Relentless acceleration; super-confident handling; muscular styling; rich interior with advanced technology
Fake engine noises
Out go the xenon headlights, in come LED items. The rearview camera is now standard. The iDrive infotainment system receives an update. And there's been a reshuffle among the options bundles.
The only decisions to navigate are when to buy and what options to select. It's always a good idea to have those driver assistance features.
The 2018 BMW M3 ($67,495) comes in a single trim level with a wealth of standard features, including 18-inch wheels wearing performance tires, adaptive suspension, aerodynamic body kit with flared fenders, power-domed hood, adjustable drive settings with custom presets, torque-vectoring rear differential, rain-sensing wipers, LED headlights, sport exhaust system with quad tailpipes, keyless entry/ignition, self-dimming mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power-adjustable/heated front sport seats with adjustable side bolsters (and an illuminated M logo on the backrests), driver memory functions, cloth/leather upholstery, rearview camera and carbon fiber interior trim.
It also has Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, an iDrive infotainment system with navigation, 8.8-in widescreen display, voice controls, smartphone app integration and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system with a USB slot, auxiliary audio input and satellite/HD radio.
Most options are grouped into packages. The Executive package includes adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams, a head-up display, a side-view/top-view camera system, a heated steering wheel, parking sensors front and rear, a self-parking function and a heated steering wheel.
The Active Driver Assistant package contains a forward-collision mitigation system with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, along with lane-departure warning.
The Competition Package hikes engine output up to 444 hp. The dynamic stability control system and Active M limited-slip rear differential are also re-calibrated for track duty. There are visual and aural dimensions as well, with special multi-spoke 20-in alloy wheels, an M sports exhaust system with black chrome tailpipes, special lightweight M sports seats with additional support and seat belts with woven-in BMW M stripes.
Other options include carbon ceramic brakes, 19-in wheels, a sunroof, a powered rear sunshade, wireless device charging, Apple CarPlay compatibility, Wi-Fi and active blind spot detection.
The trunk measures a modest 12 cu ft.
|Basic||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||12 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||4 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Maintenance||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
2019 Audi RS 5 Sportback -- All-new for 2019. There's never been an RS 5 Sportback before, so it's still a somewhat unknown quantity. But considering how well Audi makes other RS machines, this 444-hp piece of gorgeousness should provide the M3 with stiff competition. Arriving the second half of 2018.
2018 Cadillac ATS-V -- With a 455-hp twin-turbo V6, the compact ATS-V can sprint to 60 mph in under four seconds, and it's one of the best-handling sedans (or coupes) in the world.
2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG C 63 -- Endowed with 469 hp (or 503 hp in the S version) and all the equipment that needs to go with it. Available in sedan, coupe and convertible (cabriolet) form.
Used BMW M3 -- The previous-generation M3 was an instant classic with its racy V8. You can find a certified pre-owned (CPO) specimen with a warranty for much less than a new M3.