I haven't read any of the prior posts, but I'll say this:
Not only will you be taking a step back, which I'm sure will be much more noticeable to you after having driven an e9x M3, but the money that you pocket on going to an e46 will soon be squandered on repair and upkeep costs. Is the e46 a great car? Yes. But it's you settling. My advice: Lease an e9x M3 (or better yet assume a used M3 lease), pocket the money you'd otherwise be spending on the monthly loan payments, and when the time comes, pick up the next gen M3/M4 , in part, with the money you've "saved."
If you're anything like me, you'll just never TRULY be satisfied by taking a step backwards, as much as you might try to convince yourself otherwise.
[ESS VT2-625] [Akrapovic Evolution Exhaust] [KW Clubsports] [OSS Angel Eyes] [Revinora r-CRT Lip]
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