The current BMW F80-generation M3 has been on sale since 2014 and while a replacement is on the cards for later this year, incremental improvements to the current car has seen it stay one step ahead of its rivals. Starting with this generation of M-cars, the coupe and convertible models were rebadged as M4 models but aside from the door count they are all but identical.

Turbocharging was also introduced for the first time in the M3, giving it a huge boost in torque over its V8-powered predecessor albeit with a soundtrack that is far less captivating. That said, the increase in performance is impressive and even the standard M3 starts off with 430 bhp and is capable of hitting 60 mph in a little over four seconds. The track-focused 460 bhp CS models are even sharper to drive and offer adjustable suspension and carbon fibre body panels for a reduced kerb weight.

As an overall package, then, these are all great M Cars but let’s not forget that BMW has an enviable back catalogue of desirable M models already. While they may not be quite as dynamically capable, they do offer an even more immersive driving experience and oftentimes for far less than what a new M3 would cost.

To see what was out there, we picked out some of the very best classic BMW M cars that not only cost less than a new M3 but will most likely be worth more than one in the years to come.