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2008 BMW 3-Series M3 4dr Sedan

2008 BMW 3-Series
Trim Info:
Rear Wheel Drive, 4 Door Sedan, Compact
14 mpg city / 20 mpg hwy
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Expert Reviews

November 18, 2009 by Jon Alain Guzik

2008 BMW 3-Series 1
2008 BMW 3-Series

DriverSide Overview
Since its introduction in 1986, few vehicles have inspired the kind of respect as the BMW M3 has, which epitomizes all that there is to love and obsess over about the Bavarian brand. Entering its fourth generation, the iconic sports car saw a number of changes for 2008, including a first-ever V-8. The outgoing M3 was propelled by an inline six-cylinder engine, but the use of an all-aluminum 4.0-liter V-8 has increased power while not impacting the vehicle’s ride or handling. The M3 also received updated styling with a more aggressive front fascia, wider rear haunches and a more pronounced hood to compliment the raw power behind the headlights. In fact, only the doors, the trunk lid and the lights have been carried over from the standard 3-Series. Delivering driving nirvana on every level has been the M3’s mantra since its inception, and the fourth generation refuses to rest on its quite prestigious laurels. It’s a pure sports car wrapped in a luxury package that does its heritage right.

What's to Like
What’s not to love about a rev-happy V-8? The power is instantaneous, the sound is addictive and its looks are beyond lust-worthy. The interior delivers comfortable yet utilitarian luxury, while promising jet-like propulsion.

What's Not to Like
The M3’s gas mileage is dismal, even for a sports car with this much power. The M3’s price tag comes in over $56,000 stock, no matter what body style you choose. The coupe’s back seat is minuscule. Did we mention iDrive? Also, would it kill the boys in Munich to give us Americans a real cup holder?
The Drive:
DriverSide Driving Impressions

The beautiful thing about the M3 is that it is just as happy blasting down the freeway as it is decimating the ribbons of asphalt that trace mountain ridges. The suspension is super stiff, yet comfortable, and the interior is just as suitable for a four-hour trip as a four-minute lap time. The front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout is a true sports car design and the six-speed manual transmission is the perfect precision instrument for dissecting corners. While we wouldn’t want to suffer through the coupe’s back seat for any long period of time, the M3 sedan offers up plenty of passenger room with space for folks over six-feet tall in the back.

Engine and Drivetrain
All M3’s are powered by the same all-aluminum 4.0-liter V-8 engine producing 414 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The engine uses a slew of technological accessories to produce the absolute most power possible, including eight throttle bodies (one per cylinder). A six-speed manual transmission puts power to the rear wheels and BMWs new dual-clutch transmission debuts this fall.
Interesting Vehicle Features and Options
The M3 is available with a number of specialty packages, including a premium package for $2,000 that includes a digital compass mirror, brushed aluminum trim, a universal garage door opener and leather. Some of the more interesting features on the car include a hood with functional air intake ducts and a variable limited slip differential to improve traction in poor weather. A must check is the $1,200 19-inch wheels and performance tires, a steal at $400 a shoe. The carbon fiber roof on the coupe is pretty darn cool, too.
Key Technology Evaluation
A technology package is an option on the M3 for $3,250, and it features BMW’s M-Drive, a navigation system and electronic suspension dampening control. Entertainment features include a premium sound system, HD radio, an iPod adapter and satellite radio.  If you want to track the car, you won’t need the added weight.
Green Evaluation/Gas Mileage
As expected, the M3’s sizeable power plant delivers lack-luster gas mileage. Each body style delivers 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway, but try getting that in the gas pedal-happy real world. The M3 rates a surprising LEV-II.
A Closer Look:  Vehicle Details

This BMW’s interior is a pleasure to experience. The seats are comfortable with plenty of back, leg and lumbar support.  The materials are top notch. We like the fact that the interior, in fact the whole car, has nothing superfluous in its design, it comes across as a pure expression of spirited driving.
The M3 demands attention wherever it goes. While these cars have always carried an aggressive air, the new design demonstrates power by design. Every detail manages to illustrate finesse, from the “power dome" hood with functional intake to low-leaning body line down the side of the vehicle to its exaggerated rear fenders. In Silverstone Metallic paint, it comes across as if carved from a block of German ice.
Market Segment and Pricing
For every one king of the hill, there are ten competitors waiting to depose him. At $56,500 for the coupe, $53,800 for the sedan and $64,950 for the convertible, the M3 is the mark by which other manufacturers are gauged. Common competitors include the Porsche Cayman at $49,400, the Chevrolet Corvette at $46,950, the new-for-2008 Lexus IS-F at $56,000 and most of all, the $50,050 Audi S5.
What We Think
The M3 is purebred performance warrior and comes across as so in even the smallest of details. The suspension and brakes perfectly compliment the impressive power produced by the V-8 under the hood and the minimalist interior is comfortably functional, yet luxurious. While the $53,000-plus price tag is probably too hefty for most buyers out there, the price is a steal for what you get – dominance on the track and a sporty ride on the street. We think the M3 is as a close to a perfect iteration of the model possible, a Platonic ideal of what an everyday sports car should be. Put on Der Ring des Nibelungen, drop it into first and eat up the highway miles for lunch.

Other Resources

First 2008 BMW M3s Marked Up To $100k [Industry News] – As the first 2008 BMW M3s have started arriving at American dealerships, they're being marked up as high as $100,000. The M3's MSRP is $57,275. The picture, from shows a car sitting in Century West BMW in North Hollywood, the sticker fe Source:

Quick Test: 2008 BMW M3 Sedan – Speed, balance, and athleticism converge Source:

Comparison: 2008 BMW M3 vs. 2008 Lexus IS F vs. 2008 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG – There Will Be Blood: We take three fast, new-to-market, bloodthirsty sport sedans out to CenCal's oil country Source:

US News Review – US News Review Source:

2008 BMW M3 Convertible - North American Debut – 2008 BMW M3 Convertible - North American DebutThe M3 Convertible is making its North American debut at the 2008 New York show.Just when we thought we'd heard all that BMW had to say during the 2008 Detroit auto show, the company confirmed that a conv Source:

BMW dealer auctions new M3 for $60K on eBay, doesn't want to honor the deal – Filed under: Car Buying, Sedans/Saloons, Sports/GTs, Auction Action, BMW Apparently all is not kosher in corn country. BMW of Lincoln, Nebraska posted an auction on eBay for a brand new M3 Sedan for $60,000. Perhaps they were hoping for the kind of e Source:

2008 BMW M3, Part Two [Jalopnik Reviews] – Exterior Design: *** The 2008 BMW M3 sedan, depending on whom you ask, is either ugly or boring. We think it's a bit of both. But, packing supercar performance into a compact package that won't turn heads is definitely a positive thing. If anything, Source:

2008 BMW M3, Part One [Jalopnik Reviews] – The 2008 BMW M3 puts the world around it in fast forward. No, this isn't some function hidden deep within the still befuddling iDrive or a secret performance setting achieved by hitting B, A, B, A, Select, Start; just an inherent ability to twist the Source:

Fifth Gear M3 Review – Fifth Gear M3 Review Source:

Tuned BMW M3 news - Let the M3 tunage begin - 2008 – Hamann kicks off the inevitable BMW-modding fest Source:

2008 BMW 135i vs. 335i Review – After testing BMW 135i and 335i coupes back-to-back, I can reveal that there are only two good reasons to purchase the smaller, cheaper car. Either you need a track day machine or you're an idiot. Otherwise, spend the extra bucks and buy the 335 Source:

BMW M3 saloon driven – The BMW M3 saloon has two more doors, weighs 25kg extra, features blander taillights and, at £49,415, costs £1415 less than its E92 coupe sibling. Anyone with an internet connection can work that out. But, and here’s the key questio Source:

DRIVERS LOG: 2008 BMW M3: – MOTORSPORTS EDITOR MAC MORRISON: Even five minutes is enough to tell you that BMW has once again captured thunder and lightning on wheels. Source:

First Drive: 2008 BMW M3 Convertible – Blazing toward 8400 rpm: Shifting the gears of BMW's new double-clutch transmission in the latest M3 Convertible Source:

BMW M3 Convertible M-DCT driven – The BMW M3 Convertible is not a Footballers’ Wives kind of car. The convertible M3 might be heavier and bendier than the coupe but, along with that glorious V8, this  car also hasa surprise up its sleeve in the form of BMW’s... Source:

BMW M3: Even better with double-clutch gearbox – BMW's double-clutch gearbox goes up to seven.(Credit: CNET Networks) When we tested the 2008 BMW M3 Coupe recently, we were so impressed with it that we gave it an Editors' Choice award. But now we've driven the M3 equipped with BMW's new double Source:

2008 BMW M3 Review – BMW enjoys vast reservoirs of consumer goodwill. How else can you explain the German automaker’s ability to flourish despite recent engineering and design faux pas? General Motors would have been a lot further along in its death spiral if it ha Source:

2008 BMW M3 Sedan – 2008 BMW M3 SedanA four-door variant has once again joined the M3 stable, and in so doing makes BMW's raciest 3-series not only ergonomically more practical but also financially more palatable, with a base price that undercuts the coupe's by nearly $ Source:

Test drive: 2008 BMW M3 – The all-new BMW M3 is one of the most anticipated cars of 2008, and I've been looking forward to driving one -- but not for the reasons you might think.... Source:

Shoot Out - Dinan 335i vs. Stock M3 – The Bavarian brothers from the house of BMW battle to claim supremacy in "Sibling Rivalry." Watch as Craig Stanton pushes each car to their limits as we find out which prevails - stock or not.<br><br> Written by Larry Harvey< Source:

<b>What?</b> <i>Car &amp; Driver</i> says M3 better than GT-R and 911 Turbo – Filed under: Etc., BMW, Nissan, Porsche, Opinion/EditorialCar & Driver is a common choice as bathroom reader around Autoblog HQ, though thumbing through the latest issue had us contemplating using the glossy pages for TP. C&D got its hands on Source:

VIDEO: The opposite of hypermiling - BMW M3 vs Toyota Prius – Filed under: Hybrid, MPG, BMW, ToyotaAfter evaluating supercars to see which could go furthest on a gallon of gasoline, the crew of Top Gear decided to try again. What they apparently set out to do was demonstrate the impact of driving behavior on fu Source:

Steam Car, IFR Aspid, Porsche Panamera, BMW M3 CSL - 06/30/2008 – A steam car gets ready for a record attempt, a hardtop roadster appears in London and insiders dish on BMW and Porsche. Hosted by Derek DeAngelis.  Visit and vote for what you want in the show! Source:

First Test: 2008 BMW M3 DCT – You may be a confirmed stick and clutch-pedal guy. You may think dual-clutch transmissions, which add paddles and subtract a pedal, take the skill, the challenge, the fun out of driving, and have no place in a performance car. You haven't driven the Source:

In the Autoblog Garage: 2008 BMW M3 MT6 – Filed under: In the Autoblog Garage, Coupes, BMWClick above for a high-res gallery of the 2008 BMW M3 coupe.Third-party performance tuners like Alpina, AMG, Brabus, Ruf and others have thrived in the land of the autobahn, typically modifying cars fro Source:

Bimmer Forum – Interact with the BMW community on the forums. Source:

2008 vs. 2009 BMW 3 Series Comparison Gallery – For the 2009 model year, BMW has refreshed its 3 Series lineup. The 328i and 335i (not to mention the upcoming diesel 3 Series) receive a number of subtle styling updates that, upon a quick glance, can be difficult to notice. That, of course, is what Source:

Motive Versus: BMW M3 Sedan vs. Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG vs. Lexus IS-F – The face-off between ultra-capable small sports sedans from Mercedes-Benz and BMW is nothing new. But Japan has an honest-to-goodness answer to Germany's legends: the 416-horsepower Lexus IS-F. Does it have what it takes to topple the Teutons? Source:

BMW 335d still on schedule for U.S. launch in November – Filed under: Diesel, Manufacturing/Plants, BMW, USAClick above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 BMW 3-SeriesEarlier this morning we were tipped that BMW would be delaying its 335d until some time next year. According to BMW, this is not the case. W Source:

2008 BMW M3 M DCT – 2008 BMW M3 M DCTA little programming short of perfection.The third time is the charm where two-pedal BMW M3s are concerned. A five-speed automatic transmission offered in the 1995-1999 M3 was for poseurs. The next-generation (2001-2006) M3's optiona Source:

Never Enough: Dinan to shoehorn 628-hp V10 into BMW M3 – Filed under: Aftermarket, Tuners, BMWClick to view a hi-res gallery of the BMW M3 Ever meet one of those parents who are never satisfied no matter how well their kids do? The child comes home with a 98% on a school exam and the parent asks "How'd you Source:

Comparison: 2008 BMW M3 - America's Best Handling Car Contender Video – Check out the first read-drive entry in our Best Handling Car competition, the BMW M3.... Source:

BMW M3 CSL Gets The Boot – There’s really no other way to say it. BMW has announced that the delicious, light-weight CSL version of the already killer (but hefty) M3 we were anxiously awaiting ain’t happening. The Bavarians say that it knocked the CSL off the shelf to “ Source:

1999 BMW M3 - Show'n Go – 1999 BMW M3 - Show'n GoKim Miller's M3 Convertible IS ALL About Show But The Supercharged Motor Means It Has Plenty Of Go.I can already see the all-too-common scenario: The cocky driver in a Nissan 350Z is slowing down as he approaches a traffic ligh Source:

AUTOFILE: 2008 BMW M3: Mmm, good: BMW's M3 is close to perfect – To the glee of enthusiasts everywhere, BMW has unleashed the latest take on its stellar M3. Source:

2008 BMW 335i - Love To Hate It – 2008 BMW 335i - Love To Hate ItCarlos' 2008 BMW 335i sees over 20 shows a year and boasts a never-ending list of sponsors.We have to warn you: By the end of this story you might hate the man you're reading about! Photo Gallery: 2008 BMW 335i - Carlos Source:

VIDEO: BMW Performance releases 3-Series teaser – Filed under: Sedans/Saloons, Videos, BMWWe're always up for a new 3-Series, and a performance variant straight from the manufacturer is even better. It looks like a new Bimmer is forthcoming from BMW performance, and the post-jump YouTube video shows Source:

BMW M3 convertible--Drivers log: – SENIOR EDITOR BOB GRITZINGER: Tune an already superb 3-series chassis to M level, add a 414-hp V8 heart stopper tied to a supermanageable seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, toss in a spectacular interior, and what could possibly be missing? Maybe. Source:

Big V8s Audi RS4, BMW M3, Mercedes-Benz C63 - Eight Brawl – Big V8s Audi RS4, BMW M3, Mercedes-Benz C63 - Eight BrawlEnjoying the big V8sAn afternoon of driving three super sedans is like giving the entire world the finger, every single person, all at the same time. SUV drivers may hide behind the excuse of c Source:

2008 BMW E92 M3 CSL - War Cry – 2008 BMW E92 M3 CSL - War CryThe much-touted Ultimate Driving MachineAmerican enthusiasts always seemed to get hosed. Unlike our European colleagues, we rarely get the really good special editions, and historically have settled for underpowered, detu Source:

Karwerkz BMW M3, Piper E30 V10 - Projects Garage – Karwerkz BMW M3, Piper E30 V10 - Projects GarageAnother look at some exciting projects under constructionKarwerkz M3With the '08 SEMA show only weeks away, the Karwerkz project car has been caught in a mad race for completion. The '03 BMW M3 widebody Source:

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