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2012 BMW M3 Comfort & Quality

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Comfort & Quality
As much as BMW has built a reputation for well-built, well-designed cars, some of its interiors, particularly the 3-Series, can feel a bit dark and cramped. The 2012 M3 is--or can be, depending on configuration--guilty of this as well.

The darkness issue is easily solved by putting the top down on the Convertible, but the monotone, standard black of the dash and controls can still come off as somber instead of sporty. Optional trim upgrades to carbon fiber, wood, or aluminum relieve this issue somewhat, but not entirely.

The minor drabness issue aside, however, the M3's cabin is well-appointed, and well-constructed. The front seats are very comfortable and supportive, equally suited to long-distance drives and fast canyon runs. Thigh support may be lacking for taller drivers, however, and the rear seats are best used as package shelves or occasional child transport.

The M3's comfortable front seats and a well-constructed interior are somewhat offset by the cramped rear seats and somber interior atmosphere.

Despite the top-notch build quality, engine noise can be an issue at higher speeds or under heavy acceleration. Tire noise is fairly well-controlled, but some surfaces can create drone. All in all, however, noise isn't a serious complaint with the M3--most of the sounds are good ones.

 


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