Starting at $66,495 (including $995 destination charges), the M3 packs a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six engine producing 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, but you want the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission – it's a $2,900 option but it feels like what the M3's engine is happiest with. The manual transmission-equipped M3 goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.1 seconds, while the automatic variant does the same sprint in 3.9 seconds. Top-speed is limited to 155 mph.
The electronic power steering, adaptive suspension, and the chassis have all been specifically tuned for performance-oriented driving. BMW has also equipped the M3 with an active electronic differential and a sports exhaust system. Carbon-ceramic brakes are available for $8,150 and we would suggest you to buy them only if you will be regularly going for track-days and don’t mind spending heftily on workshop visits (they also squeal like mad when they're cold, which outside of a track, they always are).
Fuel consumption is 17 miles per gallon in city, 26 highway, and 20 mpg combined.
Compared to the normal 3-Series, the M3 gets more aggressive styling. On the exterior there are modified bumpers, side-skirts, rear spoiler, aerodynamically-optimized side-view mirrors, carbon-fiber roof and 18-inch wheels. Inside, there’s a sophisticated cabin with sport seats, leather upholstery, and carbon-fiber elements. Despite the upgrade to the iDrive 6.0 infotainment system, Apple CarPlay continues to be a $300 option, while there's no Android Auto. We would also suggest you to go for the side- and top-view cameras ($750) to help with the parking.
Apart from the individual options, BMW offers four packages on the M3.
The Competition Package ($4,750) increases the engine’s output to 444 horsepower, cuts the time it takes to hit 60 mph time by 0.1 second, retunes the steering, and upgrades the suspension with three different configurations. Buyers also get a tweaked electronic differential and Dynamic Stability Control system, on top of a louder exhaust note. There are a few cosmetic touches as well, such as 20-inch lightweight wheels, black kidney grilles, black chrome tailpipes, and restyled seatbelts.
As the name suggests, the Driver Assistance Plus Package ($1,700) adds driver-assistance features forward collision wawrning, lane departure warning, blindspot monitoring, side- and top-view cameras, and a speed-limit information system, which works with the navigation system to inform you of the current speed limit.
The Executive Package ($3,900) includes a rear-view camera, automatic parking, wireless charging, heated steering wheel, head-up display, and retractable headlight washers. It's also a prerequisite for the Driver Assistance Plus Package.
The Lighting Package ($1,900) adds automatic high-beam and adaptive headlights, which turn with the steering wheel for better illumination in corners.
The M3, without any optional extras, has sufficient grunt and features to please most enthusiasts. However, if you must, we recommend the Competition Package as it gives the M3 much-needed hardcore capability.
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