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Car Review

BMW M3 Competition review

£52,165 - £94,295
Published: 07 Sep 2023


What is it like on the inside?

Getting in, the first thing you’re aware of are the seats – assuming you’ve optioned the lightweight carbon numbers. And why wouldn’t you? They're superbly shaped and supportive. Two things to note, however. The side bolsters dig in when you’re clambering in and out, and for that vanishingly small minority out there that likes to left foot brake, the weird carbon lump between your legs doesn’t half get in the way.

The wheel is thick-rimmed, but the driving position is spot on, and the controls all operate exactly as you want. The complication comes with the modes and instrument cluster. A button on the centre console allows you to cycle between Road, Sport and Track dash displays, none brilliantly logical to view, with the rev counter playing a secondary role. Changing individual settings is then done through the centre screen, rather than via individual buttons on the centre console.

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Is it complicated to operate?

It’s certainly less complex than, say, a Mercedes-AMG A45, but it’s not as straight-forward as we’re used to from BMW. You’ll be relying on those M1 and M2 shortcut buttons. But the options, the M menus, apps and settings do give you something to play with, which certainly sets this new M3 apart from simpler cars such as the Alfa Giulia. And there’s no faulting the build and material quality of the M3. BMW has clearly worked hard to try to justify the price increase.

Will passengers be content?

Most of the 120mm length gain benefited rear seat passengers, who now have appreciably more legroom (and the option, if the carbon seats have been fitted, of poking the driver directly in the kidneys). The 480-litre boot is generous as well.

Does the Touring convince as a family hauler?

Up to a point. You’ve got a 500-litre boot that expands to 1,500 litres and includes the ever-useful separate opening tailgate glass. It’ll just about cope with a family camping trip, but we’d be looking at using the roof rails to add more capacity.

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