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2008 BMW M3

Overview
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2008 BMW M3 Review

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BMW's original M3 high-performance compact coupe was created in 1986 as a road-going version of its 3 Series-based German Touring Car Championship race car, and it arrived Stateside two years later. Powered by a pumped-up 192-horsepower 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, it quickly carved a reputation as the ultimate performance iteration of BMW's iconic 3 Series. Second- and third-generation M3s packed six-cylinder engines, the latest (2006) model boasting 333 horsepower. The 2008 fourth-generation M3 moves up to a high-revving 4.0-liter V8 with 414 horsepower under its domed and vented hood. While we love German-rival Audi's 4.2-liter V-8 all-wheel-drive RS 4 and Cadillac's latest Corvette-powered CTS-V, BMW's M3 compact muscle machine remains the gold standard of this rare, expensive and exhilarating class of car.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you are already a BMW 3 Series or M3 enthusiast, this latest M3 is easily the best yet. If its hefty sticker is within your reach, you'll delight in its raw performance, racer-like handling, sophisticated electronic features and, yes, its long-established and well-deserved king-of-the-hill reputation.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you are not a BMW worshiper and crave something more exclusive, check out the all-wheel-drive Audi RS 4 Sedan or Cabriolet and the more powerful Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, Cadillac CTS-V (due in the Fall of 2008) and Lexus IS F sedans.

What's New for 2008

The 2008 M3 brings V8 muscle and a host of sophisticated performance-enhancing electronics to BMW's ultimate high-performance compact coupe, sedan and (retractable hardtop) convertible.

Driving the M3

Driving Impressions The M3 is terrific fun on a race track and nearly as much when driven sanely on public roads. If you enter a turn a bit too fast it remains...

predictable, the steering tracks precisely and the big brakes provide remarkable fade-resistance, even during sustained hard driving. The race-bred V8 hits its amazing 8400-rpm redline almost too quickly in the lower gears before its throttle shuts off to prevent over-revving; but shift before it reaches that point, however, and the M3 can rocket from rest to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and on to a computer-limited top speed of 155 mph. You won't often be able to safely use all this exhilarating performance on the road, but just knowing it's there will make you smile.

Dynamic Stability Control
Selectively applies brakes and reduces power when needed to maintain stability but can be switched off. Its Start-Off Assistant prevents roll-back when launching on a hill, Cornering Brake Control stabilizes when braking in a curve and brake pre-loading builds up instant pressure when it senses an emergency stop may be imminent.

Optional M Double-clutch Transmission with Drivelogic
This seven-speed gearbox operates like two separate transmissions handing off to each other from ratio to ratio. There's no clutch pedal but 11 shift programs (five automatic, six manual), and it can be shifted on the fly with the throttle on the floor (no interruption of power) through either its shift lever or steering wheel paddles.

2008 BMW M3 Details
Interior

The leather-covered steering wheel's spokes incorporate controls for audio and phone and the available MDrive button, and the black leather-trimmed center console presents a trio of switches for the electronic driving programs (Power, DSC and optional EDC). Accent trim is carbon fiber, M-car logos decorate the door sills, instruments are specific "M style" and the tachometer warning zone rotates upward to the maximum 8300 rpm as engine oil temperature increases. The front seats are available with backrest-width adjustments and optional folding rear seats open the interior to the 15.2 cubic-foot trunk. Unfortunately, the available Navigation system requires BMW's unloved iDrive multi-function controller.

Exterior

The M3's purposeful face flaunts its trademark BMW twin-kidney grille between quad xenon headlamps and above three large intakes that feed high volumes of air to its engine and brakes; hence, it foregoes the fog lamps found on other 3 Series models. It sports signature M-car front-fender gills with tri-color M3 logos and sharp character creases over pronounced rocker sills. A discreet decklid spoiler reduces both aerodynamic drag and rear lift, while a split diffuser beneath the rear bumper mimics the front air intakes' shape above four serious circular tailpipes.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2008 M3 is the only car in its class with a carbon-fiber-reinforced composite roof, and its chassis and suspension are aluminum for light weight and near-50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution. Its powerful four-wheel disc brakes utilize large (14.2-inch front, 13.8-inch rear) vented and cross-drilled rotors inside low-profile performance tires on 18-inch M-Style wheels. Also standard are M-Servotronic speed-variable power steering with Normal and Sport modes, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Start-Off Assistant, Cornering Brake Control (CBC), brake pre-loading and brake drying, a premium audio system with single-disc CD and auxiliary input jack, six airbags, BMW Ultimate Service, BMW Assist and Roadside Assistance.

Optional Equipment

The 2008 M3s offer BMW's first application of its new M twin-clutch 7-speed transmission with DCT Drivelogic and 11 separate shift programs (five automatic, six manual). Other significant options include 19-inch wheels and tires, Electronic Damper Control (EDC; with Sport, Normal and Comfort modes), M Drive with steering-wheel button to instantly activate a set of pre-programmed dynamic variables, front-seat backrest-width adjustment, fold-down rear seatbacks, Navigation system with iDrive, high-definition and SIRIUS satellite radio, USB-enabled port for iPod and iPhone control and Technology and Premium Packages that include groups of the above.

Under the Hood

The M3's new light-alloy 32-valve double-overhead-camshaft 4.0-liter V8 delivers 414 high-revving horses and 295 pound-feet of torque, with 85 percent of the latter available from 3900 through 6500 rpm. It is 24 percent more powerful than the previous M3's inline six-cylinder engine, yet weighs seven percent less. Its compression ratio is a high 12.0:1 and its redline an astounding 8400 rpm. A separate throttle butterfly for each cylinder - a feature adapted from the M's racing heritage - provides immediate reaction to the accelerator pedal at any rpm and double-VANOS variable camshaft management delivers fast valve timing adjustments to enhance power, torque, fuel economy and emissions all at once. It drives through a standard six-speed manual transmission or a new optional twin-clutch seven-speed that can be shifted automatically or manually with steering-wheel paddles.

4.0-liter V8
414 horsepower @ 8300 rpm
295 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (sedan and coupe), 13/19 (convertible, manual)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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2008 BMW M3 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 71 Ratings for the 2008 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

My dream car

By on Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "The most fun you'll ever have driving a car..."

Cons: "So expensive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I test drove the E92 DCT M3 about 6 years ago and thought it was an amazing piece of automotive engineering. I was so impressed that I had to buy one. I ended up buying a 6 speed manual coupe and it is truly the "Ultimate Driving Machine". Although I am partial to the manual transmission, the DCT is amazing also. You really feel nothing as you switch between gears. The handling on the M3 is unparalleled. I have owned and driven 6 vehicles in the last decade, including an Acura and Lexus, and the M3 is just in a class of its own. It is incredibly responsive, but lacks torque in the lower RPMs. It does redline at 8400 RPMs though and sounds very cool doing it. This car is very classy. It is a beast and a very beautiful one. The only downside is that it is very expensive to maintain. I average just over 16 mpg (premium) combined, although if I didn't drive it like an M3 should be driven I could probably get it higher. It burns through oil relatively fast too, probably about a quart a month. It uses a Castrol 10W 60, now sold at O'reilly's, and to change the oil, it uses 9 quarts. Tires are super expensive for this. I got a full set of Michelin Pilot Super Sports on sale for $1400, some places I've seen cheaper, some places more expensive. The nav system is pretty simple, the map actually makes sense looking at it, destinations are easy to input."

9 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Could use a little more torque, but makes up for

By on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great value"

Cons: "Great value. Unfortunately not sexy enough tho"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Could use a little more torque, but makes up for It with sound like a '67 Mustang. Last of the V8 normally aspirated Bimmers. By far the best value for the money out there. Double-clutch shifter is lightning quick, grabs rubber in first 4 gears. High revving fun."

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Like any car enthusiast dream...

By on Saturday, April 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,268

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Interior design, Driving Mechanics, Exterior"

Cons: "None I can think of"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I am a proud owner of a BMW M3 and I enjoy driving my vehicle whenever I have the chance. Starting off with the exterior of the M3. My M3 is white and absolutely love looking at from a distance and also when I walk away.....kinda creep some people off haha. Moving on to the interior cabin. Very nice black leather with the signature BMW stitching on the steering wheel. The navigation systems could use some work. First time users such as myself would have a difficult time unless you are technology savvy. This is my first BMW and I am very impressed with the styling, detail of the vehicle, the way it drives and it truly is the ultimate driving machine. The description of my driving experience isn't included in my review simply because you have to drive it to experience it yourself. Go test drive an M3 now what are you waiting for!?"

7 people out of 12 found this review helpful

This is absolutely the best car I have ever owned!

By on Thursday, February 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Fantastic power and great styling"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I purchased this car used in August of 2014 with 16,000 original miles. I have owned a 2004 M-3 and a 2008 M-3. This is by far one of the most exciting cars to drive that I have ever owned. The car is bullet proof. This is the last naturally aspirated V-8 made on the M-3 platform. BMW changing (in my opinion) back to the straight six cylinder was a huge mistake. This car is a 13 point Dinan equipped car. Nothing but positive comments about the looks, engine sounds and overall styling. Do yourself a favor, if you are considering this car.....just drive one. Not cheap to maintain or fix, but worth every penny!"

13 people out of 20 found this review helpful

An absolutely awesome car.

By on Wednesday, February 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, safe, great features"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Incredible handling car for the track or street. The E92 M3 is a beautiful car that always attracts attention."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

e92 M3 -- The last true M3

By on Wednesday, January 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Performance, exhaust note, everyday practicality"

Cons: "Fuel mileage, suspension a bit soft in normal mode"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned each generation of the M3 going back to the original, e30. While the e30 is my all-time favorite, the e92 is a close second. When you consider how bullet-proof this car is together with how much fun it is to drive, you could make a strong argument that it is the best M3 ever. Either way, it is the last true M3 coupe and, in my opinion, BMW went out on a high note. The e92 will be a collector's item in the future."

10 people out of 17 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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