2023 BMW M3 Sedan

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2023 BMW M3 Sedan Review: Sledgehammer Meets Scalpel

by Michael Butler

When it comes to M cars, it can easily be argued that none are more famous than the BMW M3 Sedan. This famous lineage started with the E30 in the 1980s and has evolved into something larger than the original car's creators could have ever imagined. The G80 generation was first introduced in 2020 when its controversial grille set tongues wagging, and it hasn't stopped dividing opinions since. Its CLAR architecture means the M3 can play host to both rear- and all-wheel drive systems, with a base model utilizing a 473-horsepower turbocharged inline-six to drive the rear wheels, while the Competition variant has 503 hp and a choice of drivetrain configurations. Thee's a six-speed manual on the base version, while an eight-speed auto brings an added layer of precision to Competition derivatives. But the 2023 M3 doesn't have it easy; competitors of the BMW M3 include the razor-sharp Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and a new monster in the form of the Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance, both of which address the same audience in a completely different fashion. Conducting a review of a BMW M3 has never been more multifaceted than it is now.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 10 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2023 BMW M3 Sedan Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 M3 Sedan?

The most significant addition for the 2023 model year in the US market is an interior update that brings the BMW iDrive 8 software and Live Cockpit Plus that incorporates a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen in one curved display. Other updates include adjustments to equipment within the various packages, such as the removal of BMW's gimmicky gesture controls from the Executive package. The optional built-in Driver Recorder dashcam is now a standalone option and no longer part of the Parking Assistance package. Aluminum Rhombicle trim is now applied to the interior in place of Aluminum Tetragon, and BMW Individual Frozen Pure Grey II has been added to the paint palette in place of last year's Oxide Grey Metallic.

But this is also joined by the introduction of the M3 Edition 50 Jahre, which celebrates 50 years of BMW M. Only 500 of these special cars will be sold in America and include special matte grey wheels, five unique paint colors derived from classic BMW hues, and carbon-fiber exterior bits, including a carbon roof, front splitter, and carbon-tipped exhaust pipes. The interior features extended black Merino leather with special M Sport tri-color stitching.

Pros and Cons

  • Very powerful turbo inline six
  • Excellent handling dynamics
  • High-quality finishes and build
  • Six-speed manual is a dying breed
  • It does the daily commute really well
  • That divisive grille
  • Complicated driving modes
  • Eight-speed auto not as sharp as a dual-clutch
  • Numb steering feel

What's the Price of the 2023 BMW M3 Sedan?

The price of the BMW M3 starts at an MSRP of $74,300 for the base model before a $995 destination charge and other fees and taxes, while the M3 Competition starts with a base price of $78,600, but this increases to $82,600 with the xDrive AWD system specced. The RS5 Sportback, on the other hand, starts at $78,200. Add every possible physical option to the Competition variant, and the BMW M3 will cost well over $110,000 in the USA.

Best Deals on 2023 BMW M3 Sedan

2023 BMW M3 Sedan Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.0L Twin-Turbo Inline-6 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Rear-Wheel Drive
Competition Sedan
3.0L Twin-Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Competition xDrive Sedan
3.0L Twin-Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 BMW M3 Sedan Trims and Specs

2023 BMW M3 Sedan Handling And Driving Impressions

The BMW M3, by its very nature, is supposed to do a lot of things well, and lo and behold: it does. The M3 is an expert at finding grip from corner entry to corner exit (especially in AWD guise) and remains flat and composed at every point in between. All models come with an adaptive suspension system that can be set up in a plethora of ways, ensuring that you get the experience you want.

On the other hand, the M3 will happily send its tail out and do smoky slides when the occasion presents itself; it's all in a day's work for this sports car. The base M3 in Comfort mode is surprisingly forgiving when simply cruising along and will make an excellent daily cruiser and highway bomber. The one fault we found with the M3 is the fact that it lacks steering feel - a common allegation leveled against modern M cars.

The good news is that the brakes are great. Carbon-ceramic brakes are an optional extra to turn it into an even more track-ready weapon. The M3 Competition sharpens things up further thanks to its stiffer and more responsive chassis and added power, but it does not make for as good a daily driver as the base car. We'd suggest adding the performance M exhaust system for a more visceral driving experience.

Verdict: Is The 2023 BMW M3 Sedan A Good Car?

One can only imagine the pressure placed on BMW engineers responsible for the M3; here's a car that means so much to so many people and is expected to be the benchmark in the compact luxury sports-sedan segment. The 2023 model year adds a few niceties but remains, at its core, a pure sports sedan. The turbocharged inline-six engine powering this car is one of the best in its class and simply needs that optional sports exhaust to make it come alive. We love how the base model drives in Comfort mode, and the Competition-spec car is razor sharp. We wish the M3 were more engaging to drive, however, and a big part of that shortcoming lies in the lack of steering feel. The exterior styling will still split opinions, and the interior isn't as dramatic as some of its competitors, but at the end of the day, this remains one of the most capable sports cars around.

What 2023 BMW M3 Sedan Model Should I Buy?

Obviously, the Competition model is the most attractive to those obsessed with bragging rights, but the 473 horses provided by the base M3 are still plenty. More importantly, this model comes as the purest expression of a G80 M3, sending its power to the rear axle via a proper manual gearbox. We'd add the M Drive Professional system for $900, giving you the drift analyzer and a lap timer. We'd also add the M Driver's package, and unless you're a little portly, the M carbon bucket seats. The Executive package is also worth adding for a better mix of performance and practicality. Assuming you stick with the standard color and trim options, this build will cost you just over $82,000 without the destination fee. Keep in mind that you can't get the Driving Assistance Professional package on this trim.

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