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E90/E92/E93 M3 (2008 - 2014)
4th generation E90 M3 sedan, E92 M3 coupe and E93 M3 convertible. The last of the naturally aspirated M3s, powered by a 4.0 liter V8 making 414hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

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Old 07-16-2013, 02:37 AM
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[Review]: 2013 BMW M3 Coupe vs 2013 Audi RS5 Coupe vs 2013 C63 AMG Coupe

This post is long overdue. I was suppose to do this awhile ago, but I got caught up with life. This is going to get really long so don't hate me.

The BMW M3 - the standard which performance luxury coupe/sedan/convertible is measured by. Some say that BMW has neutered the car throughout the years, but it's been able to fend of any and all competitors. New challengers have stepped in to dethrone the king, The Audi RS5 and the Mercedes Benz C63 AMG. These two vehicles are the most comparable to the M3 but can they take it down?


Audi RS5

Interior:

The Audi RS5's interior is a nice place to be. It's comfortable, and it looks the amazing. Interior quality is simply outstanding, but for a performance car, the interior just doesn't look like it. It doesn't look special, or like you're paying $80,000 for this thing. Audi pulled the interior out of the normal series car and just put it into this car. It doesn't stick out enough to be considered special like the other two they have subtle hints that what you're sitting in is indeed special.

Audi's MMI system is confusing, counter intuitive, and very just annoying. There are too many buttons that do too many different things. They have two different buttons to turn on the radio and the volume. Why? I was trying to figure out how to turn off the radio for a good five minutes. It should not take someone that long to try and figure out how to turn off the radio. I'm 5'8" - and I just couldn't find a comfortable seating position that enabled me to see around the car comfortably. I was constantly on edge when changing lanes. I walked away cold from the interior. I was not a fan. I commend them for their Navigation though. That is one area where Audi trumps everyone.


Exterior:

I was not a fan of the RS5 that had the christmas lights. Now though, I can honestly say that those front lights are absolutely gorgeous and make a huge statement. The rear has a diffusor that will deploy at I think 75 MPH. A perfect sign for a cop to see because you're basically screaming 'Hey look at me! I'm speeding!' The exterior flows nicely, but looking at the car from the rear, apart from the huge exhaust pipes, I'm not moved. It doesn't scream 'performance' to me. Maybe I came in expecting too much? The car looks pleasant to look at overall, even though I'd like it to be a bit wider.

One thing I loved - the HUGE air intakes in the front. Head turner.

Engine/Drive/Steering:

The Audi is the most comparable to the BMW. Boasting a 4.2L V8 with 440 HP and 317 lbs. ft. of torque, but it's the way the car delivers the power. Instead of turbocharging, Audi kept the naturally aspirated engine and kept the high revving nature of the RS4. This thing sings to around 8,200 or 8,300 RPM! The noise it makes is music to your ears! Power is linear, and it does feel alive in any gear. The double clutch transmission makes quick work of the seven forward gears. Butter smooth, too. This was an advantage over the BMW. The M-DCT clunks(which is nice) but it jolts the car too.(*cough*BPM has fixed this *cough*)

The RS5 really gives you confidence with its Quattro system. Chuck it in and the car turns in without fuss and goes right 'round the corner. This takes away from the overall experience though. Makes the driver take a back seat. You can be the worst driver in the world, and the Audi RS5, will make you look like you're the best. But, it does understeer and you can feel the heft. The BMW and the Mercedes even though also heavy, hide that weight nicely.

This car inspires confidence and power delivery is amazing. Smooth, linear, not overbearing (Are you listening Mercedes?)

Steering feel wasn't the best. The car tended to understeer into corners and the weight in the steering isn't really confidence inspiring. You get a sense of where the car and the front tires are and what they're doing, but it's just a really vague idea. Very limited communication between the car and the driver.


Mercedes C63 AMG:

Interior:

The Mercedes C63 AMG really likes to show you you're in something different. From the flat bottom Leather/Alcentera steering wheel to the seats that hug you tight. The interior of the Mercedes is VERY tightly built. The leather feels very high quality, until you get to the plastic COMAND control knob and the temperature knobs. These two are the achilles heels of the interior. They're an eye sore, and an after thought. You expect more from a car in this category. The seats are amazing, and very comfortable - they hug you tight in the corners. The center stack unlike the Audi is actually pretty clean. Only three buttons - A back button the COMAD knob and a menu button. This was very refreshing - What wasn't refreshing is the COMAND system. The REAL Carbon Fiber inlays(BMW Carbon Fiber trimmed leather is nice and all, but REAL CF would be even better) were absolutely gorgeous and exactly what you would come to expect from a car of this caliber. It really drives home the point that this car is a sports sedan/coupe.

The COMAND screen was....absolutely way too small. I have no idea what Mercedes was thinking when designing it. It's not perfectly center either. It's 8" and the system somewhat resembles iDrive in movement. The system is poorly thought out, though. The Navigation rendering is horrible. Changing simple setting such as date/time does take some time.

The updated interior is leagues better then the pre-refresh. Materials feel great.

Exterior:

I was NOT a fan of the old styling, while I still have some gripes about the exterior Mercedes did a good job on making the car look better. The updated headlights and interior bring it back in line with the competition. One major flaw that I saw was that Mercedes didn't include led brake lamps. It's a very small thing but LED's really add a premium feel to the car. Another gripe I had was that Mercedes has Xenon adaptive headlights as an option, while he other two have them both LED lights and Xenons standard.

As far as aggression goes, the C63 looks the part with flared wheel arches, and a wide stance. Unfortunately, that wide stance doesn't really match the tires. With 255's at the rear, the C63 struggles for traction. With 450 HP and 443 Ft lbs of torque in standard form going to the rear wheels with an open diff(LSD optional), the C63 just burns through it's tires.Make sure to set a budget on tires alone aside. This thing will eat them - just like it drinks gas.


Engine/Drive/Steering:

The C63 comes with a 6.2L V8 that packs 450 HP and 443 ft. lbs. of torque in standard guise. Add the P31 Developmental Pack, and get SLS internals and get 480 HP with no change in torque. This is enough to propel the C63 to 60 in just 3.7 seconds. It's something everyone should experience. The engine makes all the right noises. Power as linear as can be. The 7 speed wet clutch did a better job of grabbing gears but, it was hesitant to grab gears when I told to to. This was with either by shifting left and right or using the paddles. I wish they had fitted it with a double clutch like the BMW and Audi.

The C63 is the closest car that matches the M3's 'feel'. Mercedes has come very, very, very close with this car in terms of driving dynamics. The AMG is VERY tail happy, and if you put your foot down, be prepared for the traction control system to cut in - every single time which gets old very quickly. The car is the heaviest of the group, and you can blame the glass panoramic roof for that, coming in almost 400 pounds heavier then the M3.


The problem here is when you add a turn or corner. The AMG just can't put the power down. With an open diff and the weight and all that power going to the rear wheels, the car just slides, and as we all know that is not the most efficient way to go around a corner. Too much going on. Another HUGE downfall? The 255 section tires. What was Mercedes thinking? This thing needs AT LEAST 285's to be able to somewhat have some grip that will help it move forward. Did I mention the exhaust while making an amazing noise, is too loud? I swear, you an wake up your neighbors, and your neighbors neighbors all at the same time.

Steering was nice. Weighting on the car was good and the car had a very good sense of communication with the driver, dare I say, a little better then the M3(Until it gets BPM tuned )


BMW M3

Interior:

The BMW M3's interior in my eyes is perfect. It's clean and very driver focused. Some say that it's too spartan, but that's the wayI like it. I like that fact that the center stack isn't cluttered with all sorts of buttons. iDrive takes care of all the hassles nicely and with this new generation of iDrive, it's leaps and bounds ahead of the other two now. I will admit the early versions were horrible, but BMW has made amazing progress. It's probably now one of the best in car infotainment systems out there. The seats are comfortable, the sating position is just right. The leather of the M3 was a let down to me. In the RS5 and the C63, the leather felt top notch, in the M3, it felt too soft. I saw wrinkles in the leather after I got out of the car which I wasn't too happy about. The Carbon leather trim is nice, though I would of preferred real carbon fiber trim, like the Mercedes. I love the M-DCT knob also. It looks very nice - and really adds to the sportiness of the car.

iDrive is simple and intuitive. Everything is where it needs to be, and you don't have to search for something for minutes at a time. Date and Time are properly under settings, and the Radio on/off button and volume are one button. The interior of the M3 can be called 'understated'. The quality was....good but I was left wanting more. Fit and finish on the car was awesome.

The 10" Wide screen on the iDrive makes it so much easier to see information that's on the screen. Having the ability to turn on split screen is also another nice feature. BMW's navigation is one of the worst but the graphics and overall quality comes in second, behind the Audi. I also found BMW's voice control to work better then the others as well. The car did let you know this is something different though. You knew it the second you sat behind the driver seat. The seats, the beefed up steering wheel all let you know this is an M car. I love the adjustable bolsters in the seats.

Exterior:

What I love most about the M3 is that it flies under the radar. It's a wolf in sheep's clothing. Only a true enthusiast will know the subtle differences. The car could of been a little wider to give it a more aggressive stance. I also think it looks the best out of the group, seven years later. The e92's design is one that I think will become a classic in the future. It's bang on gorgeous from every angle. If BMW had updated the corona rings to LED, that would of really brought the car up to date. The rear LED lights though, I love. I think it looks gorgeous.

Another gripe I have is I wish the intakes on the M3 were a bit bigger. They look really nice but make them like the Audi - so that the car makes a statement when it arrives. It lets you people know this car is a performance vehicle but it can be lived with day to day in utter comfort.

Steering/Drive/Engine

The BMW M3 comes with a 4.0L V8 that packs 414 HP and 295 ft. lbs. of torque. This may not seem like a lot, but the M3 doesn't need it. On a good day, you can get this thing to launch to 60 in about 3.9 seconds. The power delivery very closely represents the Audi RS5's. It's a high revving beast. The M3 really comes into it's own after 4,000 RPM. The noise, and the experience is just overwhelmingly amazing. It revs so quickly after 4,500 RPM. Another thing I love is the fact that the M-Diff puts the power down. Unlike the C63, the M3 actually goes somewhere without and fuss. Put it where you want it, and if you want to play, the M3 can do that also. The way the car delivers it's power is mind boggling. Power just climbs all the way to redline without give.

The M-DCT is probably one of the best double clutch systems out today. While it has it's shortcomings(Which can be addressed if you're BPM tuned) but the way this transmission bangs off shifts is mind blowing. Going up or down and the gearbox will comply without any lag whatsoever. Click down three years and the car more then happily obliges. Amazing.


The steering feel wasn't as great as the Mercedes, honestly. It's a little over boosted and steering weight was non existent in the city, but the overall driving experience of the M3 I think is better then the others.


Conclusion:

You really can't go wrong with any of these cars honestly. Every single one has its own flaws but you really get to appreciate them for what they are. I enjoy the overall driving experience of the M3 more ,but that's doesn't mean the other two vehicles lack or are bad in anyway. It just comes down to what you expect from the car, and what you want.


Hope you enjoyed reading! Let me know what you think!
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Last edited by -=Hot|Ice=-; 07-16-2013 at 02:40 AM.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:08 AM
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Sorry it ended up being so long.
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In the words of one of Bimmerfest's greatest minds:"Been there, done that"
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Half the fun of succeeding in life is fighting the fight and making it.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:41 AM
Perry73 Perry73 is offline
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A very good comparison among the German D segment monster. M3 is my choice, why? Especially when u driving it, engine scoop, instruments, etc giving a specific sports ideas. When you looking at the exterior compare the feeling when u driving it, its like totally different. Unexpected drills that my mouth could not shut (smiles). By the way, i heard there is another close competitor VOLVO S60 Polestar. Im not sure how good it is, but i know i got the right choiced. Its like dream comes true.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:03 PM
Kayani_1 Kayani_1 is offline
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I drove multiple 2011 and 2012 M3's and found the steering feel to very decent but a bit on the lighter side. Is the steering tuning for 2013 has changed from 2012 and 2013 model's.

If not then MB must have done a fantastic job tuning the steering feel to make it better then M3.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayani_1 View Post
I drove multiple 2011 and 2012 M3's and found the steering feel to very decent but a bit on the lighter side. Is the steering tuning for 2013 has changed from 2012 and 2013 model's.

If not then MB must have done a fantastic job tuning the steering feel to make it better then M3.
MB has done a marvelous job on the steering. I just got my Servotronic tuned by BPM and it's now here it should be from the factory.
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Quote:
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In the words of one of Bimmerfest's greatest minds:"Been there, done that"
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:14 AM
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650 Ryder 650 Ryder is offline
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Is this a car comparo or a BPM promo spot? Nice write up .........Phil
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:48 AM
1zamboni 1zamboni is offline
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Nice write up thanks for sharing.
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My next vehicle would be a Zamboni
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:25 AM
Kayani_1 Kayani_1 is offline
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Do they just tune M3's or can they fix that horrible thing called steering in F30's.


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Originally Posted by -=Hot|Ice=- View Post
MB has done a marvelous job on the steering. I just got my Servotronic tuned by BPM and it's now here it should be from the factory.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by 650 Ryder View Post
Is this a car comparo or a BPM promo spot? Nice write up .........Phil
Just got my got BPM tuned and it makes a HUGE difference! I have their Stage II, DCT, and Servotronic tune. It has completely transformed the car. Thank you!

Quote:
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Do they just tune M3's or can they fix that horrible thing called steering in F30's.
I think they only have the servo tune for the M3. There is no fixing the F30. It's broken.
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Old 09-13-2013, 01:33 PM
jgchoi jgchoi is offline
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Great write up. I have yet to drive the RS5 or C63 but to me the M3 delivered just about the right amount of power and perfect handling. Never been a fan of the C63 designwise but the RS5...*drool*
One thing though. The iDrive screen is 8.8" instead of 10" as you mentioned.
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