2009 BMW M3 Long Term Road Test

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2009 BMW M3: Fantastic Navigraphics, but "Real-Time" Traffic..?

December 18, 2009

Navi 001-1600.jpg

I love, love, love the BMW M3's screen. It's wide, it refreshes quickly, it's easy to read, and BMW have figured out a way of dealing with polarized sunglasses without needing to cock your head like the RCA dog. What's more is that the screen remains (largely) immune to reflected, direct sunlight so it doesn't wash out. Finally, the method of showing traffic flow on the new iDrive is better than any other in the business. If you ask it show traffic conditions, the map goes all shades of gray except for the color-keyed traffic flow. Cue Guinness commercial with guy belting out, "Brilliant!"

Now, all those attributes would be great if the traffic info (streamed from satellite sources) were up-to-date. Alas, good technology, even tech that's less than a year old, is only as good as the information it digests and displays.

Navi 004-1600.jpg

Okay, that was lame, so here are two more shots a few minutes later but up real close... Notice all the red bits on my Blackberry that don't show up on the BMW?

Navi 019-1600.jpg Navi 020-1600.jpg

I know, I know. I should be happy, overjoyed even to be driving an M3 home. You'd be justified in saying, "Wah, the real-time traffic in my (borrowed) $67,000 414-hp RWD BMW M-freakin'-3 isn't telling me the whole truth."

To which I would say, "Yeah, the M3 RULES in every other way a car can--I'm extremely fortunate--but I'm just sayin'"

Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton @ 13,650 miles

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2009 BMW M3 in VA is:

$192 per month*
* Explanation
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