Automotive

2012 C350 coupe for E46 M3

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  • Dec 25th, 2020 7:09 pm
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[OP]
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Nov 7, 2004
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Vancouver

2012 C350 coupe for E46 M3

Since the pandemic has started I'm hardly using my car - so rather than see it depreciate I've been thinking of cashing in and trading it in for my dream car - an E46 M3. I have seen some for $16k'ish, I figure the trade in value for my car to be pretty close to that. What would you guys do? I heard the M3 is expensive to maintain but I can't imagine its much more than the car I already have. My mechanic is BMW expert so I have access to non dealership maintenance. Looking to get a car with 100 - 125k mileage with manual transmission. Since E46's are appreciating in value I'm not sure I could afford this to do this trade later on.
19 replies
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Jul 30, 2007
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Enjoy life in this day and age Grinning Face With Smiling Eyes

Get it !
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Apr 5, 2016
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If it was me and there was a good example E46 M3 for under $20k, I won't hesitate to buy.
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The only way you're getting an E46 M3 for 16k is

-It's a rebuilt title
-It's only for the track use and not road legal
-It's automatic
-It's a 328i with M3 mods
-It's "tastefully modded"
-It's beat to crap and needs massive engine/trans work
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Mar 23, 2004
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A MY12 C350 has a trade value of $16k? That seems pretty high to me, for some reason I want to say that would be high for sale/retail value but TBH I haven't checked used prices. I just can't see run of the mill C-class being worth that much. How many kms you have on it? I get it's a C350 and not a C250 or something but still...

That said if you think E46 M3s are going up now may indeed be the time to buy. Keep in mind it just might be the fact that used car prices have been creeping up the past few months in general.

It's a timeless design the E46, I will say that much. I'm not sure I even liked the looks that much when the car was current but now you see one and still looks fine. That will be more than can be said for the hideous new BMW front-ends which look bad now and will go down in history with other things people never liked, like "fried egg" Porsches (which personally i don't mind but the resale values tell the story). Might as well go for it, though I'm not quite sure you'll get as much for your car as you think. Just be sure you do your homework on what you are buying.
Last edited by ES_Revenge on Dec 23rd, 2020 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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May 23, 2009
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You'll be shocked at the amount of maintenance needed for a 15yr old M car even compared to your C350...just ask your mechanic who already knows the car what he thinks of the trade.

Buy one as 2nd fun weekend car or if you are able to tackle some DIY repairs.
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May 4, 2014
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You aren't going to get 16k for your C350.. half that if you manage to find a charitable budget baller.
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People are getting irrational once they talk about "dream" something.

1. Like others mentioned, your 2012 C350 Coupe may not able to sold for $16k
2. Getting a E36 under 150k in good condition and worth keeping is extremely difficult.

Also but this is my opinion, no way I would spend 16k for a over 20 years old BMW, doesn't matter what BMW it is.
You are cool to drive a E36 M3 20yrs ago, not so much in 2021. Yes, it will be an eye catcher and rare, but spend 16k for it?........Not me.
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MP3_SKY wrote: People are getting irrational once they talk about "dream" something.

1. Like others mentioned, your 2012 C350 Coupe may not able to sold for $16k
2. Getting a E36 under 150k in good condition and worth keeping is extremely difficult.

Also but this is my opinion, no way I would spend 16k for a over 20 years old BMW, doesn't matter what BMW it is.
You are cool to drive a E36 M3 20yrs ago, not so much in 2021. Yes, it will be an eye catcher and rare, but spend 16k for it?........Not me.
+1. The rational choice is to get a much newer Corolla in beige. Also he's talking about an E46 not an E36.

I second the above posts. Not sure what kind of M3 you're going to get for $16K. If you're looking for a couple with 6MT, you're looking at more than that and since you're talking about the ones that are appreciating, you're thinking about good examples. Beat up convertibles with auto trans that have been 'tastefully' modded by a 16y old in a prior life aren't collector grade.
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RastaManMax wrote: +1. The rational choice is to get a much newer Corolla in beige. Also he's talking about an E46 not an E36.

I second the above posts. Not sure what kind of M3 you're going to get for $16K. If you're looking for a couple with 6MT, you're looking at more than that and since you're talking about the ones that are appreciating, you're thinking about good examples. Beat up convertibles with auto trans that have been 'tastefully' modded by a 16y old in a prior life aren't collector grade.
Oh...if it is an E46, then it is not even worth it. E36 is more a collectible item.

I would keep the C350 Coupe. The car was $70k new and now not even 16k.....it is not going to hurt OP a lot more on depreciation.
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MP3_SKY wrote: Oh...if it is an E46, then it is not even worth it. E36 is more a collectible item.

I would keep the C350 Coupe. The car was $70k new and now not even 16k.....it is not going to hurt OP a lot more on depreciation.
No way. E36 is worth way less than an equivalent E46. E36 is like the fried eggs gen of 911's. Cheapest of all the M3s. An equivalent condition of a E46 is easily $5-10k more than E36. You can still find under 150k km E36 M3's 6spd manual coupe's for under $20k. Only exception would be the euro version with the bigger hp engine but even then are still cheaper than E46 M3s. I was shopping for one to replace my Honda S2k before eventually getting my Cayman.

To OP: If you can get rid of your C350 for $16k, do it in an instant. It will only get worse. Reliability is not bad on E46 M3 as long as you do all the preventative maintenance. Honestly, it's probably not far off from what you may experience from your C350. Just make sure the subframe is reinforced by a reputable shop. I have seen some bad jobs done. Also make sure the rod bearings are done too. An inspection is well needed.
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Sep 30, 2009
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I agree with the posts above. Finding a E46 M3 for under $20k is a stretch.. in terms of what's been done to the car / what the car's gone through. At that price, possibly many owners / cheapo repairs.

I can't believe nobody mentioned this M3. Can't say I agree with the price.. but maybe if it had LSB and ZCP .
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Jan 8, 2007
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MP3_SKY wrote: People are getting irrational once they talk about "dream" something.

1. Like others mentioned, your 2012 C350 Coupe may not able to sold for $16k
2. Getting a E36 under 150k in good condition and worth keeping is extremely difficult.

Also but this is my opinion, no way I would spend 16k for a over 20 years old BMW, doesn't matter what BMW it is.
You are cool to drive a E36 M3 20yrs ago, not so much in 2021. Yes, it will be an eye catcher and rare, but spend 16k for it?........Not me.
It may not be for you, but there are tons of guys out there who want these 15 year old BMWs and that's why prices are going up for mint ones. E46 is much more collectible than E36. Pristine examples will go well over $50,000 Canadian. $16,000 would be a no brainer for one if it was in decent shape, but it won't be for such little money.
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aleks wrote: It may not be for you, but there are tons of guys out there who want these 15 year old BMWs and that's why prices are going up for mint ones. E46 is much more collectible than E36. Pristine examples will go well over $50,000 Canadian. $16,000 would be a no brainer for one if it was in decent shape, but it won't be for such little money.
I don't disagree with you, like I was saying it is in my opinion.
Anything people call it dream, people will go irrational about getting it regardless worth it or not.

In his mind, if it is worth it, sure. 16k-20k maybe is a lot of money of some, for others, not so much,
If someone has spare cash and financially stable with all other stuff, then sure, Do whatever to make yourself feel happy.

Regarding E36 or E46, again it is really depending on the person. For example, when E36 was new, I was like 18s and low 20s, those can be my DREAM CAR, but not so much with the E46 although they are faster and maybe better built, it doesn't means as much, really each on its own.
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MP3_SKY wrote: I don't disagree with you, like I was saying it is in my opinion.
Anything people call it dream, people will go irrational about getting it regardless worth it or not.

In his mind, if it is worth it, sure. 16k-20k maybe is a lot of money of some, for others, not so much,
If someone has spare cash and financially stable with all other stuff, then sure, Do whatever to make yourself feel happy.

Regarding E36 or E46, again it is really depending on the person. For example, when E36 was new, I was like 18s and low 20s, those can be my DREAM CAR, but not so much with the E46 although they are faster and maybe better built, it doesn't means as much, really each on its own.
patrickkc posted this one after I posted. They want $100,000. https://www.pfaffreserve.com/used/vehic ... 052742.htm

Yes there will always be someone out there willing to pay this type of money. Someone imported a 20 year old Integra type R from USA recently locally here and all said and done it was around $100,000 Canadian.
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Oct 1, 2015
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Don't buy a 16k E46 M3. It will be a basket case or a salvage title.
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Mar 23, 2004
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So yeah out of curiosity I looked up selling prices of C-classes around OP's year and yeahhh he's not getting no $16k trade value for it. I knew it couldn't be that high. That's about the top price I'm seeing in terms of retail/asking price, there is no way you will get that on a trade. Even a low miles pristine condition car would not give you much in a trade--stealers don't care that much about that stuff on run-of-the-mill cars. Maybe if that was the case you might be able to get $16k on a private sale but I'm guessing the car has average kms and is in average shape. You'll probably get closer to $10k on a trade and maybe $13-14k if you sell it privately I'd imagine.

I didn't check prices on M3s but from what people are saying, one that is $16k might not be in the best of shape; but, you never know what you'll find out there if you look and find a dealer/person willing to meet you at that price point for one in decent condition.
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Aug 18, 2014
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I didn't read the whole thread but make sure you reinforce/upgrade your subframe when you get your e46

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