The Cadillac CTS-V is in an entirely different performance class, with more than 140 extra horsepower, but it's very close to the M3's price, so those without a particular brand affinity and with a hankering for even more thrust might want to give the Caddy a look.
Lexus' IS F offers similar power in a slightly heavier package, without quite as refined dynamics or street comfort, but it does feature styling and equipment all its own.
The Mercedes-Benz C Class doesn't really offer any competition to the M3 until you get to the C63 AMG, but once you do, you're looking at a bona fide alternative--it really is an equally excellent sports coupe, though in somewhat different ways.
Audi's S4 is less powerful and about the same weight as the M3, though the S4's weight distribution isn't as well-balanced.
The S4's exterior and, especially, interior design are more refined and elegant, however, so those not concerned as much with absolute performance as with an all-around package might not mind the dynamic deficiencies.
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|2013 BMW M3Browse Used Listings||2013 Audi S4Browse Used Listings||2013 Cadillac CTS-VBrowse Used Listings||2013 Lexus IS FBrowse Used Listings||2013 Mercedes-Benz C ClassBrowse Used Listings|
|13 MPG City / 20 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy||14 MPG City / 19 MPG Hwy||16 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy||15 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy|
|Gas V8||Supercharged Gas V6||Supercharged Gas V8||Gas V8||Turbocharged Gas I4|
|Subcompact Cars||Compact Cars||Small Station Wagon||Sub-Compact||Compact|
|2-Door Coupe||4-Door Sedan Manual Premium Plus||5-Door Wagon||F 4-Door Sedan||4-Door Sedan C250 Sport RWD|
|Rear Wheel Drive||All wheel drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Coupe||Sedan||5 Door Wagon||Sedan||4 Door Sedan|
|Manual||Manual||Manual||Automatic w/Manual Shift||Automatic|