2015 BMW M3

What's new for 2015? The BMW M3 is a new model for 2015.

Few vehicles carry as much weight among enthusiasts as BMW's M3. For decades now, the M3 has set the standard for seamlessly combining the acceleration and handling of a sports car with the room and comfort of an entry-level luxury sedan. For 2015, the M3 has been fully redesigned, and an understandable amount of excitement and anticipation surrounds it.

As expected, the new 2015 M3 is based on the latest-generation 3 Series that debuted back in 2012. However, you may have noticed that this review refers to the M3 as a four-door sedan. If you prefer your M3 in either two-door coupe or convertible flavors and are wondering what happened to them, fret not, as they are still available. Regardless of body style, these M cars have a way of making driving enthusiasts very happy.

Much of that joy comes from what's under the hood, where a turbocharged inline-6 cranks out no less than 425 horsepower along with some great noises. Sure, the old M3 had a V8, which may sound better on paper (and to some ears), but there's no arguing with the increased output (an additional 111 pound-feet of torque, anyone?) and fuel efficiency. Furthermore, you have your choice of a true, three-pedal manual or an automated dual-clutch transmission. The power goes to the rear wheels via a carbon-fiber driveshaft and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential. The latter equipment was once seen only on pure racecars, but now has trickled down to high-performance street cars such as the M3.

Exterior Highlights
Four-door, five-passenger high-performance car based on the 3 Series sedan

The 2015 BMW M3 is a four-door, five-passenger high-performance car that's based on the company's 3 Series sedan.

The M3 includes 18-inch alloy wheels with summer tires, adaptive xenon headlights, auto-dimming mirrors, automatic wipers, leather upholstery, heated 10-way power front seats (with four-way power lumbar), driver memory settings, fold-down rear seats, adaptive cruise control and dual-zone automatic climate control. Technology features include Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a navigation system, an 8.8-inch display screen, a suite of applications under the BMW ConnectedDrive banner, BMW's iDrive controller interface and a nine-speaker audio system with HD radio, a USB/iPod interface, an auxiliary audio jack and a CD player.

An optional Executive package adds headlamp washers, parking sensors, keyless entry and ignition, a head-up display, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a rearview camera and satellite radio. The Lighting package further adds adaptive LED headlights and automatic high-beam control. The Driver Assistance package gets you blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, a side- and top-view camera system, speed limit info, frontal-collision warning and automatic braking for collision mitigation.

Some items within the bundled packages are available as stand-alone options. Other stand-alone options include 19-inch wheels, upgraded carbon-ceramic brakes, adaptive suspension dampers, automated parallel-parking assist, a power rear sunshade and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system. There are also optional enhancements that add more Bluetooth/USB features, including mobile-office functions (message dictation, calendar), live-operator concierge services and entertainment apps (Internet music and social media).

Navigation system, large display screen, touchpad iDrive controller, classic analog gauges, comfortable front seats, plenty of headroom and legroom

The 2015 BMW M3 gets the same general cabin design of the 3 Series, which is to say understated, though you do essentially get the 3's Technology package (navigation system, the larger display screen and the touchpad iDrive controller) as standard, plus the requisite M badges and some snazzy carbon-fiber and aluminum trim. Overall it's solidly built and of high quality.

The company's classic analog gauges provide a historical link with BMWs of previous decades, while the optional head-up display provides digital information projected on the windshield. The standard iDrive interface is pretty easy to use, thanks to straightforward menus, crisp graphics and quick processing times.

The front seats are both comfortable and supportive for aggressive driving, and there's plenty of front headroom and legroom. The backseat is decently sized for this class of car, with enough headroom and legroom for two average-size adults. Luggage space is about average at 12.0 cubic feet.

Every 2015 BMW M3 comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and front knee protection airbags.

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