2022 BMW M3

2022 M3 Photos
MALIBU, Calif. – Encinal and Decker Canyon roads are serious challenges for anything on four wheels. They are impossibly tight, twisting and demanding of the driver’s attention. Bigger vehicles merely survive these roads, including those with otherwise exemplary performance credentials. The 2022 BMW M3 is definitely not a small car, as the latest G80 3 Series generation has swollen to proportions comparable to the time-honored E39 BMW M5. Despite this, the M3 delicately danced through the incessant series of back-and-forths thrown at it by these demanding Malibu driving roads. Nary a yellow line was crossed, nor a crumbling rock wall grazed. Credit goes to the steering here, which is not something that’s been said about a BMW since … ah, I’m struggling to think of something since the E90 BMW M3. This version is much different than what was found in that V8-powered masterpiece, however. This steering is considerably lighter in effort. Some might say too light, but I’d say they’re wrong. Heft does not equal sporty. You don’t need to muscle this car, you can steer it precisely with your fingertips. A Porsche is like that, too, and although the M3 doesn’t quite rise to that bar in terms of feedback, this is a delightful new horizon for BMW that hopefully trickles down to everything else in its fleet. Now, like seemingly every car these days, there are adjustable drive settings. BMW makes it very easy to set them as you like them, with a dedicated “Setup” button on the center console and two red paddle buttons on the steering wheel that can be preset with a mix-and-match setup of your choosing. M1 became my daily driver setting (everything in Comfort except steering because, despite what I just said, I preferred a little more heft and sharpness on center than the Comfort setting), while M2 had most elements in the most aggressive setting. The engine and suspension stand out by adding an extra Sport Plus option beyond Comfort and Sport, and while I opted for that with the engine, I left the suspension in the middle-ground Sport. The roads were just too bumpy for the firmest setting, which is more an issue of maintaining chassis composure around corners than protecting my spine. Speaking of which, the new M3 deserves a huge round of applause for its ride comfort. I drove it from just north of Malibu down to San Diego and back (about 280 miles) on L.A.’s buffet of crap pavement, and was blown away by how capably the adaptive suspension sopped up everything thrown its way. I’d drive this M3 across the country tomorrow if I needed to, no second thoughts. This is in contrast to the BMW X3 M Competition and its rock-hard ride that I didn’t want to put up with for more than a block. Surprising comfort points also go to this M3’s $4,500 M carbon bucket seats, which proved their long-distance support despite their tight bolsters and relative lack of padding. Hard seats do …
Full Review
MALIBU, Calif. – Encinal and Decker Canyon roads are serious challenges for anything on four wheels. They are impossibly tight, twisting and demanding of the driver’s attention. Bigger vehicles merely survive these roads, including those with otherwise exemplary performance credentials. The 2022 BMW M3 is definitely not a small car, as the latest G80 3 Series generation has swollen to proportions comparable to the time-honored E39 BMW M5. Despite this, the M3 delicately danced through the incessant series of back-and-forths thrown at it by these demanding Malibu driving roads. Nary a yellow line was crossed, nor a crumbling rock wall grazed. Credit goes to the steering here, which is not something that’s been said about a BMW since … ah, I’m struggling to think of something since the E90 BMW M3. This version is much different than what was found in that V8-powered masterpiece, however. This steering is considerably lighter in effort. Some might say too light, but I’d say they’re wrong. Heft does not equal sporty. You don’t need to muscle this car, you can steer it precisely with your fingertips. A Porsche is like that, too, and although the M3 doesn’t quite rise to that bar in terms of feedback, this is a delightful new horizon for BMW that hopefully trickles down to everything else in its fleet. Now, like seemingly every car these days, there are adjustable drive settings. BMW makes it very easy to set them as you like them, with a dedicated “Setup” button on the center console and two red paddle buttons on the steering wheel that can be preset with a mix-and-match setup of your choosing. M1 became my daily driver setting (everything in Comfort except steering because, despite what I just said, I preferred a little more heft and sharpness on center than the Comfort setting), while M2 had most elements in the most aggressive setting. The engine and suspension stand out by adding an extra Sport Plus option beyond Comfort and Sport, and while I opted for that with the engine, I left the suspension in the middle-ground Sport. The roads were just too bumpy for the firmest setting, which is more an issue of maintaining chassis composure around corners than protecting my spine. Speaking of which, the new M3 deserves a huge round of applause for its ride comfort. I drove it from just north of Malibu down to San Diego and back (about 280 miles) on L.A.’s buffet of crap pavement, and was blown away by how capably the adaptive suspension sopped up everything thrown its way. I’d drive this M3 across the country tomorrow if I needed to, no second thoughts. This is in contrast to the BMW X3 M Competition and its rock-hard ride that I didn’t want to put up with for more than a block. Surprising comfort points also go to this M3’s $4,500 M carbon bucket seats, which proved their long-distance support despite their tight bolsters and relative lack of padding. Hard seats do …
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Retail Price

$70,100 - $77,100 MSRP / Window Sticker Price
Engine 3.0L I-6
MPG Up to 16 city / 23 highway
Seating 5 Passengers
Transmission 6-spd man w/OD, 8-spd w/OD
Power 473 - 503 hp
Drivetrain M xDrive all wheel, rear-wheel
Curb Weight 3,840 - 3,990 lbs
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