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2013 BMW M3

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2013 BMW M3 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.4

The iconic BMW 3 may be the industry's most benchmarked vehicle. Virtually all competing automakers – most notably Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Lexus – have tried to match (or surpass) its beautifully balanced dynamics, upscale image and enthusiast appeal with luxosport compacts of their own, and some have come close. But none so far has quite bulls-eyed that elusive target. Making that challenge even more difficult is the 2013 addition of available xDrive all-wheel drive (AWD), a still-quick but more fuel-efficient ActiveHybrid 3 model and (soon) a sports wagon. To make the nameplate more accessible to the masses, BMW offers a new entry-level 320i model that delivers 3-Series prestige at a buyer-friendly price. The previous-generation coupe, convertible and performance-based M3 variants are carried over as 2013s for now, but all-new versions on the new platform are not far away.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you are a true driving enthusiast (or want to be seen as one) and can afford a true enthusiasts' compact sports sedan, equipped as you want it and wearing that pricey propeller badge, you will enjoy the BMW 3's image, driving dynamics and (down the road) strong resale value.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you can see beyond the vaunted BMW badge and would like an equally satisfying luxury-sports compact for similar or significantly less money, there are a lot of excellent alternatives beginning with the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Infiniti G37, Lexus IS and the new Cadillac's ATS.

What's New for 2013

At nearly $3,300 less than the previously entry-level 328i, the new 320i gives BMW a lower entry point for the 3-Series without compromising its luxury pretentions. Other noteworthy additions for 2013 include available xDrive AWD and a new ActiveHybrid model, which teams a 55-hp electric motor with the TwinPower turbo-6 for a combined 335 horsepower and a modest boost in fuel efficiency.

Driving the M3

Driving Impressions A major element of the 3 Series' appeal is its grin-inducing driving dynamics. We've tested the sedans and coupes on slow, fast, twisty and hilly roads and on challenging race...

courses, and they go, steer, corner and brake as well as, or better than, anything in their segment. Especially impressive is the balance of cornering prowess with comfortable ride. The fuel-saving stop-start feature shutters when it kills the engine at rest, and again when it restarts as the brake is released, but it can be switched off. The delightfully torquey turbo-6 is good for 5.4-second 0-60 bursts, but the surprising turbo-4 is only about a half-second slower, with the down-powered 320i version turning in a time of roughly 7.1 seconds. As a bonus, the twin-scroll turbo used on both powerplants are virtually free of turbo lag. But if the standard variety fails to arouse your senses, the 414-horsepower M3 is sure to plaster a smile on the face of even the most discerning enthusiast.

BMW PARKING ASSISTANT
This feature helps you to maneuver into parallel parking spaces by first measuring a potential space's size to be sure the car will comfortably fit, then automatically steering into it. The driver just has to operate the accelerator and brake and keep an eye on the area around the car.

SURROUND VIEW SYSTEM
Cameras in the outside mirrors provide a bird's-eye top view of the area around the car to aid maneuvering in tight spaces, while the selectable Side View function uses cameras in the sides of the front bumper to monitor traffic crossing in front of the car.

2013 BMW M3 Details
Interior

BMW calls its 2013 3 Series interior "straight out of the BMW design handbook," meaning an uncomplicated look with tight fits, simple shapes and upscale materials. The cockpit, angled toward the driver by seven degrees, presents important controls within easy reach, and the rear cabin is a bit roomier than before. The four circular dials are speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge and oil temperature – but there's no coolant-temperature or oil-pressure gauge. The console-mounted iDrive controller is handy to both driver and front passenger, and its freestanding central screen boasts a flat-TV-like trans-reflective, high-resolution display.

Exterior

When BMW's 1977 3 Series replaced the respected but ungainly 2002, its styling was a pleasant surprise. Thirty-six years later, its evolving design has never again surprised, and that's a good thing. Line up all six generations, and the evolution is apparent. Each new 3 Series logically follows the one before it, remaining conservative but contemporary for its time. Even to the casual observer, there is never a doubt what it is. Today's slightly longer and taller model differentiates itself mostly by adding more character lines and creases and visually connecting its headlamps to its signature twin-kidney grille. Similarly, the equally-iconic M3 maintains its long-standing tradition of elevating the 3 Series' athletic looks to the next level by way of distinctive front and rear fascias, quad exhaust outlets, and a wider, more aggressive stance.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

As expected, 2013 BMW 3 Series sedans come well equipped with Leatherette upholstery, automatic climate control, cruise control, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, halogen head- and fog lamps with automatic headlight control, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive brake lights, run-flat all-season tires on 17-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 9-speaker audio system with HD Radio and a USB port. Still, a power driver seat and a fold-down rear seat are extra-cost options. Standard Driving Dynamics Control offers ECO-PRO, Comfort and Sport settings, while standard safety features include stability and traction controls, anti-lock braking, active head restraints and eight airbags.

Optional Equipment

The 3 Series option list boggles the mind. Among the more interesting are a Parking Assistant and the Surround View camera (see Favorite Features), navigation with real-time traffic, Active Blind Spot Detection, lane-departure warning, collision warning and automatic collision notification. Available Comfort Access pops the trunk lid when you wave your foot under the bumper, Variable Sports Steering offers different steering ratios for varying conditions, and a head-up display projects key information in the driver's line of sight. An M Sport package adds adaptive sport suspension, aero aids and M wheels, while three packages called "Lines" (Luxury, Modern and Sport) let buyers customize their car's appearance.

Under the Hood

Three gasoline engines are offered in 2013 3 Series lineup: A 2.0-liter turbo-4 in 320i and 328i models (detuned in the 320i), the 3.0-liter inline turbo-6 (now available in nearly all BMWs) in 335i models, and a potent 414-horsepower naturally-aspirated V8 reserved for the range-topping M3. Each boasts the unique combination of BMW "Valvetronic" fully variable intake-valve lift, "Double Vanos" dual-cam phasing, and direct gas injection. Both turbocharged mills offer a choice of 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission driving the rear or (with newly-available xDrive) all four wheels. A 6-speed manual gearbox or a quick-witted dual-clutch 7-speed automatic is available on M3 models. Unlike its high-performance challenger, the Audi S4, the M3 is not available in all-wheel-drive configuration. The new ActiveHybrid 3 marries a 55-hp electric motor (packaged inside the 8-speed automatic housing and driven by a lithium-ion battery) to the turbo-6 for a combined 335 hp (not the sum of both peak outputs, since both engine and motor can't operate at max power simultaneously).

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
180 horsepower @ 5,000-6,250 rpm
200 lb-ft of torque @ 1,250-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/36 mpg (manual), 24/36 mpg (automatic), 23/35 mpg (AWD)

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
240 horsepower @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
255 lb-ft of torque @ 1,250-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/34 mpg (manual), 23/33 mpg (automatic)

3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
300 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
300 lb-ft of torque @ 1,200-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/30 mpg (manual), 23/33 mpg (automatic), 23/28 mpg (AWD)

3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 (hybrid)
335 horsepower @ 5,800-6,000 rpm
330 lb-ft of torque @ 1,200-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/33 mpg

4.0-liter V8
414 horsepower @ 8,300 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 3,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 mpg, 13/20 mpg (convertible, manual)

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2013 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."

10 people out of 20 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."

8 people out of 14 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!"

14 people out of 21 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."

14 people out of 21 found this review helpful

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