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Ever since 1986, the M3 designation has stood for supreme performance in a smaller-size BMW. After sitting out the 2014 season, BMW revived its sporty M3 sedan for 2015 on the latest 3 Series platform. The old V8 was gone (with few tears shed), shoved aside by a modern, more efficient turbocharged six-cylinder engine that whipped up a mighty 425 horsepower. The M3 designation used to be applied to coupes and sedans, but the two-door version is now part of BMW’s 4 Series.

What's New for 2017

Modifications are modest for the 2017 model year. An adaptive M suspension is now standard, as is BMW’s iDrive 5.0 interface. The Executive Package now includes wireless charging and a wi-fi hotspot with enhanced USB and Bluetooth. Optional Extended Merino leather upholstery now includes a leather dashboard.

Choosing Your BMW M3

Today’s M3 gets its mechanical muscularity from a twin-turbocharged 3-liter six-cylinder engine, which cranks out 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. You can select a specially modified six-speed manual transmission, or pay $2,900 extra for a seven-speed dual-clutch automated-manual unit.

BMW’s electric power steering has three driver-selectable modes to alter the assist level. Bodies benefit from a carbon-fiber roof and other weight-saving materials.

Fuel economy, as estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency, is identical to that of the M4 coupe: 17 mpg in city driving and 26 mpg on the highway with a manual gearbox, or 17/24 mpg (city/highway) with the automated-manual transmission. Automatic start/stop can shut the engine off when stopped. An M3 can accelerate to 60 mph in as little as 4.1 seconds (3.9 with the dual-clutch transmission).

Superlative performance certainly doesn’t mean being short on comforts. Not only is the M3 cabin fitted with standard cloth/leather or optional Merino leather upholstery, accented by wood, aluminum or carbon fiber trim, but you enjoy all the comfort/convenience features of the regular 3 Series—and beyond.

Standard equipment includes heated 10-way power M sport front seats with power-adjustable side bolsters and driver memory, keyless entry, navigation, Harman Kardon 16-speaker 600-watt surround sound with satellite and HD radio, adaptive xenon headlights, and V-spoke 18-inch light alloy wheels with wider rear tires.

Pricing starts at $64,995 (including destination charge). Even though the M3 sedan comes pleasantly “loaded,” with nearly everything a serious driver might need or want, BMW proffers a handful of option packages:

  • Driver Assistance Plus ($1,700) adds lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, city collision mitigation, side- and top-view cameras, and speed-limit data.
  • The Lighting Package includes full LED adaptive headlights with automatic high beams.
  • A $3,900 Executive Package equips the M3 with retractable headlight washers, a head-up display, heated steering wheel and rear seats, rearview camera, wireless charging and wi-fi hotspot, and front/rear parking sensors.
  • For all-out racing, BMW even offers a $4,750 Competition Package that includes 20-inch wheels. You can also specify individual performance upgrades for an M3, such as 19-inch wheels and carbon ceramic brakes ($8,150).

A couple of high-end conveniences are also offered, including automatic parallel-parking and a power rear sunshade. A moonroof is a no-charge option.

CarsDirect Tip

The M3 packs a rich array of standard equipment into its compact body, along with its brilliant performance potential. We consider the Driver Assistance Plus option package with its active-safety features to be the only essential add-on. Otherwise, you can be sure that your M3 has everything needed for a momentous driving experience, even if nothing is added.

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