In its latest model year, the M3 lineup has gained some new variants and some added equipment that, on paper, make it one of the most attractive offerings for buyers looking for a premium and impressively versatile sports car package.
Just how good is the latest BMW M3, then, and how does it stack up against its rivals? Let’s find out.
Starting Price: $144,900
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BMW M3 (COMPETITION)Specifications
|Fuel type||PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL|
|Transmission||8 SP AUTO STEPTRONIC|
|Engine configuration||DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 24 valves|
|Engine RPM||6250 / 2750|
|Fuel tank size||59.0|
|Fuel usage specs||9.6 / 0|
|ANCAP security rating||Unrated|
For more details and other variants, check BMW 3 car page.
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How Much Does It Cost?
The BMW M3 range kicks off from $144,900 for the entry-level M3, while stepping up to the M3 Competition variant brings the price to $160,500.
For those looking for an all-wheel-drive experience, the M3 Competition xDrive is priced at $166,500. Keep in mind that prices listed here are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs.
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What Features Does the BMW M3 Have?
The BMW M3 comes generously equipped with a set of 20-inch M forged alloys, an adaptive suspension system and active M differential, sport seats wrapped in Merino leather with carbon fibre accents, Laserlight headlights, a carbon fibre roof, heated front seats, a head-up display, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment system with DAB+ radio, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto which is paired with a Harman Kardon sound system.
19-inch front/20-inch rear forged M alloys
Active M differential
Sport seats with Merino leather and carbon fibre highlights
Carbon fibre roof
Heated front seats
Driving Assistant Professional
12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
10.25-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto & DAB+
Harman Kardon sound system
BMW M3 Colours
The BMW M3 is available in a wide range of colours, including Black Sapphire, Frozen Black, M Portimao Blue, Frozen Portimao Blue, Tanzanite Blue, M Isle of Man Green, Frozen Dark Grey, Oxide Grey, Dravit Grey, M Brooklyn Grey, Skyscraper Grey, Frozen Orange, Alpine White, M Toronto Red, M Sao Paulo Yellow and Frozen Brilliant White.
Is it Fun to Drive?
As you can expect, with the M3 now in its sixth generation, BMW has fine-tuned its recipe for its iconic performance sedan to nothing less than a thing of pure joy to drive in pretty much every situation you can throw at it.
Arguably the most important ingredient in this recipe is the 3.0-litre twin-turbo inline-six engine under the bonnet that produces 353kW of power and 550Nm of torque in the base model, with the M3 Competition’s engine tuned up to 375kW of power and 650Nm of torque.
Power is thrown to the rear wheels in all but the xDrive variant, with a six-speed manual on offer for enthusiasts, while there’s also an eight-speed torque converter automatic available to put the power down.
The end result is a rapid sprint to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds for the base model, dropping to just 3.5 seconds in the M3 Competition xDrive that gets the heart racing when you’re behind the wheel.
Another key ingredient to the M3’s success has always been the pure steering feel and, while there’s some modern electrical assistance in the mix, the M3 offers a heap of feedback and immense levels of grip from the front axle.
While it’s bulked up in recent years, the M3 remains incredibly agile and is happy to change direction on a whim, with the active differential helping to carve its way through corners and the adaptive suspension system keeping the weight in check that makes it impressively approachable and confidence-inspiring.
What makes the M3 truly impressive is just how happy it is to tone everything back when you’re ready to sit back and bumble your way home.
With all the settings in comfort, the powerhouse engine behaves more like a standard 3 Series, the adaptive suspension comes far more buttery and the steering wheel lightens up to make the M3 a genuinely impressive and comfortable commuting option for day-to-day driving.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
While it might have the power figures of a supercar, the M3 is a BMW 3 Series after all, which means it’s a strong performer when it comes to space, practicality and comfort.
Up front, the driver is treated to a familiar cockpit design that has been upgraded with some special interior finishes and a set of sport seats, however, these are exceptionally comfortable and there’s a heap of headroom thanks to the M3’s low-slung driving position.
Practical touches include a hidden storage tray behind the gear lever for loose items and smartphones flanked by a pair of cup holders, ample storage inside the large folding arm rest, as well as some sizable door bins on either side of the cabin.
Move to the second row of the M3’s cabin and you’ll find a second row that is more than capable of accommodating adults, meaning you won’t hear any complaints from kids in the rear on long-distance journeys.
The second row picks up a set of air vents with climate control settings, a pair of USB chargers, ISOFIX anchors with top tether mounts.
Finally, the M3 range has a boot measuring in at 480L which is more than enough to handle the majority of day-to-day family duties.
For any potential buyers with a growing family, BMW has announced that an M3 Touring variant is on the way for those in the market for a lightning-fast wagon that benefits from a larger 500L boot.
Is it Safe?
The BMW M3 has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating, scoring 97% for adult protection, 87% for child protection, 87% for pedestrian protection and 77% for its safety assist technologies.
As standard, the M3 picks up BMW’s driving assistance which includes adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure alerts, rear cross-traffic alerts, blind-spot monitoring, steering and lane control assistance.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
Fuel economy figures aren’t particularly inspiring for the M3 range, with BMW saying that its M3 in both manual and automatic form return figures of 10.2L/100km on a combined cycle.
Interestingly, BMW says that its M3 Competition xDrive returns the same fuel economy figures of 10.2L/100km, which puts it effectively on par with its high-powered rivals.
Our Verdict: Is the BMW M3 Worth it?
The BMW M3 is one of the most influential ‘sleeper’ cars to hit the market, and in its latest form, BMW has created an immense performance vehicle that is happy to dial everything back and become a comfortable daily commuter.
It ticks all the important boxes as a performance vehicle thanks to its agile handling, responsive steering, clever suspension hardware and a mammoth amount of power from the engine, and culminates in one of the most exciting driving packages you’ll find on the road.
As a result, we can’t help but recommend you add the M3 to the top of your shortlist if you’re in the market for a luxurious performance sedan. On that note, if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925
Five Specs You Need to Know
Three-year/unlimited KM warranty
Five-star ANCAP safety rating
Twin-turbo V8 offers 4.2 - 3.9 second 0-100km/h sprint
Eight-speed automatic and six-speed manual transmissions available
Rear-wheel and all-wheel drive platforms on offer
- Immense performance with outstanding response and steering feel
- Manual transmission still available for enthusiasts
- Impressively versatile package
- Three-year warranty compared to five-years from key rivals
- Polarising front styling package
OnlineAuto Rating: 9/10
BMW M3 Competition
|Audi RS5 Sportback|
|Alfa Romeo Giulia QV|