The longevity of the ride really matters unless there are major problems early on. Bought in 07/10 This is a 6sp manual hardtop Convert that has provided years of pleasure. 106k+ miles and here are/were the problems. Nav stinks never was any good and completely has been bad for the past 10k miles ( telling it an address to look up or change stations??? it does what it wants to do :( The glove box now wont open :(. But I can still get 22+ mpg hwy. and though the car has lost some power......it still has enough get up and go as to not embarrass Handling is still excellent Do it again if I had the chance ?? 1000% yes. I will trade it in once its performance breaks down or I win the lottery :)
My previous car was a 2011 Mustang GT w/ 420 HP. The specs are similar for the M3, but the handling is what sets it apart. The M3 is a blast to drive, but you need to be careful as you will be going 100 without realizing it (be sure to set the speed warning). If you are considering getting one that is out of warranty, consider purchasing an aftermarket one, repairs are costly (2x a normal BMW), and there are a few known weak points (throttle actuator valve, bearings) that are quite costly.
I've had my 2011 M3 for about 6 months. It is actually a dual clutch 7 speed. It's fast. It's sexy. It handles like its on rails. A real fun car to drive. Gets a lot of attention. Blast it straight or bend it around a country road and you just won't want to put it away. I'm a big fan of late 60s muscle cars and this reminds me a lot of the Chevelle with its deep exhaust note and off the line g force. Biggest difference is that it will handle the road like nothing else. The stereo is absolutely tight, even at ear splitting volume. I've never felt so safe or confident in a car like I do in the M. A touch of the wheel and it goes where you want. Brakes are HUGE and smooth. I am a lucky man!
Did I mention how sexy/beautiful this car is?
I'd like a temporary (like 10 seconds) kill switch for the ABS/Anti-Skid so I can burn some rubber without having to program the M drive.
I don't like the "active" headrest. I like having my head against the headrest when I'm punching through the gears. The first few times I slammed my head against it because I wasn't prepared for the g forces.
Other than that, I'd love to meet the design team.
The engine sounds beautiful and I love the high revs. Grip is outstanding with the 19" wheels. Four door practicality is a huge plus as the Cayman was claustrophobic. The stereo is great and the build quality is very high - you pay more than an STi or Evo, but this is a car you'd proudly give the boss a ride in. Xenon lights are terrific and all 3-series should have them standard. The manual gearbox is a bit notchy in 1st and 2nd. The throws are quite long for a sports car, but clutch travel is perfect and soft. These cars should also come with BMW Assist standard in case of a flat tire - No Spare is a huge issue. I had issues with the Tire Pressure Monitor when I took delivery.
Engine, Stereo, Xenon, 4-Doors, Subtle looks - not as flashy as Porsche.
Tire Pressure Monitor on Porsche lists pressure for all four wheels - should do the same here. Spare tire is important for long trips. Sunroof should be standard on these models. Gearbox could be hugely improved (smoother shift action)like the current Porsche models and the Getrag in the new Mustang
I have owned this car for about 4 months. I was extremely excited about he purchase and initially loved the car. I drove as prescribed during the break-in period and never drove it like a M3 should be. After the break-in period, I only put 300 miles on the car (for a total of 1500 miles) before the car started exhibiting problems. The most recent of which occurred this week with loss of power, slow acceleration, etc. Feels like I am driving a Camry. Took it in for service and they cant seem to be able to find the issue. If they cant resolve the issues, I think I may have bought a lemon. Extremely disappointed in BMW and the car at the moment.