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Bang For The Buck Bimmer: 1998 BMW M3

This 14-year old BMW M3 is in beautiful condition and has only 93K miles. That may not seem like especially low mileage, but these are excellent daily drivers and many have accumulated well over 100K miles by now. Find this well preserved 1998 M3 4-door sedan here on eBay in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a $13,950 buy-it-now price or the option to make an offer.

The M3 is one of the most successful performance cars ever made. The current 4th generation M3 is a highly sophisticated machine that is loaded with power and electronics, but while the M3 featured here is more refined than the original, it is far simpler and cheaper to maintain and fix than the current model. This makes it a good compromise for drivers who want the precise handling and power of an M3 without the high costs.

While most E36 M3s sold in the US from 1995 to 1999 were coupes, the car featured here is one of only 7,760 4-door sedans sold during 1997 and 1998. Although most buyers saw the coupes as sportier, knowledgeable BMW fans are aware that the sedans perform just as well as the coupes, and even have an advantage: a tick higher cornering ability, likely due to the extra chassis stiffness from the additional roof support post between the smaller doors. Excellent performance combined with extra interior room make for a compelling daily driver.

The car featured here includes the optional interior luxury package, the attractive optional M Contour wheels, a 5-speed manual transmission, and the original books and manuals. Both the interior and exterior look nearly new, with none of the wear and tear that so often plagues daily drivers. Being an Arizona car may have helped preserve the exterior, but the superb interior suggests a careful previous owner. Some may feel that white is not an exciting color for a performance car, but it does have the stealth advantage and there is the fact that white is a traditional color for race cars in Germany. Although the $13k+ asking price seems high, significantly lower priced M3s nearly always come with high miles, worn interiors, and signs of unsympathetic previous ownership in the form of neglected maintenance and questionable modifications. Considering that this car sold for almost $50K in 1998, it makes sense to pay a few thousand more for a well cared than holding out for a rock bottom price for a car that has led a hard life.


  1. Mike D.

    Great ride… just sold my E90 M3 (baby on the way), but when given another chance to own an M3, I’ll probably try to find an E36 sedan. These things are a blast!

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  2. Catfishphil

    Barn find????

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  3. Gnrdude

    Ok if it had 9300 Miles on it it’d be a Barn Find, Other wise it’s just a nice
    used BMW. you guys must be struggling to FINd something???

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  4. ALMS

    I’ve had mine ’98 M3 4-dr for 10 years now (I am the second owner), and absolutely LOVE it! I wish it was more powerful (like its Euro brethren), but that’s a different story. My $.02 on the featured car:
    – White exterior does not bother me that much, but the interior color combo + luxury package is a major turn off;
    – At such a high asking price it does not have power seats, nor does it have heated seats
    – It has a VERY strange blend of Luxury (wood trim pieces, metal door handles) and Sport (front lip and fine plastic mesh in front bumper/spoiler). I would definitely check the VIN-specific stickers that should be present on all panels on this car.
    – Not a big fan of the aftermarket stereo either.
    The entire add on eBay has a “sleazy used car salesman” aroma to it, with examples like, “The car also comes with VERY nice sport tires have plenty of tread life left” How about listing the make and model of the tires, the size (should be F: 225/45-17; R: 245/40-17), and the remaining tread depth? The feeling is further accentuated by poor grammar evident throughout the add.

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  5. Dolphin Member

    Less than 100K, untrashed, like new = survivor ?

    The front splitter came standard on the M3, no?

    I have seen different mixes of wood vs. plastic trim on various places inside on different individual cars, but not sure how they got to be different.

    The 4-door with luxury package came with the strange crossbars but no mesh in the front spoiler, see: http://www.fastestlaps.com/cars/bmw_m3_e36_286ps_4door.html
    But you almost never see these cars that way now. People seem the prefer the black mesh instead, so probably this one was changed by a former owner.

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  6. USN(ret)

    How many bottles of Armor All were used on that car ?!!

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  7. DRV

    I have this year and a 318ti , but the dash is newer style and 10k lower miles which I bought for 7k 3 years ago. They can add up some serious miles as I usually see them with 200k miles.
    I like this for the practicality and low miles.

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  8. Cameron

    There is a report of an accident that I would want more detail about.

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  9. Jeff

    Nice car but reeks of wishy-washy mixtures i.e. luxury/sport cant make up its mind. Accident report=BIG red flag. Over-priced!

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