BMW M3 coupe (2007-2013)
- Fantastic engine, handling and brakes
- Aggressive looks
- Practical interior
- Expensive to buy
- High running costs
- Interior doesn't feel special enough
Sitting at the top of the BMW 3 Series Coupe range, the M3 is slightly cheaper than the Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe and considerably cheaper than less practical sports cars such as the Porsche 911 and Aston Martin Vantage. Despite being the Coupe range-topper, the M3 displays few additional interior luxuries and besides the wonderfully supportive sports seats and chunky M Sport steering wheel there is little difference. From the outside however, things are much more obvious. Sharing only it's doors, bootlid and light clusters with the standard car, the bulging wheel arches and muscular stance give a very aggressive appearance. Bonnet vents, sharply sculptured lower air intakes and a carbon fibre roof panel complete the road-racer look. Buyers have the option of a six-speed manual or a more fuel efficient seven-speed dual clutch automatic with F1-style steering wheel mounted paddles.
The BMW M3 Coupe has now been replaced by the BMW M4 Coupe. You can read our full review here.
MPG, running costs & CO2
The BMW M3 Coupe is more fuel efficient if fitted with the seven-speed automatic gearbox achieving 25.2mpg on the combined cycle. The manual returns 22.8mpg. Neither are hugely impressive figures but the current model is more fuel efficient than the previous M3, which was fitted with a smaller, less powerful six-cylinder engine. Annual tax discs will cost owners £460 per year as the M3 falls into the highest tax-emission bracket. BMW offer a comprehensive 60,000 miles/5 year service package, inlcuding brake and clutch replacement, priced at £3,400.
Engines, drive & performance
The rear wheel drive M3 Coupe provides a very exciting and rewarding drive thanks to it's beautifully balanced handling and muscular V8 engine. Delivering 414bhp and 400Nm of torque, the M3 can sprint from 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds when fitted with the DCT automatic gearbox. Designed to provide maximum driver thrill, the M3's engine is very vocal when pushed and is capable of revving to a hair-raising 8300rpm! The M3 has an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.
Interior & comfort
For a car that was conceived to provide maximum driver enjoyment, the M3 is a capable cruiser and the suspension rarely feels too hard. Very well judged settings allow rapid progress even over badly surfaced roads, only at crawling speeds does the car feel slightly compromised. The sports seats are very comfortable and the leather is soft and of good qaulity. Overall it's very impressive and could easily be driven everyday.
Practicality & boot space
Although not as practical as the saloon the M3 Coupe does have four usable seats, offering surprisingly good leg and head room. Useful split-folding rear seats also increase boot space from the exisitng 430 litres allowing owners to carry longer items. An optional ski-hatch is also available. The cabin design mirrors the rest of the range wtih useful cubbies and door bins throughout although the iDrive computer controller can take some getting used to.
Reliability & safety
Only the 3 Series saloon has been properly crash tested scoring a full five stars in the Euro NCAP, which bodes well for the M3 Coupe. Multiple air bags are provided and the electronic stability control system includes a host of computer controlled systems to help keep the car on the tarmac and out of the verge. BMW reliability is very impressive, owners must keep to servicing schedules however, in order to maintain the level of high performance on offer.
Price, value for money & options
Given the amount of grip and performance on offer all M3s represent good value. The V8 engine is a masterpiece. Compared to similarly priced models from Jaguar or Mercedes however, the M3's interior can feel slightly cheap. Equipment levels are impressive, with cruise control, rear parking sensors, leather sports seats, air-con, metallic paint, sat-nav and a tyre puncture warning system all fitted as standard. Optional extras include a seven-speed automatic gearbox for £2,645, a TV function priced at £825 and electronically adjustable suspension for £1,325.