2012 BMW M3 Photo
/ 10
On Performance
$36,689 - $57,000
On Performance
Quick, powerful, fantastically tossable, the 2012 BMW M3 lives up to its heritage, even if we might long for the days of lighter, even nimbler versions.
10.0 out of 10
Browse BMW M3 inventory in your area.


PERFORMANCE | 10 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

The 4.0-liter V8 is one of the most exhilarating engines in any car, and most drivers will run out of gumption long before the M3 runs out of grip.

It's so good, in fact, that you'll probably get nowhere near the chassis' limits off a racetrack.

On a racetrack or a back road, it’s a beautifully balanced and hugely entertaining machine.
Car and Driver

It holds the underlying pavement with falcon-like grip, pushes like a Caterpillar hopped up on NOS, and brakes as if it has a pair of General Electric reverse thrusters perched atop its sculpted trunk.
Motor Trend

The steering is telepathic, and the chassis is near perfect.
Automobile Magazine

Though it uses a V-8 where previous M3s have used inline six-cylinders or four-cylinders, the 2012 M3 is nonetheless true to its heritage in handling and overall ability. In fact, it exceeds all previous M3s in many regards.

The potent 414-horsepwoer 4.0-liter engine delivers fantastic sound in addition to acceleration, especially toward its 8,400-rpm red line. With 295 pound-feet of torque on tap, the M3 is also highly tractable in any gear.

A choice of seven-speed M dual clutch transmission or six-speed manual offers a choice between race-inspired quickness married with daily-driver convenience, or traditional self-shifting driver involvement. All M3s drive the rear wheels only.

Upgraded brakes, wider wheels, high-performance tires, and a redesigned suspension make the M3 significantly different from the 3-Series it's based on--and very capable on the track. Despite its race-earned credibility, the M3 is also well-suited to daily use, though you'll have to forgive it some stiffness in exchange for the excellent handling and huge grip.

One of the few things that compromises the 2012 M3's performance is its weight. At about 3,700 pounds for the coupe and more than 4,000 pounds for the convertible, neither is light. The M3's weight is most noticeable under braking, as the potent engine and ample mechanical grip make it accelerate and corner like a much lighter car.

Helping the driver extract the most from this high-performance platform is a network of electronic driver aids. M Dynamic mode allows the driver to play with slip angles and wheel spin, but with a safety net. The optional M Drive system adds the ability to configure and store different settings for the various dynamic control elements, including steering, damping, and stability control.


Quick, powerful, fantastically tossable, the 2012 BMW M3 lives up to its heritage, even if we might long for the days of lighter, even nimbler versions.

« Prev: Interior / Exterior Next: Comfort and Quality »
Other Choices Read More
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
Used Cars
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area

How does the
TCC Rating work?
The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.

Our rating also has simple color-coded “Stop” (red), “Caution” (orange),
or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.

Our automotive experts then also collect and show you what other websites say about these different aspects of any vehicle. We do this leg work for you to simplify your research process.

Learn more about how we rate and review cars here.

© 2015 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Read Our Cookie Policy.