Tuesday, March 29, 2022




The 2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive sedan is a “hot take” on the German automaker’s fleet of M performance models that are at home on the track as well as country club drives.

How hot?

Consider the base 2022 BMW M3 checks in at max 480 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque. The inline twin-turbo 6-cylinder in the 2022 BMW M3 Competition and Competition xDrive boosts those numbers to 510 and 650, respectively, for a zero-to-60 mph clocking of 3.4 seconds, according to the company.

I’ll leave the final judgment if that makes it the “ultimate driving machine” to others, but the M3 Competition makes a good case.

The 2022 BMW M3 comes in two trim levels, three if you treat the M3 Competition with rear-wheel drive and the M3 Competition iDrive with its all-wheel drive configuration as separate trims. This review is based on the latter.

A 6-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual gear selection is standard. Several drive modes are offered, and two different personal modes can be selected via red buttons also mounted at the steering wheel.

You can have two different groups of settings for the engine, shifts, chassis, brake, and traction control, allowing you to easily get from a setup for added performance to one more oriented toward comfort and efficiency via the buttons.

Efficiency is kind of a relative term here. EPA ratings for the 2022 BMW M3 Competition iDrive are 16 miles-per-gallon city, 22 highway, and only 18 combined, which according to the government translates to an extra $5,750 in fuel costs over a five-year period. Considering those numbers were probably determined before the recent hikes in gas prices, that figure no doubt has gone up considerably.

Standard features in the 2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Harmon Kardon premium sound system, a leather-wrapped M Sport steering wheel, navigation system, multi-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, LED headlights, and a sport exhaust system with quad tail pipes.

My test vehicle also came with such features as auto dimming mirrors, heated front seats, an anthracite headliner, and an active driving assist (forward collision warning, lane-departure warning, and blind-spot warning) system at no extra cost over the starting $76,900 MSRP.

But more likely you are not going to get out of the showroom at less than $80,000. Adding options quickly take the BMW M3 Competition iDrive into six figures.

Extras on my test vehicle included $8,150 for M Carbon Ceramic brakes (no doubt well worth it), $4,700 for a carbon exterior package, $4,500 for special exterior paint, $2,500 for the M Driver’s package (which includes track training), and $1,800 for an executive package that has such features as remote engine start, heated steering wheel, power trunk opener, head-up display, and gesture control to handle incoming calls, adjust audio volume, and activate the surround view camera.

Add all that up and throw in the $995 destination charge and the total for my tester came to $108,545.

Malcolm Forbes, the former publisher of the magazine founded by his father that bears their family name, bot it right when he said, “The difference between men and boys are the price of their toys.”

He could have been talking about the 2022 BMW M3 Competition iDrive sedan.

What I liked about the 2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive: It looks stunning. Love the frozen dark gray color. and the interior is exquisite. Handling and acceleration is at the top of the chart. The ride itself is comfortable (once you get in — see below). Infotainment functions are plentiful and once you get the knack are not that difficult to operate. The trunk is 13.0 cubic feet, roomy for a two-door coupe.

What I didn’t like about the 2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive:
I've experienced birth only once in my life and don't really recall the details, but I have to think that it is very much like struggling to get out of the M3, especially on the driver's side. You twist and push yourself and eventually pop out the doorway. A flat-bottom steering wheel could help, but the thigh-high seat bolsters are the main issue. I miss the manual transmission, and I don’t understand the “why” for the zigzag path for the shifter on the console.

Would I buy the 2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive? The base model M3 offers pretty much everything you need for daily use and I would go with that one. It also offers the fun of a manual transmission. If you are going to race on weekends, however, then the Competition xDrive with its all-wheel drive would the choice. Though I wouldn’t get them, you’ll likely want the M carbon bucket seats if you are going racing, too.

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