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  • tickDevastating performance
  • tickSupercar thrills for all the family
  • tickUnderstated looks

BMW M3 saloon (2017 - )

You can use your M3 as everyday transport, but really, it’s a totally different animal to the refined, comfortable, 3 Series saloon it’s based on. Delivering drama by the bucket load, it’s a proper beast of a machine, producing a thunderous exhaust note and truly eye-popping performance. In truth, it develops so much grunt you’re never really sure if the chassis is totally in command of the whip-cracking power delivery. To many enthusiasts, this will only serve to heighten their passion, but for us, the latest M3 has strayed too far down the ultimate performance route and lost sight of the essential everyday duality that made previous M3s such brilliant everyday performance cars.
Our verdict

Is the BMW M3 a good car?

How we rated this car out of 5 on the following

BMW M3 interior

Space, materials, boot size and comfort.

BMW M3 performance

Power, handling, fuel and range.

BMW M3 how good does it look

BMW M3 practicality

BMW M3 drive

BMW M3 reliability

BMW M3 equipment

Our expert review

See what our expert review team say about this car

The interior differences between a full fat M3 and one of BMW’s lesser 3 Series M Sport models are quite subtle. You do get a sexy set of front sports seats and some M Sport coloured stitching on the door panels and steering wheel, but the biggest difference is additional buttons mounted to the right of the gearshift. These can be used to adjust the steering weighting, gearshift aggression and suspension firmness. They’re also supplemented by a couple of M buttons on the sports steering wheel, which can be pre-programmed via the i Drive, to instantly summon up any combination of your favourite driving menus. Other than that, the uninitiated might struggle to notice they’re sitting in anything other than a run-of-the-mill 3 Series.

Despite a wide range of steering wheel and seat adjustment, the M3’s driving position is not perfect. The steering wheel is slightly offset to the left, and while the driver’s seat is inclined towards the centre of the car to compensate, this only makes the accelerator and brake pedals feel more aligned to the right. The M3 comes with a bespoke dual-clutch gearbox that features a unique gearshift selection pattern. There’s no obviously defined park position, and reverse is selected by pushing the lever left and up, not dissimilar to a manual gearbox. In practice, it’s a rather awkward arrangement and nowhere near as intuitive to use as a standard BMW automatic.

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