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Info & specs

BMW M3

BMW M3 side view

Pros and cons of the BMW M3

  • High-performance in a family sedan
  • Manual or automatic transmission available
  • User-friendly entertainment interface
  • Computer-generated fake engine noise
  • High performance suspension may result in a stiff ride
  • Driver assistance tech is not standard
This is general information and should not be relied on as purchasing advice.

Safety ratings of the BMW M3

NHTSA logo

Safety ratings provided by NHTSA

  • Number of airbags8

Specifications of the BMW M3

Key specifications available across all trim levels
  • Seats5
  • Doors4
  • Fuel typeGas
  • TransmissionManual
  • City consumption13.7 L/100km
  • Highway consumption9 L/100km
  • Width1877 mm
  • Length4671 - 4687 mm
  • Trunk space481 L
  • Cargo space481 L
Exact values depend on trim and engine choice.

Trims available with the BMW M3

What is a trim? Trims are different options of the same car with different features and equipment. The specs depend on the trim you choose.This version of the BMW M3 2015 - 2018 is available in 1 trim:

Basic trim features and specs

  • 2 climate zones
  • Air conditioning (automatic)
  • Center arm rest between front seats
  • Driver seat has lumbar support
  • Electric windows
  • Front seats electrically adjustable
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated rear seats (optional)
  • Heated steering wheel
  • ISOFIX installation points
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Multifunction steering wheel
  • Paddle shifters (optional)
  • Passenger seat has lumbar support
  • Power steering
  • Rear seat ski hatch
  • Sport seats in the front
  • Tire repair kit
  • Adaptive bending lights
  • Alloy wheels
  • Bi-Xenon headlights
  • Cornering lights
  • Daytime running lights
  • Door mirrors electrically adjustable
  • High-beam assist (optional)
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED headlights (optional)
  • Short wheel base
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Brake assist system
  • Collision warning system (optional)
  • Dimming interior mirror
  • Disc brakes
  • Dusk sensor
  • Electronic traction control
  • Emergency call system
  • Fatigue warning system (optional)
  • Front-driver airbag
  • Front-passenger airbag
  • Knee airbag
  • Lane departure warning (optional)
  • Overtaking sensors (optional)
  • Rain sensor
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Side airbag
  • Side curtain airbag
  • Stability control
  • Tire pressure indicator
  • 360 degree camera (optional)
  • Apple CarPlay (optional)
  • Automatic parking (optional)
  • Bluetooth
  • CD player
  • Computer
  • Cruise control
  • Digital cockpit
  • Digital radio
  • Front sensors (optional)
  • Front view camera (optional)
  • Head-Up display (optional)
  • Hill start assist
  • Keyless entry
  • MP3-CD player
  • Navigation system
  • Power door locks
  • Radio
  • Rear sensors (optional)
  • Rear view camera (optional)
  • Side sensors (optional)
  • Start stop system
  • Traffic sign recognition (optional)
  • USB port for front passengers
  • WiFi (optional)
  • Wireless charging pad/mat (optional)
1 engine is available with the Basic trim:
3 L - Gas - 425 hp
City consumption:13.7 L/100km
Highway consumption:9 L/100km
Transmission:Manual
Range:518 km

Overview of the BMW M3

Learn about the BMW M3

Summary

For nearly 40 years, the BMW M3 has been a top choice for those who want the practicality of a family sedan blended with the excitement of a sports car. Through seven generations, the legendary engineers at BMW have continuously developed and improved the performance of the M3, leading to the latest models’ high-output engine and the choice of a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed automatic transmission.

In later models, the user-friendly entertainment package, cutting-edge safety features and well-designed interior ensure a fun, safe and comfortable ride.

Safety

The BMW M3 scores high in annual safety rankings. Since the 2000 models, it has had airbags for front and side protection, and front and rear head airbags were added in the third generation. In later models, from 2018, optional safety features include: 

  • Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control to assist the driver in the event of a skid 
  • Blind-Spot Monitoring to make lane changes safer
  • Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist to keep the car in the middle of its own lane

Interior

All seven generations come with air conditioning and power windows as standard equipment and power heated seats as an option for higher trim levels. Later models are known for its well-designed interior and good visibility all around for the driver, due to the practical seat position and window design.

Also notable on later models is effective sound dampening, although some have pointed out that Active Sound, which is the computer-generated fake engine sound, is unnecessary and detracts from the quality soundproofing.

Technology

BMW designed the M3 to be a blend of practicality and high performance, and the technology follows that prescription. The latest models—2018 and 2019—sport an impressive list of easy-to-use tech features. Depending on the model and trim chosen, these include:

  • Rear-view camera 
  • Side-view and top-view park assist cameras (not standard, but available)
  • iDrive infotainment interface with 8.8-inch display screen
  • Apple CarPlay phone integration
  • Navigation system
  • USB ports
  • Premium Harman Kardon sound system
  • Posted speed limit display, which lets you know the current speed limit

On older models, you'll have to add on a package to get some of the more high-tech features. For instance, the Premium Package on the 2011 offers power-folding auto-dimming mirrors and Bluetooth, while the Technology Package adds convenient features such as keyless ignition/entry and a voice navigation system.

Space

Throughout all generations, this car has been known to have a roomy cabin with ample headroom and legroom to seat four in comfort. Its 12 cubic feet trunk provides an average amount of cargo space for this class, and the rear seats fold down so you can carry longer loads. There are many small storage compartments around the cabin.

Comfort

It’s easy to tell by the firmness of the suspension and the quickness of its stopping and starting that the M3 was designed to be a high-performance sports sedan. Some drivers have said that the firm suspension in higher-performance trim levels can feel a little too stiff.

For the base model M3, engineers kept the family in mind by developing effective shock dampening in the suspension to flatten out the bumps and ensure a very comfortable ride. Overall, the BMW M3 offers a smooth, easy-handling driving experience.

Frequently asked questions about the BMW M3

No. Currently, available BMW M3s don't have all-wheel drive. All M3s are rear-wheel drive only across all trims and generations.

All M3 trims, from the first generation to the most recent models, have the option for either manual or automatic transmission.

Yes. From 2014 onwards, BMW produced an M3 with a turbo engine, which increases engine power and lowers fuel consumption.

The "M" is a designation letter. It stands for "motorsport" and was introduced by BMW in 1972 as part of their racing program.

A new 2018 BMW M3 will start at $77,000, although older models, like the 2009 M3 coupe (two-door), can go for around $40,000.