2009 BMW M3 Sedan: More Traffic Friendly
April 24, 2009
Over the course of this year, you'll no doubt be hearing a lot of comparisons between our 2002 BMW M3 Coupe and our 2009 BMW M3 Sedan. No doubt, there'll be lots of Josh Sadlier pining for the old car as he weeps gently in the corner with a picture of his dear "Emmy." No, he hasn't admitted to naming the M3, but I just know he has.
So to kick off the festivities, I thought I'd weigh in about an area not typically discussed in regards to a BMW M3: how easy it is to drive in traffic. The old M3 has a rather stiff clutch pedal that feels like it's attached to a taut coil spring (at least according to my leg). It's marvelous during aggressive driving, but it grows tiresome in stop-and-go traffic. Other than our STI, it was the last long-termer I wanted to get stuck in gridlock with.
By contrast, I'd be happy to take the new M3 any day of the week. The engagement point can be a little tricky at first, but after three or four blocks, there was no more jerking about. Clutch effort is now much easier on the old hamstrings, but still manages to feel mechanical and communicative. Perhaps this is where the car has lost some raw charm, but on a day-to-day basis, I could live with that.
Oh, and the audio/nav interface doesn't make me want to rip it out of the car and chuck it onto the street. That's right, I'll say it, "Yay iDrive!"
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 1,311 miles