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Hi All, drove the new M3 today, bright sunny conditions.
Car came in Black metallic with Red Leather.
Not my cup of tea, but the M4 in the showroom was just great in it’s colour.
Which was Silverstone Grey Metallic.

First impressions :
It feels more like a “Boy racer” come “Go Cart” to me.
Most suited to tight “B” road blasting, it handled the corners on “A/B” roads very well.
I went hard at it, but the car is forgiving and largely kept it’s line through the corners with little over/under steer.

Interior very 3 series and nothing special at all, this lets the whole car down IMO, just too cheap looking.

Seats:
Sports Seats look great, but were not very comfortable for me, especially over a long distance they would give me a neck ache.
Upgraded “M multi-function seats” (if available) would be my choice.

Rear seats had good knee room, but again a bit upright for us on a longish journey could prove a problem for some.

Boot looked small. Rear seats folded.

The car is and felt very light and at a steady 80 MPH shows 2200 RPM in7th.
Exhaust sound was ok over 5K RPM but droned a bit at lower RPM and whilst cruising, this again may upset some so a long test drive is what I would recommend to all.

Was It as quick as my LCI........................NO sorry it was not.
The M5 is just bonkers fast in comparison in our opinion.
I us my wife as a gauge for tyre mashing , and she agreed the M5 is KING.

Straight line speed the M3 was out gunned, but give it a twisty road and it would win.

Do I want one?. NO my M6 GC CP will be more to my liking, with a classy interior to match.

Just my view guys, go test and report yourselves.
 

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My local dealer invited me to drop in on Friday evening to have a preview.

I didn't get to drive the car as they were not allowed out as it was before the official release date. Impressions were much as John describes, nice enough but let down by some of the interior materials, in particular parts of the dash (which contrast badly with the leather bits IMO) and the roof lining and A/B/C pillar covering which are just like an entry level 1 series. The full leather option would be well worth it IMO to improve the dash, but I don;t think there is anything you can do about the headliner.

The M3 and M4 I saw were in white, I think the car could do with being in a bold colour, looks rather understated in white or black.
 
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