High-performance luxury cars draw a devoted crowd, and the M3 is the longest-lived in this bracket.
So its fans are loyal, but we're sure at some point they've considered the likes of the Cadillac CTS-V, a 556-hp line of cars with especially communicative steering and great body control at the limits.
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.
The Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG is faster this year, and now comes in coupe form, and finally has more of the 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.
|2012 BMW M3||2012 Audi S4||2012 Lexus IS F||2012 Mercedes-Benz C Class|
|$60,100Browse Used Listings||$47,300Browse Used Listings||$61,300Browse Used Listings||$34,800Browse Used Listings|
|13 MPG City / 20 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy||16 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy||15 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy|
|Gas V8||Gas Supercharged V6||Gas V8||Turbocharged Gas I4|
|Subcompact Cars||Compact Cars||Sub-Compact||Compact|
|2-Door Coupe||4-Door Sedan Manual Premium Plus||F 4-Door Sedan||4-Door Sedan C250 Sport RWD|
|Rear Wheel Drive||All wheel drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Coupe||Sedan||Sedan||4 Door Sedan|
|Manual||Manual||Automatic w/manual shift||Automatic|