By on 2023-06-30 -
BMW M3 - Used Car
I'M lucky enough to live in an area where there are quite a few roads where cars can really show off their best, and having used them for many years, I know them very, very well.
I'm not going to tell you where they are - I don't want them to become any more crowded - but in my travels throughout much of this country, I have found many more and enjoyed them all.
Here's a simple tip - look at a map and don't follow the sat nav! On a map you will often spot an alternative route using minor A and B roads to get where you want to go, and the drive will be far more fun than sticking to main routes.
Of course, small towns and villages that bring you down to 30 miles an hour, and the journey will take longer. But the gain is immense if you really enjoy your driving.
And one of the finest sports saloons I have ever driven is the last series BMW M3 that went out of production in 2018.
The M3 has always been an icon for performance and this model just improves on all the models that went before.
It's a super saloon that reaches the pinnacle of excellence in every facet of a superb driving machine.
Performance from the silky smooth, turbocharged 3 litre engine in this paragon of cars is the latest version of BMW's well-known straight six, which boasts no less than 425bhp!
It reels in the horizon like a fish on a line and a prod on the accelerator is enough for the swiftest and safest overtaking on any straight piece of road.
Drive is to the rear wheels through a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox, and the auto makes the changes so fast, it's marginally quicker, reaching 60 miles an hour from rest in a supercar busting 3.9 seconds.
The auto comes with three switchable driving modes - Drive, Sport and manual - and Drive is excellent for 90 per cent of the time. But Sport quickens response and exhilaration to an amazing degree.
In fact it's so good when pressing on, that the manual setting, with paddles behind the steering wheel, is almost superfluous. As is so often true with modern cars, the auto does it better.
As well as having such marvellous power, this wonderful engine also claims a very best of 34 miles per gallon, and for such power, decently low emissions of 194 grammes per kilometre. A figure like that for such an engine would have been unthinkable even ten years ago.
Part of the reason for the excellent performance is the weight saving measures The car has aluminium front wings and an unpainted carbon fibre roof amongst other differences from the standard models.
Adaptive dampers at each corner mean that comfort is not too compromised by firm suspension.
In Comfort mode, it soaks up most imperfection in the road surface, but when switched on to Sport or Sport Plus, the ride gets firmer and then quite uncomfortable.
Although there is some improvement with the firmer settings, even Comfort mode allows marvellous handling and roadholding in the company tradition - it wouldn't be an M3 if it didn't handle perfectly.
This top model in the range comes with a wide range of electronic driving aids, the driving position is superb and the seats are well-shaped and supportive.
Equipment in standard trim includes, start stop, parking sensors, xenon headlights, Bluetooth, cruise, DAB stereo, alarm, electric heated leather seats, sat nav and traction control.
The BMW M3 is without doubt one of the most practical true driver's cars on the market. It is an absolute gem.
Pay about Â£33,500 for an '18 18-reg 6 speed manual, or Â£39,150 for a '19 19-reg DCT auto.
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