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General Review

That engine

BMW M3 Review

M3 (E90) - (2008) | 4.0 (420 Hp) Automatic


Car Owner Reviewer -
Sept. 11, 2020, 8:32 a.m.
Reviewer's Score

8.9

Practicality and Comfort (9.0)
Performance and Handling (10.0)
Reliability and Running (8.5)
Looks and Style (9.0)
Features and Technology (8.0)
Model Avg. 9.0 Generation Avg. 8.9 Engine Avg. 8.9

The Review

General Review Coupes BMW M3 M3 (E90) - (2008) 4.0 (420 Hp) Automatic

Always brings a smile to my face when I drive


Summary

This is my second M3 E92. I could have gotten another car more powerful, more modern but somehow I always end up thinking about that V8 and the overall driving experience. Obviously biased here but that's a good thing because if you're a petrol head and you enjoy driving then you know what I mean.

I have a 13 plate the car was part of the very last batch ever to be assembled. It has quite a few carbon bits but not too flashy. I find the interior quite comfortable and I don't think it looks very dated for a car released 13 years ago :) Many people complain about the riding position being too high I actually like it especially when on track as I can see better. The boot space is large enough and back folding back seats make for loads of storage space in case you need it.
The ride is still on the firm side but if you get the 18 inch wheels the ride is better. I'm getting old now I love the fact that the car is still quite analogue no touch screens madness or social media integration just physical buttons that work as expected. Minimum distraction, perfect!

Yes, is all about that engine. Is not an easy to drive power plant because you really need to rev it. It has less torque that a reasonably priced diesel :) but it revs to 8300RPM and the induction noise it makes is just addictive. Being a naturally aspirated engine the power delivery is very linear, ideal for controlling the car at extreme and when over 4000rpm the car feels amazing super responsive. The chassis is also great zero under-steer, you always "know" where the car is.
One thing I wish BMW did from the start is to use the M Performance exhaust as standard. I have it is crazy expensive but the car sounds amazing. Now the downshifts are nuts you just want to do it all the time. The DCT is quick enough and a good choice if you drive around town but it comes with some downsides. One thing I don't like about it is that in auto mode all it wants is to get to 7th speed as quickly as possible and the car will feel slow, very slow. Also 1st and second can be a bit jerky but again I think the car was designed for a track first then for road.
Steering is lovely when left in comfort and that's how I also set it up in my M button. If you track the car then I recommend at least change the pads.

If there's one thing to take away from this review is this: please let the engine(oil temperature) get warm before you go over 4000RPM and change the oil more often than what BMW recommends. Cannot stress enough how important this is as the engine is known to have rod bearing issues. Is a great engine, quite special but you need to take care of it.

Would I recommend it? YES

If you're a petrol head and appreciate a proper induction noise then go for it. Is a great car and I think they're a good value for money now.

BMW M3

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