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The BMW M3 was once known as an enthusiast dream car. While it still offers a high-class driving experience, the F80 M3 does have some flaws that make it hard to love. Compared to previous models, the 2020 BMW M3 feels numb, a bit cheap, and unrefined. Those are big problems for a car with a $70,000 price tag, but premium performance means they may not be deal breakers.

The 2023 BMW M3 loses a step with numb steering

Even though the 2020 M3 (and BMW M4) got a new 3.0-Liter twin-turbo S58 straight-six, which is the same engine in both X3 M and X4 M models. AutoGuide said, “the M3 has lost the magic that used to make it the envy of enthusiasts everywhere and the higher-end versions of the Chevy Camaro and the Ford Mustang deliver more fun for a lot less cash.” The electronic power steering is to blame, disconnecting the driver from the front tires and creating an unusual sensation behind the wheel.

Noisy brakes are a problem with the BMW M3

The carbon ceramic brakes in the F80 M3 and M4 can be quite noisy when cold. In addition, the rotor is so large that it leaves only a small amount of clearance between the 19-inch wheel. This little clearance can trap debris between the barrel of the wheel and the rotor. These rocks will inevitably cause lots of scratching, damaging both the wheel and calipers.

Additionally, the cost of the 19 inch and above wheels needed with the carbon-ceramic brakes will come at a substantial financial investment. However, they should last you over 100,000 miles. 

Aggressive fender flares can cause damage

The rear quarter panel has a kick out that flares around the rear tire. This means any road debris from the front tires hits those rear flares, causing a lot of scratches and dings. That will mean big paint touchups over time, or PPF installation ahead of time to prevent damage.

The interior design feels too cheap for the price

The interior of the earlier M3 has a large amount of plastic inside. That’s disappointing considering the high price tag. More frustration comes from the overly complicated turn signals, which are a designer’s nightmare. Once the turn signal is turned on, it goes back to the center, meaning if you need to turn it off manually, you can’t. If you try to flip it up, then it turns on the left turn signal.  

The center console has what appears to be two different compartments. However, when one is opened, it becomes clear that it only has one. There is no cupholder for the driver, although there are two cup holders on the passenger side. 

The rear seats have virtually no accommodations, no cup holders, and the center armrest is unlike any other center armrest known to man. It has no hinge but flops out without structure. The M3 honestly had no concern for rear passengers.

We recommend passing this one by unless you are simply an enthusiast or a BMW lover. For the money, there are better sports cars with more horsepower and better thought out interiors.