Built on the same platform as the 3 Series, the 2008 BMW M3 serves as an excellent sports car that provides comfort for everyday driving. A powerful V-8 engine and a comfortable interior make for a superior driving experience—something buyers expect for its high price.
Body Styles: sedan, coupe, convertible
Engines: 4.8-liter V-8
Transmissions: six-speed manual, seven-speed automatic
Models: BMW M3 Sedan, BMW M3 Coupe, BMW M3 Convertible
The BMW M3 re-emerges in 2008 after one year off the market. BMW takes things in a new direction by replacing the M3’s old six-cylinder inline engine with a more muscular V-8.
The 2008 BMW M3 comes in just one trim level, but offers three body types: a sport coupe, a hardtop convertible, and a sedan. Overall styling looks sleek yet muscular. Standard features for all models include 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlamps, a front air dam, a rear spoiler, powered exterior mirrors, and rain-sensing wipers. The convertible also includes a power trunk lid, a wind deflector, and a rear glass window. The convertible’s hardtop retracts automatically into the trunk for a full open-air experience, while also providing as much comfort and security as the regular coupe with the top up.
The sporty front seats serve as the 2008 BMW M3’s interior centerpiece. They come heavily bolstered with multi-level adjustments, allowing occupants to create a custom alignment that perfectly fits their bodies. The interior looks lush with high-quality materials including leather upholstery and metal and wood accents. High-tech features abound. The two-door coupe includes an automatic seat belt presenter that moves the front belts forward, making them easier to reach. The convertible includes Sun-Reflective Technology in its leather seats, to prevent the material from overheating with the top down. A navigation system remains optional, although it pairs with BMW’s cumbersome iDrive control system. Additional interior features include a radio with a CD player, separate climate controls, a trip computer, and a second-row folding seat that remains optional in the sedan and convertible and comes standard in the coupe.
Performance & Handling
The M3 reaches new levels of power and performance, thanks to its fresh, four-liter, V-8 engine, which produces an admirable 414 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. With the standard six-speed manual transmission, the M3 hits 60 mph in an easy 4.6 seconds, with a smooth, quick build-up of power and swift gear changing.
Even with its muscleman engine, the 2008 BMW M3 still moves and handles with impressive agility. Steering seems precise, even in sharp turns, while the braking feels as strong and confident as the acceleration. The M3 comes equipped with an Electronic Damping Control option, which offers three settings: Comfort, Normal, and Sport, to help you create a driving experience that best fits your terrain and needs.
The M3’s only real performance downfall concerns the optional 19-inch performance tires. While they do their job, they also create an annoying humming noise when riding on rougher surfaces.
Full-length side curtain airbags, front seat side airbags, anti-lock disc brakes, traction control, and stability control come standard on all 2008 BMW M3s. Other basic safety equipment includes power door locks and keyless entry, a vehicle anti-theft system, and a trunk anti-trap device. An electronic parking aid remains optional for all models.
The M3 is based on the BMW 3 Series sedan, which scores four out of five stars in frontal impacts and five stars in side impacts for front- and rear-occupant protection. The IIHS gives the 3 Series sedan its highest rating of ?Good? in both frontal-offset and side-impact tests.
EPA Fuel Economy
BMW M3: 14/20 mpg city/highway
- Variety of body styles
- V-8 power and athletic performance
- High-quality build
You Won't Like
- Complicated iDrive system
This year’s faster, more powerful model brings athletic ability to a spacious, everyday car with plenty to offer.
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