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Electric vehicles are becoming more and more standard these days. With Tesla cornering the market on performance EVs, other established brands are taking action to develop electric cars to meet market demands. BMW is taking strides in recent years to build performance competitors that are starting to rival the automaker’s ICE cars. The 2023 BMW i4 M50 has shown this by beating the newest BMW M3 competition in a few categories. Here is a comparison between the two top sedans from BMW.

2023 BMW M3 competition vs. 2023 BMW i4 M50: What are the differences?

2021 BMW i4 M50 blue
2021 BMW i4 M50 | BMW

We have looked at several areas in this comparison of the two BMW sedans. These areas include performance, interior design, technology, gas mileage, cargo space, reliability, and pricing. The most crucial difference is that the BMW i4 is entirely electric, while the M3 competition is a standard internal combustion engine car. Although both wear the M badge, the M3 is a dedicated M performance car. The i4 M50 is an M performance package for the standard i4 EV.

M3 comp vs. i4 M50: Performance

2022 BMW M3 Competition green
2022 BMW M3 Competition | BMW

In terms of performance, things are very neck and neck. You would expect the M3 competition to beat the i4 M50 in every category. However, the i4 M50 impressively reaches 0-60 mph in just 3.3 seconds, 0.2 seconds quicker than the M3 competition. The i4 M50 also launches from 50 to 70 mph in just 2.0 seconds, again, 0.7 seconds faster than the M3. Car and Driver does a deep dive into all of the performance differences. A fully optioned drivetrain for the i4 is the all-wheel-drive 536 horsepower variant. The M3 all-wheel-drive ticks over with 503 horsepower, and potential buyers will have to settle for an eight-speed automatic.

M3 comp vs i4 M50: Interior design and technology

2021 BMW i4 edrive40 white
2021 BMW i4 edrive40 | BMW

Aside from some unique “M” badging and trim details, the M3 interior is primarily the same as the standard 3-series BMW. Along with the higher performance, the interior quality exceeds that of a top trim 3-series. Other differences include the gauge cluster and, most of all, the carbon bucketed front seats. Compared to the i4 is a stark difference. The interior of the i4 is rich with design, including the availability of rose gold trim, white leather upholstery, and wood trim options. A new addition to the electric BMW vehicles is the large 12.3-inch digital instrument panel combined with a 14.9-inch touchscreen creating a vast curved display on the dashboard.

M3 comp vs. i4 M50: Gas mileage and cargo space

Gas mileage may not be a top priority when considering top-level performance vehicles. However, more mileage per tank means more smiles when driving. The most efficient i4 model is the eDrive40 which earns 109 MPGe city and 108 MPGe highway. Adding the powerful upgrades of the M50 package drops those figures below 100. As for the M3 competition, it could be better in the city, with only 16 mpg. Highway mileage is better at 23 mpg, but adding all-wheel drive lowers the highway rating to 22 mpg. Cargo space for the 2023 BMW M3 is 13 cubic feet, similar to the regular 3 series. The i4 has even less space at just 10 cubic feet, barely enough for a few bags.

M3 comp vs. i4 M50: Pricing

2022 BMW M3 Competition rear
2022 BMW M3 Competition | BMW

The BMW i4 debuted just last year as a part of the brand’s new wave of electric vehicles. There are 3 trim levels of the i4, starting with the eDrive35 at $52,995. A step up from that is the eDrive40, starting at $58,095. Lastly, you have the preferred M50 package, which starts at $69,695. For the near $70,000 price tag, the model has a more sinister presence, incredibly tuned suspension, aggressive brakes, and an available Premium package for even more goodies.

For the 2023 BMW M3, there are also three different trim levels. Starting with the standard M3 (if you can call it that), potential buyers will spend at least $75,295. Bumping up to the competition package puts you at $77,695. Lastly, there is a limited M3 Edition 50 Jahre BMW M for a whopping $96,695. Unfortunately, the M3 competition is only offered with an 8-speed automatic, whereas the regular M3 has the option for a 6-speed manual transmission.

2023 BMW M3 competition vs. 2023 BMW i4 M50: Which performance BMW is better?

In this comparison, each car has a few varying advantages. For the M3, you get more aggressive performance and better storage. However, the i4 has comparable performance, better mileage, a more advanced interior, and a better price point than the M3. Therefore, if you are in the market for either of these BMW performance cars, the i4 M50 is the best choice.


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