Fergus is a talented automotive writer specialising in automotive and sports content. He has a Level 3 qualification in content creation and previously worked for Boxxer and The Best of Bolton.
The new BMW M3 Saloon is an exceptional addition to the sports sedan market, offering a compelling blend of performance, luxury, and style. Its capabilities thrive on both city streets and winding country roads.
Our BMW M3 Saloon review covers:
The design of the new BMW M3 Saloon is a captivating blend of sportiness and sophistication. It inherits BMW's signature kidney grille, which in this generation, is quite large and distinct, making a bold statement on the front end. The aggressive front bumper and distinctive M quad-exhaust system further emphasize its sporty character. The overall body design is aerodynamically optimized, with carefully sculpted lines and flared wheel arches that not only enhance its appearance but also contribute to its performance. LED headlights and taillights with a sleek design add to the modern aesthetics.
Inside the cabin, you'll find a sporty and luxurious atmosphere. High-quality materials, such as leather and carbon fibre trim, are used throughout. The sports seats offer excellent support and comfort for both the driver and front passenger. The dashboard features BMW's latest iDrive infotainment system, which is known for its user-friendly interface and responsive touchscreen.
In terms of practicality, the BMW M3 Saloon provides a comfortable and spacious interior for a sports sedan. It can comfortably seat four adults, and the rear seats offer adequate legroom and headroom. The practicality is further enhanced by the presence of rear doors, making access to the rear seats easier compared to a coupe. The M3 Saloon is also equipped with a variety of storage compartments and cupholders, making it suitable for daily use. The centre console and door pockets provide storage space for small items, and the trunk area is quite practical for a sports sedan.
The boot space in the BMW M3 Saloon is reasonably generous for a performance-oriented vehicle. It offers approximately 480 litres of cargo capacity, which is sufficient for luggage, groceries, or other everyday items. The rear seats can be folded down in a 40/20/40 split configuration, allowing you to expand the cargo area when needed while still accommodating rear passengers.
The interior of the M3 is typically known for its excellent craftsmanship and premium materials, setting it apart from the rest of the 3 Series lineup. Notable sporty elements include the available M Carbon bucket seats, a distinctive M-specific steering wheel featuring two prominent red 'M' buttons, and a unique gear shifter designed specifically for this model. To further personalize the interior, you have the option to choose from a range of two-tone leather upholstery and Carbon Fiber trim accents.
The updated 12.3-inch driver display is highly customizable and showcases M-specific graphics. However, it might appear somewhat perplexing at first glance. On the other hand, the new 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen is truly remarkable. While it may not have the same visual impact as Mercedes' large portrait display, it is arguably more user-friendly and provides a comprehensive set of connectivity and features to meet all your requirements. The navigation system has seen significant improvements, but you also have the convenience of using standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, enabling you to utilize familiar apps like Google Maps seamlessly.
Accessing various functions within the vehicle can be done through multiple means, including the iDrive control, voice commands, touchscreen input, and even hand gestures. During stationary moments, we found the touchscreen to be particularly convenient, while the controller became our preferred method when on the move. Additionally, an optional Drive Recorder feature allows you to capture videos of the surrounding environment, which can be viewed inside the car or exported to an external device.
Two trim levels are available: M3 Competition and M3 Competition M.
Beneath the M3 Competition carbon roof, you'll discover a host of premium features in the M3. These include a three-zone climate control system, sports seats that provide excellent body support, M-branded seatbelts, a head-up display, and both front and rear parking sensors, complemented by a rear parking camera. The vehicle is equipped with the latest BMW digital instrument cluster and boasts an impressive Harman-Kardon sound system.
The M3 Competition M offers a 12.3-inch infotainment display featuring integrated navigation and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Additionally, a generous 14.9-inch digital instrument display provides essential information. Further enhancing comfort and functionality, the M3 includes three-zone climate control, cruise control, heated front seats, Merino leather upholstery, stylish carbon interior trim, and a distinctive carbon roof.
If you're considering a BMW M3, your primary focus is likely on its performance, and the latest iteration doesn't disappoint in this regard. It's powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged straight-six engine, delivering an impressive 510bhp and 650Nm of torque in Competition trim, which is the sole option available in the UK. This power is transmitted to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, catapulting the M3 from 0 to 60mph in a swift 3.9 seconds, with a top speed limited to 155mph.
For the first time in the UK, there's also the option of an xDrive version of the M3. This variant incorporates the same switchable four-wheel drive system found in the M5, providing the versatility of all-weather traction while allowing the driver to switch back to rear-wheel drive for a more spirited driving experience.
When pushing the M3 to its limits, it doesn't exhibit the same edgy and unpredictable behaviour as its predecessor, largely due to its impressive all-round grip. It offers a sharper driving experience compared to rivals like the Audi RS4 while maintaining a more approachable and less intimidating character. The xDrive version, in particular, competes favourably with the Audi, delivering impressive all-season performance.
Despite its brutal performance capabilities, the M3 is also adept at everyday driving tasks. Engaging Comfort mode provides a pleasant cruising experience with lighter steering, although the suspension retains a noticeable firmness at lower speeds.
Overall, the new BMW M3 Saloon is an exhilarating sports sedan that delivers impressive power, precise handling, and a luxurious interior. If you're a performance enthusiast and appreciate a car that excels on both city streets and winding roads, the M3 Saloon should be on your shortlist.
The BMW M3 Saloon is now available for purchase at a starting on-the-road price of £79,980.00*, or it can be leased with monthly payments starting from £915.20.
If you're considering leasing a BMW M3 Saloon, we proudly offer excellent car leasing services in the UK. Our leasing deals include a manufacturer's warranty, road tax, breakdown insurance, and free delivery to most areas of the UK mainland (excluding specific regions).
Leasing a BMW M3 Saloon can often be a more financially advantageous option compared to purchasing outright, thanks to the fixed monthly payments, variable mileage options, low initial rental, and flexible contract durations.
It's important to note that the 'on-the-road' price mentioned includes a year's road fund license, DVLA first registration fee, and a number plate fee. Please be aware that this price is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change. To get the most up-to-date information, we recommend contacting your nearest retailer.