What CarGurus' Experts are Saying About the BMW M3

The BMW M3 has built a storied reputation as one of the world's best sports sedans. A true wolf in sheep's clothing, the M3 uses the standard 3 Series sedan as a template before adding an uprated engine, improved suspension components, and a host of other performance-dedicated parts. Sport exhaust pipes, flared fenders, body panels shaped with more aggressive lines and angles, and flashier alloy wheels are clear signs that the car you're looking at is an M3, rather than a run-of-the-mill BMW 3 Series. With prices of early-generation M3s skyrocketing, good examples are considered by many to be "investment grade."

The M3 has hosted a range of engines through 30-plus years. While the initial generation relied on a high-revving four-cylinder, the M3 quickly became known for making the most of 6- and 8-cylinder engines. Specifically, the fourth "E90" generation employed a V8 that produced more than 400 horsepower. When BMW updated the M3 for its fifth generation in 2014 (the F80 generation), it reverted to an inline 6-cylinder engine, albeit one that had twin turbochargers and an even higher horsepower specification. With its enthusiast fanbase and racing pedigree, the M3 has always been offered with a manual transmission, although its dual-clutch automatic transmissions are faster to shift. For 2020, the M3 will enter its fifth generation, tagged as the G20 generation. While rear-wheel drive has historically been the only option for M3 buyers, early speculation indicates that the G20 generation will also offer all-wheel drive.

While earlier BMW M3s were available in a range of body styles, from 2-door coupes to 4-door sedans, and convertibles, it has been exclusively sold as a sedan since the M4 debuted in 2015. The M4 is available as only a coupe or a convertible. Like most all modern BMWs, the M3 also offers a robust suite of tech: head-up displays, touchscreens, voice-controlled infotainment, and a slew of advanced safety features. Similarly, the M3 feels luxurious, with high-end materials covering every inch of the cabin.