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Base model shown as 2018 M3 Sedan
2018 BMW M3 M3 Sedan - front view

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Top Features of Base Model

  • Twin-turbocharged Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
  • Available manual transmission
  • A future that draws upon its 30-year history
  • One of the best luxury sport sedans available
  • Technology controlled by BMW’s iDrive 6.0
Pro Review

2019 BMW M3: Everything You Need to Know

About the BMW M3:

The 2019 BMW M3 is the latest M-built performance variant of the brand’s 3 Series sedan. The current BMW M3 continues BMW’s steadfast dedication toward building the best performance sedans possible by tapping BMW’s long history of racing prowess and melding that engineering with its publicly available (street legal?) sports sedans.

Making use of a twin-turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine, the four-door performance car blurs the line between family grocery getter, road-racing rock star, and long-haul grand tourer; as such, the 2019 BMW M3 remains one of the most beloved automobiles BMW builds.

With such an illustrious past, sure-footed driving dynamics, an available manual transmission for hardcore enthusiasts, and a suite of up-to-date technology and safety systems, the current generation BMW M3 endures as one of the best choices in the ever-expanding performance sedan community.

What’s New in the 2019 BMW M3?

The current generation BMW M3 debuted in 2014, so the performance sedan is getting long in the tooth in the automotive world. As such, the M3 is nearing the end of its lifespan, as evidenced by the all-new BMW 3 Series that debuted late in 2018.

With the introduction of the all-new 3 Series and a handful of spy photographs depicting what is likely the upcoming sixth-generation M3, BMW isn’t putting much into updating the current M3 to bolster sales.

Fortunately, in recent years, BMW made an effort to update the M3 in both performance, handling capability, luxury, technology, and comfort. The Bavarian brand also introduced a host of special editions, continuing its quest to provide customers with “The Ultimate Driving Machine.”

The 2019 BMW M3 hardtop four-door sedan comes in three different versions.

  • BMW M3: This standard version uses a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine that produces 425 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent through either a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission or 6-speed manual transmission to the rear wheels.
  • BMW M3 Competition: The M3 Competition uses the same 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine as the base M3; however, the Competition’s engine is tuned to produce 444 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. The Competition uses the same choice of either 7-speed dual-clutch transmission or 6-speed manual transmission. The M3 Competition receives revised suspension geometry, retuned electronic differential, 20-inch forged alloy wheels, stickier track-focused tires, and a host of exterior modifications to denote its special nature.
  • BMW M3 CS: The M3 CS continues a long history of CS special edition BMWs. For the M3 CS, horsepower and torque were increased to produce 454 and 443 respectively. BMW’s engineers further lightened the M3 CS by over 100 lbs. In addition to all the performance upgrades, the M3 CS sees a revised exterior with carbon fiber aerodynamic treatment. It is only available with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

No new colors are available for 2019, but the standard colors offered remain a good assortment of hues, with the CS offered in a trio of bespoke colors

What Does the BMW M3 Compete With?

The BMW M3 competes with the following cars:

The BMW M3 is one of the best all-around cars, pulling double duty as a weekday daily driver and weekend racer. With a spacious interior cabin, reasonable fuel economy, brilliant performance, and available manual transmission, the M3 will make anyone happy to have it parked in the garage.

Exterior Design of the BMW M3

BMW’s M3 hasn’t changed much since its public unveiling (when?). The performance sedan has been designed to be low, aggressive, and given a tense presence to allude to its sporting nature.

The large fender flares, front fender air extractors, and optional carbon fiber roof immediately draw the eye to the overall design aesthetic. Its wing mirrors are sharply curved at their attachment points on the car’s fenders and are designed to provide functional air flow, as well as a nod to negative space design.

BMW offers five unique wheel designs, including; a 20-inch M Star-Spoke forged wheel that comes in either black or silver, a 19-inch M Double-Spoke forged wheel in either black or silver, and an 18-inch M V-Spoke Ferric Gray wheel.

We enjoy the BMW M3’ssubdued design compared to its more eccentric competition. The M3 is a handsome sedan and the design will age gracefully.

Interior Design of the BMW M3

Like other performance cars, BMW M3 drivers are the sole focus in the cabin. The performance sedan offers a driver-centric cockpit with its instrument cluster, transmission location, switches, buttons, knobs, and readouts centered to the driver making everything easy to reach and read.

Whereas some of the BMW’s competition have littered their steering wheels with buttons, knobs, and scroll wheels, the M3’s suede or leather-wrapped steering wheel isn’t too crowded. The wheel carries just the essentials, with the sedan’s voice commands, audio controls, drive selector, and cruise control.

Behind the wheel are the performance sedan’s starter and a hybrid analog-digital dash. Both the tachometer and speedometer are handled by analog units, while a small digital screen allows for more nuanced use.

At the center of the dash is a single 8.8-inch infotainment display allowing the M3’s driver and passengers access to navigation, music selection, and audio controls, as well as a host of vehicle functions, tools, vehicle information, and maintenance logs. Some of these functions toggle through the M3’s steering wheel, but most are controlled through its rotary iDrive knob situated between the driver and passenger.

As you’d expect from a performance sedan, the M3’s seats are a two-piece bucket design finished in either cloth or a combination of leather and Alcantara suede. BMW also offers a host of personal design choices in terms of color flourishes and multiple hard-surface finishes throughout the cabin.

Outward visibility is quite good even with the M3’s long hood. As the design of the hood and fenders are more square than other sedans, the view allows for confident changes in direction and pin-point tire placement.

Though the focus is on the M3’s driver, the rest of its occupants aren’t at a loss for comfort and support. The front passenger is treated to the same heavily bolstered sport bucket seat, while rear passengers enjoy a good amount of leg and headroom, an area of special emphasis in the M3’s design. Whereas other interiors can be full of flash and chrome, the M3’s subdued interior is both warm and inviting, creating a spacious interior worthy of a cross-country trek.

What Technology Comes With the 2019 BMW M3?

BMW doesn’t change the technology available across the M3’s variants. With that in mind, and the company’s pursuit of excellence in engineering, the BMW’s standard equipment is both easy to use and full of the features expected from a luxury manufacturer.

As standard, BMW’s iDrive system houses its functionalities in a single 8.8-inch configurable display. The system includes:

  • BMW navigation with 3-D mapping and over-the-air updates
  • Voice command
  • Wi-Fi hotspot through its Connected Drive software
  • Bluetooth technology that includes Apple’s CarPlay and Android’s Auto capabilities
  • 16-speaker, 600-watt Harmon Kardon audio system
  • Dynamic cruise control
  • Keyless entry
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • USB ports

14-way heated sport seats are standard and come with a backlit M3 logo in the backrests. At the rear is a 60/40 split bench seat and LATCH child anchor points.

What Kind of Safety Features Are in the BMW M3?

The BMW M3 includes standard safety features such as:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Front and rear sensors for parking and low-speed navigation
  • Rear-facing camera
  • BMW Assist eCall with emergency SOS crash detection
  • Impact sensing battery terminal disconnect
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Light-sensing headlights and brake lights
  • Active Driver Assistant Package adds forward crash mitigation, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and pedestrian detection

What’s the 2019 BMW M3 Like to Drive?

There’s a reason why the BMW M3 is held up as the gold standard of performance sedans. That statement continues with the current generation M3. From the chassis, the twin-turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine, monumental grip, and driving dynamics, it’s not just a great car in the performance sedan market, it’s one of the best enthusiast cars available.

Though BMW took some flack when it introduced the current M3 for its engine switch — naturally aspirated V8 to the current turbocharged 6-cylinder unit — the choice paid off in the long run as the engine is not just a tower of power and torque, but effectively balances the whole car.

From the driver’s seat, the M3’s electric power steering could be better in terms of fingertip feedback. Though not as numb as some electric power steering units, the M3’s steering feedback would benefit from more of the road surface transmitting through the thick diameter wheel. Though apathetic in its road translation, once you understand where its tires are, the M3 can conquer any turn with precision.

The M3’s chassis is taut and willing to be manhandled whenever the mood strikes, but it’s also compliant when things calm down and your boiling blood settles. Though we prefer the manual transmission in terms of driving engagement, the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic can’t be bested in speed by those choosing to row their own gears.

TheM3, however, isn’t without its faults. BMW’s insistence that exhaust noise needs to be faked and piped through the car’s speakers is distracting when the noise emanating from its actual exhaust sounds good. Furthermore, based on its rivals, the BMW M3 is down on power. Though it can still keep up and is enjoyable to drive quickly, its age and power differential are felt. (when?)

Thankfully, a new BMW M3 is coming soon and likely features a more competitive horsepower figure, and a host of next-generation upgrades.

Should I Buy a 2019 BMW M3?

If you want a great performance sedan, one you can still get with a manual transmission — rumor is the next generation M3 won’t include one — and you can likely get for a great price given its age, we’d answer whether you should buy one with a definitive yes. It isn’t going to get any cheaper, nor will you find such a great car that blends old-school enthusiast vibes with modern technology and power.

Should I Buy a Used BMW M3?

With such a back-catalog of used M3s and so many sold, it can be difficult to find the right used BMW M3. Much depends on service histories, whether the customer knows how to do their own maintenance work, and the right variants. The easiest to maintain is the first generation M3, with subsequent models becoming increasingly complex and harder to maintain properly.

However, if you’re willing to do some research, browse through the classifieds, and possibly do some of your own mechanical work, any generation M3 will be a rewarding automobile.

How Much Does The BMW M3 Cost?

The 2019 BMW M3 is on sale now. However, with the forthcoming new M3, BMW will likely end production soon. Prices start at $67,495, including destination.

Pros and Cons of the 2018 BMW M3


  • Addictive off-the-line torque
  • Race-derived chassis
  • A suite of modern safety technologies
  • Family car
  • Optional carbon ceramic brakes
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard
  • Fantastic Harmon Kardon stereo standard
  • Bolstered and supportive sport seats


  • End of lifecycle
  • Options and packages get very pricey very quickly
Model History

The History of the BMW M3: The Genesis of the Performance Sedan

BMW’s M3 is a car with a history that could fill hundreds of books, articles, think-pieces, and long-form analyses, and indeed, it has. Over its 30-plus year history, BMW’s M3 has been poured over, tested, and driven rough on race tracks the world over. It’s perhaps one of the most well-known cars ever produced.

The M3 began as a road-racing variant of BMW’s hum-drum 3 Series. Much was changed from its original form, including a more potent inline 4-cylinder engine, a thoroughly revised aerodynamic body, which also included larger wheel flares to accommodate a wider track width and better wheels and tires, major suspension changes that included lighter aluminum components, heavier duty brakes both front and rear, more efficient brake master cylinder, and a 5-speed manual transmission that sent power to a re-engineered rear differential.

The changes culminated in one of the best handling sedans available and kicked off the sports sedan market. BMW used the upgraded performance platform to then design a true racecar. Along with a handful of racing teams, BMW would go on to successfully campaign the first generation M3 in racing series around the world. Its racing prowess solidified its place in history, as well as in BMW’s future lineup that continues to this day.

Specs & Key Features of the 2018 BMW M3


Body Style
3.0L Inline 6-Cylinder M TwinPower Turbo w/ZCP
425 - 444 hp
6-Speed Manual
Passenger Doors
Passenger Seating
Rear Wheel Drive
City MPG

Key Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Audio
  • Back Up Camera
  • Bluetooth
  • CD Player
  • Cruise Control
  • DVD Player
  • Heated Seats
  • LCD Monitor
  • LED Lights
  • Leather Steering Wheel
  • Remote Keyless Entry
  • Tinted Glass

More Features

  • Engine: 3.0L Inline 6-Cylinder M TwinPower Turbo w/ZCP-inc: 444 HP with high precision direct injection
  • Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
  • Engine Auto Stop-Start Feature
  • Rear-Wheel Drive
  • 3.46 Axle Ratio
  • Engine Oil Cooler
  • 90-Amp/Hr 900CCA Maintenance-Free Battery
  • Regenerative 210 Amp Alternator
  • Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
  • Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
  • Automatic w/Driver Control Ride Control Sport Tuned Adaptive Suspension
  • Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
  • 15.9 Gal. Fuel Tank
  • Dual Stainless Steel Exhaust w/Chrome Tailpipe Finisher
  • Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
  • Multi-Link Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front And Rear Vented Discs, Brake Assist and Hill Hold Control
  • Electro-Mechanical Limited Slip Differential
  • Wheels: 18" x 9" Front & 18" x 10" Rear -inc: M ferric gray, V-spoke, style 513M
  • Tires: 255/40R18 Front & 275/40R18 Rear -inc: Mixed performance
  • Wheels w/Silver Accents
  • Spare Tire Mobility Kit
  • Clearcoat Paint
  • Body-Colored Front Bumper
  • Body-Colored Rear Bumper
  • Black Side Windows Trim and Black Front Windshield Trim
  • Body-Colored Door Handles
  • Body-Colored Power Heated Auto Dimming Side Mirrors w/Power Folding and Turn Signal Indicator
  • Fixed Rear Window w/Defroster
  • Light Tinted Glass
  • Speed Sensitive Rain Detecting Variable Intermittent Wipers w/Heated Jets
  • Front Windshield -inc: Sun Visor Strip
  • Galvanized Steel/Aluminum/Composite Panels
  • Lip Spoiler
  • Black Grille w/Chrome Surround
  • Trunk Rear Cargo Access
  • Tailgate/Rear Door Lock Included w/Power Door Locks
  • Fully Automatic Aero-Composite Led Low/High Beam Auto-Leveling Daytime Running Lights Preference Setting Headlamps w/Delay-Off
  • Perimeter/Approach Lights
  • LED Brakelights
  • Radio: AM/FM Audio System
  • Radio w/Seek-Scan, In-Dash Mounted Single CD, MP3 Player, Clock, Speed Compensated Volume Control, Aux Audio Input Jack, Steering Wheel Controls, Voice Activation, Radio Data System, DVD-Audio, External Memory Control and 20 Gb Internal Memory
  • HD Radio
  • 600w Premium Amplifier
  • Graphic Equalizer
  • Audio Theft Deterrent
  • Digital Signal Processor
  • Streaming Audio
  • Window Grid Diversity Antenna
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio -inc: 1 year All Access subscription
  • harman/kardon Surround Sound System
  • Bluetooth Wireless Phone Connectivity
  • 1 LCD Monitor In The Front
  • Real-Time Traffic Display
  • Heated Front Sport Seats -inc: lumbar support
  • 10-Way Power Driver Seat -inc: Power Recline, Height Adjustment, Seatback Side Bolster Support, Fore/Aft Movement, Cushion Tilt and Manual Cushion Extension
  • 10-Way Power Passenger Seat -inc: Power Recline, Height Adjustment, Seatback Side Bolster Support, Fore/Aft Movement, Cushion Tilt and Manual Cushion Extension
  • 40-20-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat
  • Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
  • Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Tachometer, Oil Temperature, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
  • Power Rear Windows
  • Sport Leather Steering Wheel
  • Front Cupholder
  • Rear Cupholder
  • Proximity Key For Doors And Push Button Start
  • Interior Lock Disable
  • Valet Function
  • Power Fuel Flap Locking Type
  • Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, 4 Door Curb/Courtesy, Illuminated Entry and Panic Button
  • Remote Releases -Inc: Power Cargo Access
  • Garage Door Transmitter
  • Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
  • Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
  • Rear HVAC w/Separate Controls
  • HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts, Residual Heat Recirculation and Console Ducts
  • Illuminated Locking Glove Box
  • Driver Foot Rest
  • Interior Trim -inc: Carbon Fiber Instrument Panel Insert, Carbon Fiber Console Insert and Metal-Look Interior Accents
  • Full Cloth Headliner
  • Leatherette Door Trim Insert
  • Leather/Metal-Look Gear Shift Knob
  • Cloth/Leather Upholstery
  • Day-Night Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror
  • Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination
  • Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage and 4 12V DC Power Outlets
  • Front And Rear Map Lights
  • Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
  • Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats
  • Carpet Floor Trim and Carpet Trunk Lid/Rear Cargo Door Trim
  • Cargo Area Concealed Storage
  • Cargo Net
  • Cargo Features -inc: Spare Tire Mobility Kit
  • Cargo Space Lights
  • Memory Settings -inc: Driver Seat and Door Mirrors
  • FOB Controls -inc: Trunk/Hatch/Tailgate, Windows and Sunroof/Convertible Roof
  • Tracker System
  • Smart Device Integration
  • Navigation System
  • Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins
  • Power 1st Row Windows w/Front And Rear 1-Touch Up/Down
  • Delayed Accessory Power
  • Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
  • Systems Monitor
  • Trip Computer
  • Outside Temp Gauge
  • Analog Display
  • Fixed Front Head Restraints and Manual Adjustable Rear Head Restraints
  • Sliding Front Center Armrest and Rear Center Armrest w/Pass-Thru
  • 2 Seatback Storage Pockets
  • Perimeter Alarm
  • Engine Immobilizer
  • 4 12V DC Power Outlets
  • Air Filtration
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • BMW Assist eCall Emergency Sos
  • Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Driver And Passenger Knee Airbag
  • Rear Child Safety Locks
  • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point and Pretensioners
  • Back-Up Camera

Warranty Options for the 2018 BMW M3 (5)










Roadside Assistance






Available Trims for the 2018 BMW M3 (2)

M3 Sedan
MSRP Starting at
M3 CS Sedan
MSRP Starting at

Safety Ratings for the 2018 BMW M3

2018 BMW M3 M3 Sedan

US NHTSA Crash Test Results

Results shown are for the 2018 BMW M3 M3 Sedan:

Overall Rating
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
Overall Side Crash Rating
Side Barrier Rating
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat
Rollover Rating