The latest generation of the BMW 3-Series grows into its M-edition bodywork easily, with its giveaway bulge on the hood-sort of an M-style Adam's apple. "The BMW M3 appears as a 3 Series Coupe or Sedan that's been to the gym," explains MyRide, "not like a dude on 'roids but rather someone who's been doing twice-a-days and eating nothing but chicken and tuna." The front and rear fascias are "revised," the hood has "rippled aluminum" with vents, plus "additional vents on the fenders," they add, summing up its styling as "an exquisite machine that doesn't require exaggerated body kits to draw attention." Autoblog points out the "M-specific quad pipes" that "let Bimmer cognoscenti know that they're behind something special." Among the different body styles, the coupes are always among the most eye-pleasing on the planet, and the latest version doesn't disappoint, even though you may see a ghost of old Pontiac in its C-pillar kink. Car and Driver observes "visually, there's no confusing the M3 [coupe] with a standard-issue 3-series, even though both cars share doors, windows, headlights, taillights, and trunklid." Cars.com feels it's the sum of the M3's "flared fenders and nose-low, hunkered-down profile that suggests a nearly audible snarl." Convertibles thicken up as they lose their roof, while the sedan stays pretty and pert, with a kicked-up tail and enough subtle surfaces on the body to keep your interest beyond the front doors. In all, it's probably the best-looking M3 lineup yet.
Inside it's more standard-issue 3-Series than you might expect. There's something aloof about this interior that doesn't warm up, even with time. There's a Gaggenau-style coolness even with the custom colors and trims that can be ordered-though no one will ever complain about its big, clear gauges and dials. Touches of carbon-fiber paneling emphasize the big structural differences with other 3-Series cars, but you can choose more traditional walnut trim. "The M3's interior has undergone fewer alterations than the exterior, but there are a number of significant changes," Car and Driver proclaims. "The usual M treatment includes sportier seats with deep torso and side bolsters, a thick leather steering wheel, and a new M-badged tachometer." The "aggressive design of the front seats" in the BMW M3 captures the attention of Edmunds.