guilia for driving dynamics. I have not ruled buying another M BMW in the future but I no longer feel like they are superior driving cars and am skeptical that they are at all concerned with once again being “the ultimate driving machine.” Anyways, when I saw the video I had to watch it and this is just my opinion. I never had the opportunity to own an the legendary E30 M3 however I did drive one back in the day and didn’t experience the driving nirvana that everyone else raves about, so what do I know??🤔 😂

  8. Unpopular opinion: 2016+ comp pack F80 M3 with a manual, then E92, then E46, then E36, can't put E30 on this list, it's just default the OG

  9. The reason why I’d pick the 46 over the 92 is because the 92 costs like 20% more to maintain and repair. That’s the single only reason.

  10. E46 is ugly. It always has been too ricey and bloated/round. Straight up fast and furious.
    However as a drivers car both the e46 and e36(yes incl the us spec) win hands down as the best two iterations.

    After owning and driving them all thats the only logically solution.

  11. E9X M3 steering is trash. You don’t know where yer at when yer at the limit. That’s having driven multiple versions.

  12. The E46 cannot be the best M3, BMW didn't make a sedan E46 M3. Having the performance of an M3 and four for practicality is why these cars are so good. In my opinion a high revving V8 with 400+hp, six speed sending power to the rear wheels through an lsd, you cant beat the E90 M3. And I'm not biased either, I drive an E39 M5 😉

  13. Would’ve preferred you went over each generation a bit more. It kinda just felt like E46 vs E92 when the E30 definitely deserves more time than it got.

  14. I have an E46 but, I'm gonna have to go with the F80 M3. It's simply the fastest, and best handling M3. Looks are subjective of course.

  15. There's no doubt that the E30 is a legend,but the E46 M3 CSL is the best IMO so sad we don't have that in the states.

  16. The guy with the blue eyes looks like hes stuck in the 80s. Just give him a Testarossa or a M4S Turbo while wearing aviators and listening to A Flock of Seagulls driving down Miami 305 and he will really kill it. …Just like old times, kid.

  17. E46 is perfectly balanced and styled. Took me about 30 minutes to learn the car. Simple, just powerful enough to enjoy on the streets, handles like a beast and a gorgeous driver focused interior. I mean even car and driver named it the best sports car of all time.

  18. E30 M3 classic.
    E36 M3 great car but old.
    E46 M3 probably the greatest M3 of them all but constant oil leaks, interior does't age well and for this age it is outdated.
    E90 M3 V8 that revving sound, well updated with technology engine issues with throttle and terrible gas milage.
    F80 M3 is the perfect M3 in every way except sounds like shit.

  19. Easy. E92 M3 with aftermarket exhaust and a tune. Timeless design, unmatched exhaust note from any other M3 generation (don’t get me started on the F80). Steering feel is awesome. Forget about the numbers for a second, the most important thing is how a car makes you feel. Even after owning cars twice as fast, I miss my E92M to this day

  20. The great aspect is how vast the BMW heritage is. You can find a variant that suits you. Old school, new school, v8 inline 6, sport, comfort, efficient, fully loaded tech or simple and lightweight.

  21. E46 , I jump from my Cayman GT4 to my daily E46 m3 and it feels with the proper size and weight, E90 it's like a mustang bigger fatter, a boat compared to the E46

  22. Very hard to tell, you have those that daily the M3, dual purpose daily and track and those that have it turned to a street legal track weapon. As a daily the E9x is more comfortable, has less issues than previous generations but more thirsty. Personally i really like the retro looking E36 3.2 EU version, striped out with stock engine (no interior, suspension and brake upgrades etc) they can lap TF in under 7:30 which is insane for a 90s car. I would love to own the E36 but no TC/ASC + T for EU models makes it dangerous as a dual purpose car in winter and snow.

  23. You are wrong when it comes to the Mustang GT 5.0 (2011) vs M3 E9x … granted it was a huge step forward for Ford/Mustang, it was not 'killing' the E9x on track.

    Grattan Raceway lap times
    E92 – 1:30.05
    GT 5.0 – 1:32.50

    Virginia International Raceway Grand East Course
    E92 3:05.30
    GT 5.0 3:08.60

    Willow Springs lap times
    E92 1:36.92
    GT 5.0 1:37.60

    Willow Springs – Streets of Willow
    E92 1:37.67
    GT 5.0 1:27.76

    So it looks like the M3 was faster on all tracks they both have been around, as well as faster 0-60 times.

  24. Well the e92 went to v8 because it was in the works since the e46 m3. They used a v8 in their GT race cars and had a special m3 gtr ultra rare street car with a v8. So many have been waiting for a v8 for a while. Unfortunately when it finally arrived it was a bit late because everyone started to move on to turbo straight six that was easier to make power and torque. But yes the e46 m3 is the best and what I drive 😉

  25. E30 M3: Classic. Douche bags overlooked this car (Thank you car gods.)
    E36 and E46 M3: Douche bags loved these cars. The cars got a little fatter, but had a 6 cylinder engine so douche bags did feel like their dicks were small. They also introduced convertibles to the line. Once a homologation race car, now available to moms.
    E90 M3 : Still attracted some douche bags, but went back to some motorsports routes with high revving engines and elements of carbon fiber. Became ultra track oriented. Douche bags went to c63 and s4 more than the e90 M3.
    F80: Too Soon to tell. Really trackable and very streetable. Not naturally aspirated, so the fun of working on forced induction modern BMW will predict its future.

  26. Man, I own a E46 M3, and as much as that car is my dream, I would be lying If I said the newer M3’s are not miles cooler and better overall

  27. E46, but obviously you guys aren't really qualified to be judges since one of you doesn't even know what gen is which.

  28. Raphael, your arguments are okay for someone who never saw an M3 before. You're plain wrong. I'm sorry. Go back to beetles.

  29. You may get into video on the BMW M3 then show a picture of an E90 as you say the words E92. What the fuck are you thinking?

  30. E30 and E36 if you want something modern.

    46 I don’t hate it, but it is getting big and anything after that is a overweighted boat.

    1m and m2 is the new “m3”

  31. E46 all day for me. Mostly because I own one probably, but it truly is a very modern looking and driving car while still being that fundamental driving experience. Just me though.

  32. Ok let’s be honest… if 4 girls walked into a bar, its human nature to look at prettiest one… e46! and the truth is she’ll always be at the top of the list cause of her looks

  33. The E46 is the best looking M3 ever made that thing is beautiful. Just imagine if the E46 would’ve came out with the NA M5 engine. I’d probably be the best BMW ever produced LOL

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