Review by Justin Pritchard
Vehicle Type: Performance Sedan / Coupe / Convertible
History/Description: Lusted after by fans of high-strung, German-engineered performance cars, the BMW M3 entered its fourth generation for model year 2007, packing, for the first time, a V8 engine. Not just any V8 engine, either, but a wound-up, hand-built, 4.0L beastie cranking out a glorious, free-revving 414 horsepower en route to an 8,300 RPM redline. Yeehaw!
Shoppers considering an M3 from this era can look for a sedan, coupe or convertible, manual or dual-clutch paddle-shift transmission, and access to one of the most storied performance car driving experiences on the road. Feature content was fitting of a world-class performance car, and included goodies like adjustable dampers, an adjustable rear differential, premium audio, memory seats, Bluetooth, navigation, iDrive central command, automatic lights, automatic climate control and more.
It’s not BMW M3 weather at the moment, but with the recently-launched next-generation M3 and M4 models hitting the market, the time is right to start researching the used market for a copy of the last-generation machine. Spring will be here soon, and if this will be your year to be a total champ and invest in an E90 generation M3, you’ll be firing off millisecond-precise paddle-shifted gear changes at obscene revs before you know it.
What Owners Like: Performance, discreet styling upgrades, a magnificently tuned engine, track-ready handling and brakes and all-around recognition and exclusivity are highly rated by M3 owners. Many owners report that the M3 also does well as a daily driver when driven gently, too. Comfortable seats and a look that favours sportiness, not bling, round out the package.
What Owners Dislike: Common gripes include heavy fuel consumption, a stiff suspension, a plain-Jane interior relative to some competitors, and the perpetual threat of driver’s license revocation. Many owners wish for a sturdier cupholder design, too.
Here are some owner reviews.
The Test Drive: The M3 looks to be a really solid performance car bet – but some checks are advised ahead of your purchase
Start with all on-board electronics – including the navigation system, instrument cluster, Bluetooth, climate control and all lighting. Try everything inside of the M3 that runs on electricity, several times, to confirm proper operation. Note any warning lights in the instrument cluster, too.
Next, using the iDrive system, click MENU, then VEHICLE INFORMATION, then CHECK CONTROL to see if the vehicle has any issues you should be aware of. This on-board interface can alert you of some potential issues, and a highly-advised scan of the M3’s drivetrain computer systems should be considered mandatory, too.
Check the convertible top, if equipped, for proper operation and signs of water leaks, damaged seals or signs of hardtop panel contact, which may be visible as damaged or scuffed paint. Confirm that all rubber seals are present and in good shape – plump and intact, not dried up or cracked. Cycle the roof between open and closed several times, noting any unwelcomed noises or signs of straining.