2008 BMW M3 Review | Edmunds.com

2008 BMW M3

BMW M3 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.0 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 414 hp @ 8300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 BMW M3

  • The evolution of the M3 species is for the most part a resounding success. Who can argue with supercar performance that comes with seating for four and daily-driver livability?

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Powerhouse V8 performance, coupe, convertible or sedan body styles available, athletic chassis, top-notch build quality.

  • Cons

    Navigation system brings with it exasperating iDrive, optional performance tires can be noisy.

  • What's New for 2008

    After a one-year hiatus, the 2008 BMW M3 returns and breaks with tradition by sporting a muscle-bound V8 instead of a stirring inline-6 under its bulging hood.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (21 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Does it all. don't leave

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW M3 2dr Convertible (4.0L 8cyl 6M)

I purchased a 2008 BMW M3 Convertible with the DCT transmission two weeks ago. It has all options except extended leather and parking sensors. This car is amazing. It's ridiculously powerful and fast. If you feel like being an F1 Driver, you can shift with the paddles, if you're feeling lazy (or commuting), you can just put it in "D" mode, and let the DCT do the work for you. With the convertible hardtop, the car is quiet and rattle-free. The stereo is excellent, and the seats are very adjustable, supportive and comfortable.



4 of 31 people found this review helpful

Not worth it

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW M3 2dr Convertible (4.0L 8cyl 6M)

I always considered a convertible M3 as my dream car and in 2008 I went out and bought one- brand new. It was gorgeous and "impressive" but totally and absolutely not worth the sticker price. It had so many stupid quirks that I rarely drove it, preferring my Volvo station wagon (!). I will never again buy a BMW and I pity the poor guy who got mine when I dumped it after 2 years and only 15,000 miles. I'm glad I got the BMW bug out of my system, but it cost a lot to be cured!



1 of 28 people found this review helpful

Underpowered

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW M3 4dr Sedan (4.0L 8cyl 6M)

Dependable and comfortable. Fun to drive. Brakes great, handles well. But, built to keep you out of trouble. Underpowered as can be for the real enthusiast your better off building an American v8 in a muscle car. These are tame in comparison. IMO BMW built these for folks that really don't know what real power is. They are very tame. Stomp the gas and wait. Ya for yuppies it may be a little impressive but for real men its a disappointment on a high level. Forgettable power, lame. I will not buy another 1 unless they trust me not to crash it, they don't. Needs much more torque and or turbocharging.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Awesome-but not amazing

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW M3 2dr Coupe (4.0L 8cyl 6M)

Having had an 03, 04, 05 M3 and recently the 08, I have been thrilled.The new body is great...just lacks the "stance" of a performance car. Materials are great, build quality is amazing. The interior is a little stale, even with the nav and extended leather. The car doesn't seem to have a "cockpit." The sport seats are comfortable, but not sporty feeling at all. Also-BMW PLEASE MOVE WINDOW SWITCHES BACK TO CENTER!!! No major problems...OH WAIT! They have depreciated so much it is ridiculous. I just got $44,900 for mine. (That was the highest of 8 dealers) I paid $69,900 fully loaded from the factory. Only had 12K miles, no scratches, etc. WORD OF ADVICE-DO NOT BUY NEW!!!!!! Buy slightly used.




M3 perfection

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW M3 4dr Sedan (4.0L 8cyl 6M)

I've always been a Porsche guy & even tried an 08 Vette for a while but a baby meant I needed a 4 door or I was sentenced to driving the wife's car all the time. I looked at the IS-F, E55, & C63 before buying the E90 M3. One drive and you'll understand. The feel, sounds, handling etc are all unbelievable. When you are done driving like you stole it, it is a very civilized cruising car for the whole family. None of the competitors come close. I honestly didn't think I'd like the M3 from reading about it as I thought it wouldn't have the torque to make me happy. I couldn't stop grinning on the test drive. Drive one and you will understand. The M3 is the best all around car on the market.




Love my m3

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW M3 2dr Convertible (4.0L 8cyl 6M)

I have always wanted a M3 and with the introduction of the new M in 08' I couldn't have picked a better time to get one. I decided to go with the hard top convertible to get the best of both worlds. True coupe like design and then who could argue the experience of open roof driving. I have invested in an amazing performance exhaust because I was a little disappointed with the stock sound... no way did it sound like a V- 8, but it sure does now!! I also put H&R Sport lowering springs on it to give the car an even more aggressive stance at stand still and it corners even better now... if you can improve on the amazing handling it came with.



Full 2008 BMW M3 Review

What's New for 2008

After a one-year hiatus, the 2008 BMW M3 returns and breaks with tradition by sporting a muscle-bound V8 instead of a stirring inline-6 under its bulging hood.

Introduction

Since its inception back in the late 1980s, the BMW M3 has been thrilling driving enthusiasts. Throughout the years, the M3's ripping power plants, finely balanced chassis, telepathic steering and daily-driver usability have made this special version of the 3 Series a car to covet.

After the rather limited-production first-generation M3 that sported a pumped-up four-cylinder engine, subsequent iterations employed high-output inline-6s, with the last version making 333 horsepower. But with current countryman rivals sporting V8s, it's not much of a surprise to discover that the new-for-2008 BMW M3 has graduated to V8 power. It's also no news flash that the latest M3 has gotten a bit larger and heavier during its move to the latest 3 Series chassis. But has this "bigger, stronger, faster" design dictum at all hurt the balance and purity of the M3?

The answer's a bit muddled. Of course, the sound and fury of that 414-hp V8 is a big part of the newest M3's engaging personality, and nobody is going to complain about the car's 12.7-second quarter-mile time. And the 2008 M3 still does itself proud when it's time to turn the wheel, as it'll run through a set of twisties like a border collie through the weave poles at a dog agility competition. But drive the new M3 back to back against the previous version and you'll notice something has gone amiss in regard to the level of communication between the driver and the road surface. The car's steering is quick and laser-beam precise, but it lacks the intuitive feel for which older M3s are so well known

Apart from that one minor criticism, the 2008 BMW M3 is hard to fault if you truly enjoy driving -- it goes, stops and steers like a sports car while delivering a respectable measure of functionality, especially if you choose the sedan version. Of course, the same could also be said of the M3's stout competitors, namely Audi's S5 coupe and RS4 sedan and Mercedes-Benz's C63 sedan. Until we perform a comparison test, we're reluctant to pick a winner. Suffice it to say that choosing one is a task as enviable as having to pick something from the dessert menu at the Cheesecake Factory, and we can't imagine anyone's automotive sweet tooth not being satisfied by any of them.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 BMW M3 is available as a sport coupe, retractable hardtop convertible or sedan. Based on the compact 3 Series, the high-performance M3 comes in a single trim level.

Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels with performance tires, xenon headlamps, cruise control, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated and power-adjustable sport seats (with driver memory), split/folding rear seats and a 10-speaker audio system with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack. The convertible also features a retractable hardtop that provides the comfort and security of a coupe when raised, as well as the full top-down experience when stowed. Compared to a regular 3 Series, the M3 also features a carbon-fiber roof (coupe only), more aggressive body styling, an exclusive sport-tuned suspension, more powerful brakes and a limited-slip rear differential.

The optional Premium Package adds power-folding mirrors, BMW Assist and enhanced interior trim. There's also a Technology Package that adds M Drive (a feature that allows the driver to adjust the throttle and steering response/feel), a navigation system, iDrive, keyless entry/start and electronically controlled dampers. Other individual options include 19-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof (no extra cost, but sedan only), heated front seats, rear park assist and a number of audio options (premium sound, HD radio, satellite radio, iPod adapter).

Powertrains and Performance

No less than a 4.0-liter, 414-hp (295 pound-feet of torque) V8 powers the 2008 M3. Redline is a thrilling 8,400 rpm and a six-speed manual transmission sends the power to the rear wheels. A seven-speed automated-clutch sequential-shift manual gearbox is optional. The latter offers manual operation via steering-wheel-mounted paddles as well as a full automatic mode. All M3s feature a specialized locking rear differential to manage the transfer of the thrust to the pavement.

In our track testing, an M3 sport coupe with the traditional six-speed manual leapt to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds and flew through the quarter-mile in 12.7 seconds. The power builds quickly and the somewhat heavy but progressive clutch and precise shifter allow rapid gearchanges. EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined.

Safety

Standard features for the 2008 BMW M3 include full-length side curtain airbags, front seat side airbags, antilock disc brakes, traction control and stability control.

In government crash tests, the BMW 3 Series sedan (on which the M3 sedan is based) scored four stars (out of five) for frontal impacts for both driver and passenger. It rated five stars for side impacts for both front and rear occupants. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the BMW 3 Series sedan scored "Good" ratings (the highest possible) in that agency's frontal-offset and side-impact tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The first thing one notices upon entering the M3 is the aggressive design of the front seats. Heavily bolstered, the multi-adjustable (under thigh, side wings) sport seats feel custom-made to your body once you've dialed in your adjustments. They're also very comfortable on a long trip, as they provide proper support all around. The thick-rimmed, small diameter steering wheel adds to the sporty feel. In the coupe, an automatic seatbelt presenter "hands" front occupants the belts, so they don't have to perform torso-twisting maneuvers to secure themselves into the car. The convertible's leather seats feature Sun-Reflective Technology, which keeps the seats from getting scorching hot when the top is down.

Build quality and materials inside the M3 are excellent, as one would expect. The overall design is rather subdued, as the available metallic and wood accents have more of a monotonous effect than one of crisp contrast.

The optional navigation system is unfortunately bundled with BMW's unintuitive iDrive multifunction controller. Without it, the M3's control layout is fairly straightforward and well-marked. However, there is still the annoying process for shutting off the climate control -- one must tap down the fan speed until it shuts off, rather than simply hitting an "off" button.

Driving Impressions

Even now that it's powered by a muscle-bound V8 and has gained some 300 pounds, the M3 is still the automotive equivalent of a lithe decathlete. Acceleration is pin-you-to-the-seat thrilling and the agile handling is so composed that it makes the car feel like it's much smaller. Braking is astounding, as the M3's binders boast powerful yet progressive action and the shortest stopping distance from 60 mph -- just 100 feet -- that we've ever recorded.

When exercised on a winding road, the 2008 BMW M3's response to steering inputs is spot-on and the system is quick without being darty on the freeway. Some staffers felt that this BMW's steering has lost some of its trademark feedback compared to the previous-generation M3, though its polished and precise feel is still appreciated. If the M3 is equipped with the Electronic Damping Control (EDC) option, its three settings (Comfort, Normal, Sport) allow one to set the car up for canyon-carving or commuting duties as needs dictate. Left in Normal mode, the EDC does a fine job of absorbing the bumps while still providing enough body control for enthusiastic driving. One minor complaint involves the optional 19-inch performance tires. While extremely capable, on rougher road surfaces these sticky tires are prone to generating noise ranging from a slight hum to a somewhat annoying drone.

Talk About The 2008 M3

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 14
  • cty
/
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs