2002 BMW M3 Long Term Road Test


2002 BMW M3: A Tight Squeeze Made Easier

June 23, 2008

I had occasion to transport my daughter in the M3 this weekend. No surprise here: coupe-u-lar body styles make inserting and extracting a child seat and said child more difficult. At least the M3 has a couple tricks up its sleeve.

Besides showing how well the M3's oh-so-sumptuous red leather seats have (not) worn over the past 6 years, this photo illustrates how little room there is between the B-pillar and the seat back. Luckily, when you pull the all-too-obvious release handle (that also doubles as a seatbelt retainer), the seatback not only tilts forward, but the entire seat assembly also "jumps" up and forward in a sort of parallelogram-like motion. Neat.

While it's still not as easy on my back as a sedan, this thoughtful feature does make life a little easier.

But here's the kicker: When you push the seat back, it falls into its original adjusted position, not some vertical-and-all-the-way-forward default position like we've witnessed on some recent coupes we've seen. Even our 2008 BMW 135i can't match the trusty ol' M3 in this regard.

As Karl discussed here, the 135i's seat back tilts forward and back manually (to its original position), but you need to motor the seats forward and back with a button.

You see? Some things don't get better when they're digitally remastered and reissued.

Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 57,890 miles

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