Loyalty counts heavily in this crowd, and the BMW M3's reputation brings a legion of fans.
This is a hotly contested field, and each of the three rivals has also been completely redesigned in the past year or two.
Lexus's IS-F has a 416-hp V-8 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, which gives it a technical edge on the M3.
Then there's the Cadillac CTS-V, which might be the most fun to drive of these sedans, with especially communicative steering and great body control at the limits.
The Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG may be faster, but it doesn't have the same frisky feel of the Cadillac or Lexus.
The newest generation of the Audi S4 manages to undercut all these vehicles on price, while cruising alongside them, thanks to a 333-hp supercharged V-6, but like the M3, it's better savored minus the electronic add-ons to its suspension and steering.
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|2011 BMW M3Browse Used Listings||2011 Audi S4Browse Used Listings||2011 Cadillac CTS-VBrowse Used Listings||2011 Lexus IS FBrowse Used Listings||2011 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMGBrowse Used Listings|
|13 MPG City / 20 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy||14 MPG City / 19 MPG Hwy||16 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy|
|Gas V8||Gas supercharged V6||Supercharged Gas V8||Gas V8||N/A|
|Compact||Compact||Small Station Wagon||Sub-Compact||N/A|
|4-Door Sedan||4-Door Sedan Manual Premium Plus||5-Door Wagon 6.2L||F 4-Door Sedan||N/A|
|Rear Wheel Drive||All-wheel drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||N/A|
|4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sdn||5 Door Wagon||4 Door Sedan||N/A|