The BMW M3 has sensational performance and handling; impressive refinement and a comfortable ride. Plenty of space for four people.
The official average fuel consumption of 22.8 mpg is extremely optimistic; heavy rear tyre wear is inevitable.
On the road
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The 4.0-litre V8 engine produces 415bhp and 295 lb ft of pull. It responds almost instantly in any gear from almost any speed. It also produces a fantastic soundtrack, all the way to its 8400rpm redline. From a standstill, you'll hit 62mph in just 4.8sec, while the mid-range pull is so strong there's no need to thrash the engine to travel quickly.
Ride & Handling
Nearly every suspension component is bespoke and made from lightweight aluminium, while the steering, race-specification rear differential and frying pan-sized brakes are all engineered to optimise the car's performance. The steering is precise and well weighted, and the chassis is astonishingly grippy, beautifully balanced and responsive.
Although the V8 engine produces a deep resonance and the frameless side windows create a little wind noise, the M3's cabin is pretty quiet. The manual gearshift requires precise timing and a deft touch; otherwise it can be clunky, especially at low speed.