Car and Driver: 2008 BMW M3 – The Perfect Sports Car?

BMW M3 | January 4th, 2010 by 22
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E9x BMW M3 – The Perfect Sports Car? Well, that’s what seems to be the general consensus amongst the Car and Driver’s editors, and certainly …

E9x BMW M3 – The Perfect Sports Car? Well, that’s what seems to be the general consensus amongst the Car and Driver’s editors, and certainly something we agree with now, as we have done in the past as well.

Before we will let you jump into their long-term drive report, allows us to start with their conclusion and work from there:

“Based on our experience, the current M3 is the world’s all-around best car for the money, although several staffers would have preferred to trade some of the coupe’s looks for the added practicality of the sedan.”

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A car has got to be pretty spectacular to win over the curmudgeons here at 1585 Eisenhower Place, especially when familiarity sets in over the course of 40,000 miles. But our Sparkling Graphite Metallic M3 did indeed win us over. For less than $70,000, the M3 bolts from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and turns the quarter-mile in 12.7 seconds at 113 mph. It pulls an exceptional 0.96 g on the skidpad, stops in 147 feet from 70 mph, and reaches a governor-restricted 161 mph. On a racetrack or a back road, it’s a beautifully balanced and hugely entertaining machine.

Aside from performance, the M3 is comfortable on the highway and has plenty of space for four adults. It has a full complement of luxury accouterments and yet is very practical—even the trunk is commodious. It has muscular, raked looks and a handsomely dark interior. A bonus is that regular service doesn’t cost a cent, thanks to BMW’s full-maintenance program, which lasts for four years or 50,000 miles. (The gas bill, however, wasn’t cause to rejoice, given this BMW’s 17-mpg thirst.)

When it came to ordering the car, we went with the so-called M double-clutch transmission (M DCT), a $2700 option that replaces the standard six-speed manual with a seven-speed dual-clutch unit, BMW’s first. We were eager to try this setup because dual-clutch transmissions promise the smoothness of an automatic when the driver can’t be bothered to change gears, as well as superfast paddle shifts in manual mode. In the previous M3 (E46), BMW offered a single-clutch, automated manual gearbox that was notable for its harshness in manual mode and its clunkiness as an automatic.

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22 responses to “Car and Driver: 2008 BMW M3 – The Perfect Sports Car?”

  1. 100$ GUY says:

    I just wish it to have a bit better fuel economy to get really close to perfection.
    When a car gets a gas guzzler tax can`t be called perfect. Otherwise I really love it. In this regard, the new M3 still years to come will probably be perfect cause of its vastly improved fuel economy with turbos.

  2. sam says:

    I am really happy with my e92 m3. its my daily driver and i have about 5000 miles after having it for bout 10 weeks. coming from a 328i, this is a completely different car as compared to the 135i/335i.

    as for fuel consumption, i started off with average of 11mpg, now i am doing great at 14.7mpg. its a small improvement nonetheless.

  3. Tom says:

    most perfect car i have ever seen.
    one day.. it will be mine.

  4. james may says:

    i cant wait for m3 gts to kill the gt3 rs on a road and track test

  5. LT says:

    I have the 2009 Coupe for about 6 months now and have driven 12K miles. I never liked cars before owning the M3. But after seeing the new M3 for the first time on their site, I loved the way it looks and soon ended up getting it. One of the main reasons why I like it is because it looks balanced in that it doesn’t look too aggressive.

    Now after driven the M3 and learning how to drive stick at the same time, I’m still loving it and never regret buying it because of its high-end price tag.

  6. viper says:

    its good , but not even near perfection

    • Babken says:

      The M3 is perfect unlike all of your pathetic mercedes line-up.

      • XC says:

        BMWs are always about the driving experience. Have you actually driven one? Not until you have driven some miles in a M3 you can actually express a valid opinion. Now, C&D opinion is a valid one! Otherwise is just trolling…

      • viper says:

        the SLR alone can cover a complete bmw lineup , just how many of them are there? do you even know?…talk about pathetic ,

        • wazon8 says:

          Man, your reference to SLR is patethic, you only proved that MB is company of one or two great cars. Tell me who faces a dilemma whether to buy M3 or SLR. Don’t you get that your remark is so pointless?

  7. Giom says:

    I’m back! Happy 2010 to all and I hope every one had a joyous xmas and new year.

    Great wright-up from C&D, as usual, but I’m really pleased about the sentiment the M3 receives from most quarters of the planet. It’s just a great car. No one can argue with that – and almost no one does.

    Btw. Wouldn’t if have been great if the M3 was chosen for GT5s demo…?!

  8. joe says:

    definition of perfect varies from people to people. i believe “Perfect” definately looks like M3 than anything else

  9. XC says:

    In his Book ‘Delta of the Metaphysics’, Aristotle distinguishes three meanings of the term ‘perfection’, That is perfect:

    1. which is complete — which contains all the requisite parts;
    2. which is so good that nothing of the kind could be better;
    3. which has attained its purpose.

    I certainly do agree that BMW’s M3 is perfect, because is powerful and is practical for day to day driving. But is it perfect as machine, or as a work of art, as a Bugatti is perhaps? Maybe not, but it is definitely perfect to have everyday, it is not über-expensive, it is realiable, is very well made, and it is discreet enough not to atract too much unwanted attention, as a Porsche would, for example.

    And exactly in that relies its perfection; it is perfectly tailoired for the real world.

  10. Saleem says:

    Hey Guys Id like us to all stay on top of this CTS-V Coupe VS M3 BS. Whats makes the think ?

    The styling alone is nothing to compare to an M3 lets not even get into mechanics. Its gonna take a hell of alot more than beefing up a V8 to outshine BMW

  11. JB says:

    Just bought an 09 M3 Convertible. Absolutely love it and have driven it 1,500 miles already, in a month! The exhaust note is awesome. My only complaint is with a slower start the Double Clutch bucks like a bronco occasionally. It is just like a 15 year old learning how to stick shift for the first time.

  12. hannah says:

    hi!!! i am doing a oral on the BMW past like when was it made in and who inveted it how many cars are there in BMW i would like to know my answer by tonight or tomorrow not the night tho thanks Hannah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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