BMW M3 4th Generation 2008-2013 (E90/E92/E93) Review

Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Used M3 4th Gen

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4th Gen BMW M3: What Owners Say

  • High-revving, naturally-aspirated V8 engine makes plenty of power and sounds magnificent when doing so.
  • Athletic chassis delivers all the cornering thrills any driving enthusiast could desire..
  • Multiple drive modes means that a 4th-gen BMW M3 Coupe, Convertible, or Sedan can be as thrilling or as docile as it needs to be.
  • Highly-strung V8 engine can become maintenance-heavy as it racks up the miles.
  • Optional early-generation iDrive infotainment system is frustrating and not user-friendly.
  • Thirsty when driven with the verve encouraged by its howling engine.

BMW M3 E90/E92/E93 Facelift

The fourth-generation BMW M3 arrived after the normal 3 Series models had been around for a few years, so it came up for a very light mid-life update only two years after its initial release. The only difference between 2008 and 2009 BMW M3 convertibles and coupes is their optional infotainment system, which was upgraded to a hard-drive-based navigation system with a higher-resolution display screen.

A sedan (E90) variant was introduced concurrently with the 2008 convertible and coupe and received the same all-red LED taillight clusters as the normal 3 Series sedan for 2009, but, because this model already featured the coupe and convertible's front-end styling, it remained cosmetically unchanged until the end of its production run in 2011.

Changes for 2010 were slightly more noticeable because the M3 convertible (E93) and coupe (E92) received the LED tail light clusters which appeared on their lesser siblings for 2009, although the rest of their styling features remained unchanged.

2010-2013 M3 E92 Facelift Front Changes CarBuzz
2010-2013 M3 E92 Facelift Front Changes

If you're looking at an E92 BMW M3 coupe or an E93 BMW M3 convertible head-on, you won't be able to distinguish between a 2008 model and an example from 2013: The fourth-generation M3 always had unique styling in front and didn't follow the regular models' exterior evolutionary path.

2009-2011 M3 E90 Facelift Rear Changes CarBuzz
2009-2011 M3 E90 Facelift Rear Changes

For the 2009 M3 sedan facelift, it received the same all-red LED taillights of the normal 3 Series sedan models, with a slim backup-light strip hidden in the red surround, instead of the big previous backup lights1.

2010-2013 M3 E92 Facelift Rear Changes CarBuzz
2010-2013 M3 E92 Facelift Rear Changes

It's slightly easier to notice the differences between a pre-facelift E92 or E93 M3 and a facelifted one around the rear end. While the bumper design remained unchanged and retained the M3's characteristic quad-tailpiece exhaust layout along with the integrated diffuser in its lower half, the 2011 model year added LED tail light clusters to bring the rear end in line with the rest of BMW's line-up. The easiest way to identify the new light units is by counting the horizontal strips in the cluster: the facelift model has two DRL strips, which fold around the rear end and traces an L-shape towards the front, while the pre-facelift used three straight strips1.

2010-2013 M3 E92 Facelift Side Changes CarBuzz
2010-2013 M3 E92 Facelift Side Changes

Just as their front ends remained identical between pre- and post facelift E92 and E93 BMW M3s, so too did the side view. Once again, the only difference between them is visible in the tail lights, where the facelift models' LED DRL strips are clearly visible in profile view1. The alloy wheel choice also remained unchanged, with the fourth-generation M3 rolling on 18-inch alloys with a satin chrome finish as standard and 19-inch alloy wheels with machined faces as an option. Y-spoke 19-inchers became optional in 2011, albeit with unchanged tire sizes.

2010-2013 M3 4th Gen Facelift Interior Changes CarBuzz
2010-2013 M3 4th Gen Facelift Interior Changes

Seeing as the E92 and E93 M3 dates from the era before BMW foisted their iDrive user interface upon all their cars, an M3 can have either a smooth, clean dashboard design or a multi-humped one to house the iDrive display, depending on the option boxes ticked at first purchase. If the integrated navigation option was selected, 2009 models and onwards will have a higher-resolution infotainment screen with a hard-drive-based navigation system. This difference is difficult to spot, though, as their screens look very much alike. What is far easier to spot is the redesigned iDrive controller, which is no longer a big, flat, satin-silver rotary knob with a single button behind it, but a smaller aluminum-and-black knob that stands out more and has various shortcut buttons ahead and behind it for easier operation1.

Engine, Transmission and Drivetrain

The 4th-generation BMW M3 Convertible, Coupe, and Sedan only used one engine throughout its model run: a 4.0-liter, 32-valve V8, named the S65B40 in BMW-speak. This engine bears no relationship to BMW's mainstream V8s of its era, and is closely related to the S85 V10 in the E60 M5 instead. Fortunately, it is nowhere near as temperamental as its larger sibling.

A choice between two drivetrains was offered, with a 6-speed manual gearbox being standard equipment or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters as the upgrade option. In all cases, the power is sent to the rear wheels through an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential. Enthusiastic drivers would likely prefer the manual for its driver involvement but the dual-clutch transmission has proven to be quite hardy, and it guarantees quicker shift times than the manual.

4.0-liter V8 DOHC S65B40
414 hp | 295 lb-ft
414 hp
295 lb-ft
Six-speed manual / 7-speed DCT automatic

Unlike other BMW V8 engines of its era, the S65B40 doesn't really focus on low-rev torque, aiming for strong top-end power delivery and a high specific power output instead. With the power peak arriving just before its 8,400 rpm redline and maximum torque only reaching its peak around 4,000 rpm, it's obvious why this power unit has become a favorite among BMW M-enthusiasts. But, despite its design similarities to the E60 M5's V10, the S65 hasn't earned a similarly bad reputation for fragility. Some typical BMW M-engine traits do carry through, however, which could make the long-term running of a fourth-generation M3 a financially daunting exercise.

BMW M3 E90/E92/E93 Real MPG

Real-world use usually returns different fuel-economy figures to those furnished by the EPA, but seeing as this is a specialized product (and few BMW M3 owners care very much about fuel efficiency), real-world consumption figures are not widely reported by drivers. Drivers who did submit figures generally seemed to fare a little better than the EPA claims. A look at the official EPA ratings shows that the consumption difference between the different body styles (sedan, coupe, and convertible) and gearbox options are negligible.

EPA mpg (city/highway/combined)Real-world combined mpg*
2008-2011 4.0 V8 Sedan, manual or DCT14/20/1617.2
2008-2013 4.0 V8 Coupe, manual or DCT14/21/1619.0
2008-2013 4.0 V8 Convertible, manual or DCT13/20/1616.7

* Real-world mpg and MPGe figures are provided by the EPA. Once a car has been on sale for a significant period of time, the EPA gets real-world figures directly from the customer base. These figures are then provided on the EPA website. Real-world figures are not available for certain models due to a lack of sales, or not enough people partaking in this after-sales survey.


The 2008-2013 BMW M3 Convertible, Coupe, and Sedan featured a comprehensive list of standard safety equipment from launch. Four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with ABS and electronic brake-force distribution, multi-mode traction- and stability control, and at least four airbags (two front airbags and two seat-mounted side airbags) feature on all M3 models, with the sedan and coupe gaining curtain airbags as well.

Adaptive xenon headlights with automatic on/off are also standard on all models, as are adaptive brake lights (which vary the brake light intensity depending on the severity of braking), rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror, and rear child-seat anchors. And, while the M3 Convertible doesn't offer curtain airbags, it does feature a pop-up rollover protection system in compensation. An anti-theft alarm and rear parking sensors were optionally available and might have been fitted to a used M3.

The fourth-generation BMW M3 E90/E92/E93 (collectively known as the E9X) was never crash-tested on its own, but, seeing as it is based on the normal E90 BMW 3 Series, the latter model's US NHTSA Crash Test Result applies. However, because the E90 was tested in 2006, its score cannot be directly compared to cars that were tested after 2011, when the NHTSA test procedures became much more stringent.

According to the old test protocol, the E90 BMW 3 Series scored four stars for driver- and passenger protection in a frontal crash, five stars for front- and rear passenger protection in a side impact, and four stars for protection in the event of a rollover. Bear in mind that the side-impact and rollover protection ratings will only apply to M3s with fixed roofs (sedan and coupe). The M3 Convertible won't be able to offer the same level of protection in these criteria.

US NHTSA Crash Test Result (2013)

M3 Sedan and Coupe

Frontal Crash Rating (driver):
Frontal Crash Rating (pass):
Side Crash Rating:
Rollover Rating:

M3 Convertible

Frontal Crash Rating (driver):
Frontal Crash Rating (pass):

4th Generation BMW M3 Trims

The E9X BMW M3 was an extension of the regular 3 Series model range and didn't offer any model-specific trim levels. They were all equipped up to a certain standard, with various available stand-alone options and option packages to further cater to the owner's requirements. The main differences between them are that the E90 is a four-door sedan, the E92 is a two-door coupe, and the E93 is a two-door hardtop convertible.

BMW M3 (E90/E92/E93)
2008-2011 (E90); 2008-2013 (E92 and E93)
4.0-liter V8
Six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic

As befits a range-topping model, the E9X BMW M3 was well-equipped from the start, with some minor changes applied over the years to keep it competitive in its segment. Standard feature highlights in 2008 included 18-inch alloy wheels, a carbon-fiber roof (coupe only), flared front and rear wheel arches with the snazzy air-extraction slots behind the front wheels incorporating indicator lamps and the M3 logo, heated side mirrors, split-fold rear seats, AM/FM stereo/CD audio with RDS and MP3 capability and 10 speakers, automatic dual-zone climate control, power windows and door locks, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror, ambient cabin lighting, a comprehensive on-board computer, manual tilt- and telescoping steering-wheel adjustment, and leather trim for the seats, steering wheel, and gear selector.

Specification upgrades that came with the 2010 facelift include the standard fitment of HD Radio and rear LED tail lights, while an anti-theft alarm, Bluetooth, and USB and iPod compatibility joined the party from 2012 on.

The E9X BMW M3 also spawned its fair share of special-edition models, but few of them made it to North America.

  • Competition Package. From 2011, the closest to a special edition the US received was the Competition Package, which consisted of a brace of handling enhancements, although the powertrain was left untouched. It included a 0.4-inch ride-height reduction, re-tuned adaptive dampers, a more-aggressive "M Dynamic Mode" stability control setting, and 19-inch forged light-alloy wheels with a Y-spoke design.
  • 2013 M3 Lime Rock Park Edition. For its swansong, a total of 200 M3 Lime Rock Park Editions were built for the US market for 2013. Available as a coupe only, this limited-edition model could only be had in Fire Orange, further distinguished by a carbon-fiber front splitter and rear spoiler, the same 0.4-inch ride height reduction and Y-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels as the Competition Package, a faster steering ratio, a lightweight Inconel-titanium exhaust, and even more-aggressive stability control programming.

Other option packages included the Premium Package, which adds power-folding door mirrors, power-adjustable front sport seats with position memory for the driver, an integrated 3-button garage door opener, and BMW Assist with Bluetooth and voice recognition integrated into the audio system. In its turn, the Convenience Package added an anti-theft alarm, rear parking sensors, keyless entry, iPod and USB compatibility, and on-board navigation which also included the iDrive system. And, for cold weather conditions, another package bundled in 3-stage heated seats and a high-pressure headlight washer system. An optional sunroof could be had on the sedan, but ticking that option box on the coupe would substitute its distinctive carbon roof for a steel one.

4th Gen BMW M3 Features

BMW M3 Sedan and CoupeBMW M3 Convertible
Bluetooth ConnectionOO
Leather SeatsOS
Keyless EntryOO
Keyless StartOO
HD RadioSS
Alloy WheelsSS

Interior, Trim And Practicality

BMW M3 E92 Dashboard BMW
BMW M3 Coupe E92 Interior View

While all E9X BMW M3s featured rear seats, the sedan is the only one in which rear-seat passengers would be fairly comfortable - the coupe and convertible are both extremely limited in terms of rear head- and legroom, so those rear seats will be better suited for children. The rear seats also come with child seat anchors.

The front seats are a lot more spacious, though, with ample room all-round to comfortably accommodate taller occupants and even the coupe's front seats offer more room to stretch out than the contemporary Mercedes-Benz C63 sedan could muster. Luggage space depends on the body style in the spotlight: The M3 sedan and coupe offer a middling 11.1 cubic feet of cargo volume with all seats in place (compared to the Mercedes' 12.4 cubes), while the convertible's luggage volume shrinks to only 9.0 cu.ft. In mitigation, the rear seats of all models fold down to improve practicality.

Trim (2013)BMW M3 SedanBMW M3 CoupeBMW M3 Convertible
Anthracite Cloth/Black leatherSSN/A
Bamboo Beige Novillo leatherOOS
Palladium Silver Novillo leatherOOS
Fox Red Novillo leatherOOS
Black Novillo leatherOOS
Palladium Silver / Black Novillo leatherOOO
Fox Red / Black Novillo leatherOOO

2008-2013 BMW M3 E90/E92/E93 Maintenance and Cost

It's important to remember that, although the E9X BMW M3 is based on the normal 3 Series, its maintenance will be rather more expensive than that of its lesser siblings - that is an unfortunate reality of employing a highly-strung engine in a road car. These issues usually only show up at higher mileages, though, and an M3 should otherwise prove fairly reliable as long as the OEM maintenance requirements are met.

Owners could expect to deal with the usual BMW quirks as an M3 ages, such as oil leaks from plastic valve covers and VANOS solenoids giving up the ghost, as well as M-specific issues like premature connecting rod bearing wear. But, in the latter case, most M-car owners have accepted that rod-bearing replacement should be considered a maintenance job, rather than an actual design shortcoming.

BMW uses a system called "Condition-Based Servicing" (CBS) for the on-board computer to calculate the optimum service intervals… and we'd recommend ignoring it completely as far as oil changes go. It's not unheard of for an E9X M3's control unit to decide that it will be OK if the engine oil is only changed every 15,000 miles or so, but that's a very bad idea for such a high-performance engine. Rather change the engine oil and filter at the latest every 7,500 miles or once a year, or every 5,000 miles as the vehicle approaches the 60,000-mile mark or if it is subjected to race-track use.

On vehicles equipped with the seven-speed DCT, BMW says that the transmission fluid should be good for life, but experience has shown that changing the gearbox oil every 30,000 miles will result in a longer service life as well as smoother gear changes. A good rule of thumb is to replace the power steering fluid and differential oil at 30,000 miles as well; especially in hard-driven cars, the power steering fluid gets hot and degrades, which will affect the steering feel as well as the system's longevity, and the differential's operation will be smoother if it regularly gets fresh oil.

Spark plugs should be replaced every 36,000 miles, but hard-driven cars will again benefit from a 30,000-mile interval. The spark plugs are particularly important and must be replaced with either OEM or OEM-equivalent units because the S65 engine does its knock sensing via the spark plugs. Other items which need attention every 30,000 miles include the engine air filter, brake fluid, and cabin air filter.

Fourth Gen BMW M3 Basic Service

Engine Oil Change Including Filter

4.0-liter S65B40 V8: 8.8L (9.3 quarts)

Recommended type and viscosity: Castrol TWS Motorsport SAE 10W-60 fully synthetic oil

Replacement: Every 5,000-7,500 miles

Average cost: $150


OEM Part code: 12-12-0-032-273

Replacement: Every 36,000 miles

Average price: $170 for eight

Engine Air Filter:

OEM part code: 13-72-7-838-804

Replacement: Every 30,000 miles

Average Price: $48


Type: DieHard Gold Battery, Part number 49H8, 900 CCA

Replacement: Every 3-5 years

Average Price: $222

4th Generation M3 Tires

2008-2013 M3 Convertible, Coupe and Sedan
Tire Size Front:
Tire Size Rear:
Performance Tires:
$804-$1,000 per set
2011-2013 M3 Competition Package and Lime Rock Park Edition
Tire Size Front:
Tire Size Rear:
Performance Tires:
$910-$1,816 per set

Check Before You Buy

As far as BMW M-cars go, the E9X M3 is counted among the least troublesome of them all, but some typical BMW issues will nonetheless be par for the course. Apart from these issues, there were some 2008-2013 BMW M3 Convertible recalls, many of which were applicable to the sedan and coupe too.

The first recall to note regards the BMW E92 M3 airbag recall, which stems from the ongoing Takata recall campaign. This involves all the airbags fitted to these cars, and are covered under various recall notices. There's another airbag recall to consider as well, but it applies only to 2008-vintage examples and relates to possible substandard connections in the side airbags and seatbelt pretensioner system, which may cause both of these items to fail to deploy when needed. Before buying an E9X BMW M3, make sure that all airbag recalls have been executed, as this is a potentially life-threatening defect.

Next up is a recall which affects most BMWs built between 2006 and 2013, and involves the PCV valve heater, which may short circuit and cause an engine bay fire (NHTSA Campaign Number 22V119000). A further recall involves the blower motor's wiring on many BMWs of this era, which may overheat and increase the risk of an electrical fire (NHTSA Campaign Number 17V676000).

BMW M3 E92 transmission problems also resulted in a recall for all 2008 and 2009 BMW M3s equipped with the optional DCT, to solve a problem that could see the car's engine cut out when rapidly slowing down. This is due to the DCT executing multiple down changes just before coming to a standstill, which then brings the car to a sudden stop, followed by a long delay before finding an appropriate gear. Fortunately, according to NHTSA Campaign Number 08V595000, this can be remedied by a simple software update of the DCT's control unit.

Another electrical system-related recall concerns the main power supply from the battery's positive terminal to the fuse box, which may degrade over time and lead to a loss of electrical power or an inability to start. This is again a problem on many other BMWs from this era as well, so it's not exclusive to the M3. Just ensure that the recall repair has been performed according to NHTSA Campaign Number 13V044000.

The final recall isn't BMW's fault, but relates to possible defects on aftermarket replacement engine cooling fans, which were produced by Valeo. This fault entails a possible malfunction on the cooling fan's control circuit board, which may overheat and cause an engine fire. If your car has a replacement engine cooling fan, remember to check whether NHTSA Campaign Number 12E029000 has been executed.

Fourth generation BMW M3 Common Problems

When discussing problems that crop up with aging BMWs in general, some issues are to be expected as par for the course. This first problem will be of particular interest to owners who plan to let their M3s run wild on the track, and entails the standard oil cooler arrangement. While the OEM setup is adequate for road use, prolonged track sessions will send the oil temperature way out of safe boundaries, so we recommend upgrading the oil cooler if heavy track use is on the cards.

Some of the more common and/or serious 2008-2013 BMW M3 Convertible, Coupe, and Sedan problems are:

Rod Bearing Failure

As is the case with many other BMW M-engines, the specter of con-rod bearing failure will forever haunt owners of E9X BMW M3s. The cause of this problem is the subject of much debate, but most fingers point towards too-long oil change intervals, coupled with high engine speeds before the oil is up to temperature. And, while there are many reports of failure, there was no BMW E92 M3 rod bearing recall issued.

Both of these explanations make sense, as they both highlight the extremely tight tolerances used in the S65 engine's rotating assembly: Contaminated oil and excess loads won't happily coexist in a precision engine with very tight bearing clearances. And, while you may vow to only let your M3 rev its rings off once the oil temperature gauge tells you that it's safe, there's no guarantee that a previous owner was as observant of this S65 ritual, so any used M3 has the potential to grenade and leave its owner with a megabuck repair bill.

This ailment apparently affected 2008-2009 M3s the most, and later engines are said to use uprated bearing shells, but the only way to be safe with any used S65 engine is to replace those bearings and their big-end bolts as a preventative measure after 50,000 miles - or even sooner, in hard-driven cars.

Mileage: From 50,000 miles or even earlier in neglected cars.

Cost: Replacing the bearings: About $1,100 excluding labor; from $8,500 for a remanufactured engine with a 2-year warranty or from $25,000 for a new engine.

How to spot: From bad to worse - metal shavings in the engine oil, a ticking sound from the engine at idle, a knocking noise from a warm engine between 1,600 and 2,500 rpm, non-starting, a hole in the side of the block where a broken con-rod tried to escape the carnage within.

Throttle Actuator Failure

Part of the reason for the S65's legendary status is its incredibly crisp throttle response, thanks to eight individual throttles, with each one feeding one cylinder - a long-time naturally aspirated M-engine trick. On the S65 engine, those throttles are operated by two throttle actuators (one on each cylinder head), giving full drive-by-wire ability and making a selection of driving modes possible.

However, these throttle actuators have a hard life sitting inside the engine's "V", and some of their internal parts are made of plastic. So, seeing as heat and plastic don't mix all that well, the throttle actuators are prone to giving out once they've seen enough heat cycles. This will leave your M3 in limp mode, with reduced performance and a myriad of illuminated dashboard warning lights.

At this point, you'll have a choice between repairing or replacing both throttle actuators - if one goes, the other won't be far behind. At least an actuator gear repair kit (once again, made of plastic) is available from BMW now, greatly reducing the cost of repairing this issue. Eager DIYers should be able to perform the repair, but most owners would likely rather have an M-car specialist do the job.

Mileage: Failure is possible at any mileage, but becomes increasingly likely from 40,000 miles.

Cost: From $115 for a repair kit or $720 for one complete actuator, up to $1,000 for labor.

How to spot: Greatly reduced engine performance, warning lights in the instrument cluster.

Oil leaks

As with most BMWs, the valve covers and their gaskets are prone to deterioration and eventual leaks. Because the valve covers are made of plastic, and because the M3's engine generates a lot of heat, they can degrade with age and start leaking oil, necessitating replacement of either the gaskets alone or of the valve covers as well. This is one of the more-common BMW M3 E92 engine problems, but can fairly easily (albeit at great cost) be remedied.

Mileage: From 100,000 miles

Cost: $800 each for valve covers, $50 apiece for gaskets, $12 each for the 8 spark plug tubes.

How to spot: Oil seeping from the valve cover/cylinder head interfaces.

Ignition Coil Failure

This problem is not unique to the BMW S65 engine and occurs in many cars with coil-on-plug ignition systems as they age. This will give rise to a misfire problem on the BMW E92 M3, and because the S65 revs to infinity, its coils tend to fail sooner than they would on normal cars. Fortunately, this isn't a catastrophic problem and can be repaired quite easily, although it won't be cheap.

Mileage: 60,000 miles or more

Cost: $256 per coil pack

How to spot: Misfiring, rough running, lack of power, hard starting.

Noisy Differential

The 2008-2013 BMW M3 employed a refined version of its predecessor's electronically controlled limited-slip differential, which uses clutch packs to dynamically vary the torque split between the driven wheels. Over time, the differential could begin making rubbing or groaning noises in tight, low-speed turns, which would be your cue to replace the differential oil with the appropriate BMW-specified diff oil, as failure to do so will lead to internal damage after further use.

Mileage: Between 40,000 and 60,000 miles

Cost: $213 for OEM limited-slip differential oil.

How to spot: Groaning or rubbing noise from the rear axle in tight turns.

Less Common Problems and Problem-Free Areas

There's some good news for prospective E9X BMW M3 owners, too, because the BMW M3 E93,E92, and E90 don't present any other starting problems, serious electrical problems, or other mechanical maladies. They will be particularly happy to note that, while the E9X M3's engine is derived from the E60 M5's V10, it didn't inherit the hopeless SMG (automated manual) transmission from its larger sibling - the optional seven-speed dual-clutch unit is a lot nicer to live with, and nowhere near as troublesome.

Idle control valves deserve a mention, with some owners reporting sudden failures of this component. Symptoms include difficulty starting, rough running, and fluctuating idle speed. With a price of almost $920 excluding fitment, you really want to make sure that any E9X M3 you may consider has a smooth and steady idle.

Some E9X BMW M3 owners also reported the failure of their power steering hoses. They're made of rubber, and pure old age causes the rubber to perish and crack, and eventually burst. This is even more prevalent on cars that frequently do track work, as this activity increases the power steering fluid temperature above its normal level. Check the power steering hoses whenever you have any reason to inspect the car from underneath, as a failure here can render the car very difficult to steer.

There is one last hassle that will mostly present on 2008-2009 BMW M3s relating to their non-LED tail light clusters: The DRL strips on pre-facelift cars can break loose from their mountings. The chances are that these light strips will still illuminate as required, but the car's rear end will give off a lopsided look when running. The only solution to this issue is a set of new tail lights, unfortunately, which could cost upwards of $185 each for the outer (fender-mounted) units and about $150 for the inner (lid-mounted) units.

Which One To Avoid

Given the number of known issues and recalls with earlier E9X BMW M3s, we'd steer clear of 2008-2009 examples, especially those with high mileage and the dual-clutch gearbox. However, if you can find one in original condition and in good health, and with a complete service history at a good price, it may be worth taking the risk. Just replace those rod bearings as soon as you take delivery (if it hasn't been done very recently), as this one weakness has the potential to sour your entire experience with an otherwise-remarkable car.

Which One To Buy

The 2010-plus BMW M3 had most of its teething troubles sorted out, so those are the ones we'd recommend to buyers. They will also have had the facelift applied, with nicer rear lights and a much better infotainment system, making for a more pleasant ownership experience. As for the choice between a manual or an automatic gearbox, it will all depend on your preferences. The manual will offer a more immersive driving experience, but the DCT will be much easier to live with if you regularly encounter heavy traffic.

4th Gen BMW M3 Sedan, Coupe, and Convertible (E90/E92/E93) Verdict

As the very last naturally aspirated BMW M-car, the E9X M3 holds a special place in the hearts of most BMW M enthusiasts. A true sports car in a fairly practical wrapping, the fourth-generation M3 has the potential to make a keen driver grin non-stop without compromising on everyday usability. And while there are some hazards associated with long-term ownership of such an M3, the appropriate preventative maintenance will go a long way to ensuring that the E9X BMW M3 remains a faithful companion. It's a future collectible and the end of an era at BMW M, and those alone are enough reasons to find a good one and preserve it for posterity.

M3 E90/E92/E93 (4th Generation) Alternatives

If you're shopping for 2008-2013 BMW M3 you should consider these alternatives
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