2012 BMW M3 - Edmunds Ratings

2012 BMW M3 Base (4.0L V8 6-speed Manual)
Date Driven: 7/13/2010 (2011 manual)
Performance In a straight line, there are, indeed, faster coupes -- but not many as thrilling as the M3. The V8 makes over 400 hp, spins to 8,400 rpm and makes mechanical music. Luckily, the brakes are as capable and tractable as the engine.
Driving Dynamics The new, optional ZCP Competition package adds needed multi-valve compliance to the adjustable dampers -- and it works, but insist on the Michelin tires. Steering response, chassis reaction and overall communication are nearly peerless.
Ride Comfort Optional three-mode dampers offer a modest range of ride comfort, but only one might be considered 'comfortable.' Standard front seats offer a wide array of adjustment and excellent support. Rear seats are a little lacking in legroom.
Quietness Standard high-performance low-profile tires are slightly louder than typical tires, but are still tolerable. Wind noise is commendably low.
Ergonomics BMW is (almost) always very good with the placement and function of controls and infotainment options. We're very pleased with the current version of its iDrive controller and especially fond of the new hard drive-based navigation system.
Visibility Because BMW didn't jump on the high-beltline, low-fastback bandwagon, visibility and blind spots are not an issue with this traditionally shaped/sized coupe. Rear parking sonar is optional, but there's no backup camera available.
Seat Access & Space Even the standard front seats are exceptionally good, upgrading them only makes them better. Access to, and comfort of the rear seats is no better/worse than other sporty coupes. There is a four-door M3 to better accommodate rear access.
Cargo & Storage Again, the traditional body style still affords a competitively sized trunk with standard split-fold rear seats with ski pass-thru. Interior storage of smaller items is adequate.
Build Quality Few, if any, manufacturers build a car as well as BMW: Interior materials, panel fitment and gaps (inside and out) door/window seals, paint quality, and an overall attention to detail are obvious.

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