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I Hated Driving the 2015 BMW M3…Here’s Why!

In Auto, General, Opinion, Review, Video by Michael Sheehan4 Comments

It’s not often that I really hate driving a car. But I just had to say it this time. I got to drive the 2015 BMW M3 for about ten days and I hated it. Honestly though, it really had nothing to do about the vehicle itself. I actually really loved the M3. It was the fact that I had to drive it in an everyday environment, that is to say, in rush-hour traffic, around the city, picking up kids down the block, you get the picture. The 2015 BMW M3 really deserves a better, more fun driving environment like a race track, in a mountain road, or on a long stretch of empty, police-free highway.

2015 BMW M3 - AutoNation BMW of Mountain View

According to the Sales Manager at AutoNation’s BMW of Mountain View they can’t keep the M3’s on the lot. Of the entire M-Series, the M3 is the most popular, and I can totally see why. It is quite a performance machine!

Sponsored: This is a sponsored review, brought to you by AutoNation’s BMW of Mountain View and AutoNation  America’s Largest Auto Retailer. Buying a new car? There are over 20,000 AutoNation Associates at 250 new vehicle franchises across 15 states. Looking for a used auto? Get CARFAX history report, 135-point safety inspection, 3-day/150 mile money-back guarantee and more.

2015 BMW M3 - Side View

The 2015 BMW M3, which is a 4-door sedan, really is all about high-performance. Boasting a 425-horse power, 3.0 liter V6 and 406 pounds of torque, this baby can get off a starting line and up to 60 mph in just a tad over 4 seconds. (Unfortunately, the closest I got to this was trying to get quickly on to an on-ramp and right into traffic.) It’s a bi-turbo (with not perceived lag), direct-injection engine which is a pleasure to not only feel but also hear, as when you are in sport-mode, the engine growl seems to be piped back into the cabin for added driving experience.

2015 BMW M3 - Engine

Want to learn more about the 2015 BMW M3? The video review below (and available directly on YouTube outlines much of what you will find below.

But let’s get right into it. I truly enjoyed the BMW M3. It was both luxurious with careful attention to many of the design and interior details, but the spotlight really shown on the performance engineering. Here are a few things I would like to call out about the 2015 BMW M3.

Nicely laid out displays

2015 BMW M3 - Steering Wheel

The instrument clusters and other displays are fairly simple and easy to use. Buttons are accessible and intuitive (with one exception – see volume item below).

Non-descript body style

2015 BMW M3 - Front

Upon first glance, the 2015 BMW M3 sedan looks almost like any other BMW 3-series sedans out on the road, unless you know what you are looking for. For starters, you can see the M3 branding across the vehicle (front, sides and back). Also, the air intakes are a bit more heavily sculpted so they stand out a bit more.

2015 BMW M3 - Air Scoop

Also, because of the low-slung, performance tires, the M3 is a bit closer to the ground.

M Carbon Ceramic Brakes

2015 BMW M3 - Ceramic Brakes

There is an optional ceramic brake package that comes with the M3. This package adds $8150 to the price but you get  all-weather, lightweight carbon compound ceramic material which has better resistence to heat and wear and has a longer lifespan. Be careful though, I got a tiny pebble caught in the brake pads and the noise was horrible (like a ripping alumnimum can). I was able to work the pebble out and all was fine.

Carbon Fiber Plastic

2015 BMW M3 - Carbon Fiber

BMW was able to drop about 150 pounds of vehicle weight through the use of carbon fiber plastic. With a very distinct pattern, you could see it in the roofing material, in the engine, on the dashboard and elsewhere in the vehicle. The seating apolstory even mirrored the pattern.

Gas Mileage

2015 BMW M3 - Display

The 2015 BMW M3 has expected gas mileage for a sports car. City is 17, Highway is 24 and Combined is 20 MPG. I probably should have been driving the M3 a bit more aggressively but I was averaging 23 miles to the gallon.

Seating

2015 BMW M3 - Rear Seats

The back seats sit two adults comfortably. There is room for a third person in the middle but they may have a bit of cramped leg room. But it is ok for a smaller child.

2015 BMW M3 - Driver Seat Controls

The front driver’s seat has many different settings – 10-way power seats with memory and 4 types of lumbar support. The front seats are heated as well.

Manual/Automatic Shifters

2015 BMW M3 - Shifter

Shifting can be done automatically, which, depending on the drive style that is selected, can be quite tight with good automatic up and down shifting with rev-matching. You can also do more of a sport-manual mode where you can use the paddle shifters on the steering wheel or use the stick to up and down shift.

2015 BMW M3 - Steering Wheel

Button Controls

2015 BMW M3 - M Buttons

 There are two M memory buttons that can be configured by the driver. You can tune the steering and revs. See the video above for more details. I typically set one for my preferred driving (middle – sport’s setting across the board) and then you can set a different one for fully sport-y (manual shifting, higher revs, etc.)

2015 BMW M3 - Shifter & Controls

For 3 different types of button settings, you can configure: Sport+, Sport and Comfort modes. I tended to really find that Sport (the middle setting) to be the most balanced for me.

Auto-Leveling Xenon Headlights

2015 BMW M3 - Headlights

With a car that has potential to whip around curvy, dark corners of a mountain road, it’s nice to have auto-leveling Xenon headlights which are not only quite bright, but also that curve into the turn so that your route is well illuminated. There is also an auto-highbeam dimming which automatically dims when it detects on-coming traffic.

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Volume Controls on Wrong Side

2015 BMW M3 - BMW emblem on Steering Wheel

While it is nice to have volume controls on the steering wheel, I do feel that the design needs to be changed a bit. As it currently exists, the volume control is on the right side. In my mind, it would be more logical to have the steering wheel volume controls on the left, so that if you are holding a drink in your right hand, you could still adjust the volume with the left on the steering wheel. Conversely, if you are holding a drink in your left hand, you could still reach over and change the volume on the main audio controls.

2015 BMW M3 - Climate and Audio Controls

Overall, apart from having to be stuck in rush-hour traffic and not being able to truly let the 2015 BMW M3 strut it’s stuff on an open and curvey road or track, I really enjoyed the design and engineering of this M-series. With an MSRP of $62,000 and then with various other packages (Lighting – $1900, M Double-Clutch Transmission – $2900, M Carbon Ceramic Brakes – $8150, 19” Black Wheel 437 M Mix tires – $1200, and Enhanced Bluetooth and Smartphone – $500), the vehicle I tested topped out at $77,575, which is not exactly inexpensive. But you are getting the high-performance M-series in a 4-door sedan that is comfortable, sporty and a hell of a lot of fun to drive.

Disclosure Text: Apart from the loan of the vehicle (which also included a tank of gas and insurance), I have no material connection to the manufacturer. As noted, this is a sponsored review but all opinions within this article, unless otherwise noted, are my own and are not subject to the editorial review from any 3rd party. More information can be found in my About page.

HTD says: Actually, there is NOTHING to hate about the 2015 BMW M3 – just make sure that you have a place to really use this sporty sedan to its fullest!