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.
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2017 BMW M3 Overview
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.
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.
2017 BMW M3 Review
Three decades have passed since the first M3 hit the road. Now in its fifth generation, the M3 sedan never fails to excite us, as it brings with it the essence of motorsport excitement. The rear-wheel drive 2017 BMW M3 Sedan is available in one trim level and offers numerous personalization possibilities.
Pricing and Equipment
The M3 Sedan is the benchmark by which all other performance models are measured. The same can be said for all other M models as this vehicle celebrates 30 years of production. In recent years, the sedan and coupe have gone separate ways, with the M4 Coupe available for comparison.
The 2017 M3 is powered by a 3-liter twin-turbo inline six-cylinder engine. The engine combines a pair of mono-scroll turbochargers with variable valve control and high-precision direct injection to deliver 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. You have a choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed double-clutch transmission. This model gets an EPA-estimated 17 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway when equipped with the manual transmission.
Changes for 2017 include adaptive suspension dampers, now standard across the model line. An updated BMW iDrive infotainment interface is also present. The mid-2016 Competition package returns for 2017.
Standard equipment includes Xenon adaptive headlights with automatic leveling, an aluminum hood, 18-inch light alloy wheels set within performance tires, and M embellishments, including a rear spoiler. Interior highlights include 10-way power adjustable front seats with lumbar support, full power accessories, climate control, and heated front seats. A 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, navigation, and dynamic cruise control are also included.
Pricing for the M3’s trim is as follows:
The 2017 BMW M is priced from $64,000, plus $995 for destination. Several upgrades are available, including a Competition package ($4,750). This package increases engine output to 444 horsepower, improves the driving dynamics, and brings in special exterior and interior updates.
The cloth and leather seats can be upgraded to full Merino leather ($3,600). An executive package adds a wireless charging pad, upgraded Bluetooth and USB, and a WiFi hotspot. The Executive package ($3,900) includes a heated steering wheel, a rearview camera, and a head-up display, a wireless charging pad, and a WiFi hotspot. Driver Assistance ($1,700) and Lighting packages ($1,900) are also available.
- How fast do you like to go? With a zero-to-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds, the M Sedan is super fast. Shave one-tenth of a second off that number by opting for the Competition package.
- Our reviewers loved the available carbon fiber brakes, finding that they “scrub speed with alarming enthusiasm.” You’ll pay a jaw-dropping $8,150 to outfit your M3 with a set.
- Stick shift or dual-clutch transmission? Decisions, decisions. Choose the manual gearbox if you absolutely must row yourself. Go with the DCT if optimum performance times are your thing. The upgrade doesn’t come cheap: the DCTl adds $2,900 to the price.
- Do people buy these cars with fuel efficiency in mind? Probably not, but if you expect 20 mpg on a regular basis, then you’ll need to ease up on the gas pedal. There’s little chance of that happening!
- The front seats are exceptionally comfortable. Besides 10-way adjustment, you get four-way lumbar support. Heated seats are standard and the bolstering is spot on.
- Simple, yet beautiful. That’s one of the best ways to describe the M3’s instrument panel design and dashboard layout. Visually pleasing and easy on the eyes.
- The standard cloth and leather seats are attractive, but not what you expect in the M3. Upgrade to leather and you’ll pay the price: at least $3,500 more to be exact.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
Adaptive full LED headlights make for a worthwhile upgrade. At speeds up to 35 mph, the headlights swivel to follow bends in the road. They offer an extra measure of confidence when driving on curvy back roads at night.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
The M3 Sedan can get pricey. Moving away from the standard cloth and leather seats will cost you $3,500. The Driver Assistance package can only be added if you choose the available Executive package. At this point, your final price has already topped an astonishing $75,000.
The Bottom Line
If you can maintain your discipline, a 2017 BMW M3 Sedan can be had for under $70,000. Of course, we can only wish that certain extras such as a rearview camera were sold separately, instead of bundled with other items you may or may not want. Perhaps our biggest challenge is deciding whether we want the sedan or the equally luscious coupe.