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2010 BMW M3

Overview
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2010 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 2010 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 Mercedes-Benz's C63 and Cadillac's 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 2010 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 more powerful Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, Cadillac CTS-V and Lexus IS F sedans.

What's New for 2010

For 2010, the BMW M3 Sedan and Coupe gain HD Radio and automatic high beams.

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 8,400-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.

2010 BMW M3 Details
2010 BMW M3 photo 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. The available Navigation system requires BMW's newest -and much improved – iteration of its iDrive system.

Exterior
2010 BMW M3 photo

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 2010 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 2010 M3s offer BMW's 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, 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 2010 BMW M3's 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 3,900 through 6,500 rpm. It is 24 percent more powerful than the last-generation 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 8,400 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), 13/20 (Convertible, manual)

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2010 BMW M3 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 65 Ratings for the 2008 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

Stunning car to drive $ beautiful to look at!

By on Thursday, September 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,500

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: "Beautiful design, exceptional performance"

Cons: "Gas Guzzler, Expensive maintenance"

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

"This is the 3rd BMW M series that I have owned. It is an amazing automobile in every way. The 4 door sedan design is both graceful and muscular yet very functional. The engine hums like a symphony and is very responsive. My car is a 6 speed manual which I totally love as it seems so integrated to the cars power and handling. It feels very solid and handling is very tight... and it is very fast! I keep it under control but it is so happy at higher speeds. Being semi retired and living in a car dependent area does pose a problem: It is a gas guzzler as I average 16 mpg. Therefore, I cut back on driving so I can afford gas This is not good as I usually drive at least 20 miles to reach various locations. My choices are to sell it and buy a more fuel efficient BMW (328i) or buy a used fuel efficient daly driver. The decision is very difficult as I love my Silverstone/red leather M3 and it's hard to let go!"

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Best all around car availabile

By on Tuesday, May 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "driving dynamics"

Cons: "gas mileage"

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

"This car uniquely balances comfort, convenience and performance - with the latter setting the performance standard for the segment. For enthusiasts who live by manual transmissions (like I was), the dual clutch transmission is just as fun and feeds your performance appetite. Only gripe is the gas mileage, but it is to be expected in such a performance oriented machine."

11 people out of 20 found this review helpful

A jack of all trades

By on Saturday, April 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,500

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
8/10

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

"I was able to buy this car new at about $1,000 below invoice. I'd driven this and a 911 during a track day event and no way in is a 911 worth twice the money. It's been reliable so far, and I do extra out of pocket oil changes every 7500 miles or so, since the dealer intervals are spaced too far apart (since BMW is paying for them for 4 years/50k miles). The only issue is that the interior squeaks. This is a known issue with the door seals. The remedy is a tape strip, but the strip is grey and it would look stupid in the doorwells of a blue car. A blast to drive. Boring and docile at low rpms. Rev it past 5000 rpm, keep it up there, and the thing drives like a monster."

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Happy camper

By on Saturday, March 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Speed handling comfort"

Cons: "Gas mileage"

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

"This car is an absolute blast to drive!Explosive acceleration, great handling. And rather comfortable for long haul trips. This car makes an average driver good, a good driver great."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

A great family coupe

By on Saturday, February 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,260

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Outstanding car, handles superbly in all situation"

Cons: "Expensive and gas guzzler"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Love the M3, have the 2013 Frozen Blue Edition, MDCT transmission, carbon fiber accents, Novello leather,,all options. The last of the naturally aspirated V-8s. On the autobahn got the M3 to 175mph and the Nurburgring handling was exceptional. Driving normally 80mph, returned 24.5 mpg, not bad for a V-8, but do wish 7th gear was more tuned to road (lower rpm, better mileage), not too impressed with the MDCT as I came from a 911 Porsche PDK (7spd auto) and the mpg @75mph was 30.5 mpg. Overall a great car that could be better!"

2 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Best bmw I ever have had

By on Friday, January 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great fun great handling beautiful, convertible an"

Cons: "Weight"

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

"I've been driving bmw m3's since 1995. This 08 convertible m3 has been the best and most reliable. My only complaint is the extra weight of the convertible. My other ones were hardtops. Almost six years later and I'm still in love with it. I am however interested in the new m4 or a 911 carrera s. If I could I would keep it and buy the new car as well. The burble of that v8 with a six speed manual is intoxicating."

2 people out of 3 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

Buying this car?