Twenty years ago, the standard procedure for oil changes was “get it done every 3,000 miles.” That was the rule for pickup trucks, SUVs, sports cars—whatever. Times have changed: The third quarter of our long-term test of the 2015 BMW M3 brought us to our first service appointment at the dealer after cresting a whopping 13,000 miles. Those miles included testing and track time, road trips and airport runs, and maybe even a week or two sitting quietly off and on in our underground parking lot. We’ve anxiously trusted the service computers in our cars for years now—they haven’t let us down yet.
The visit was covered under warranty—a nice bonus— but the tech did find a windshield crack. That set us back $1,300 because the car is so new only an OEM replacement was available. In a few years, it might be less of an issue.
Other problems are few and far between; in fact, the car spent zero days out of service in the quarter. We would advise against a light-colored or white interior, as it just gets too dirty too quickly.
The colder months also had us complaining about the lack of remote start; seems minor, but at $84,000, it’s something we expect.
The twin-turbo I6 has been a soldier, pulling like a diesel pickup once the snails kick in. The last generation’s 295 lb-ft seem downright pedestrian next to the F80’s 406 lb-ft.
In medium- to high-throttle applications, the seven-speed DCT shifts are nearly seamless. Taking off smoothly from a stop requires patience and a gentle right foot, though—starting in second gear and keeping all the settings in comfort mode helps alleviate some jerkiness.
We drove about 5,400 miles in the period, a bit more than the last. We averaged an impressive 21.6 mpg in a city/highway mix; that’s well above the stated 19 mpg combined.
We of the heavy right foot must not be beating on the car as much—maybe a little of our initial giddiness is wearing off.
This new-generation M3 is faster, better looking and more technologically advanced than its predecessor. Regardless of the flak it has received in these pages for not representing the M brand properly, no one can deny its top-notch performance. It’ll even tell you when to get an oil change. Can your E30 do that?
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