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In-depth reviews

BMW M3 Competition review – MPG and running costs

Driven carefully it’ll do good numbers, but consumables all-round are big

Evo rating
Price
from £74,815
  • As quick and capable as you could possibly want
  • Bigger and heavier than you’d possibly like

BMW quotes 28.8mpg for the rear-drive M3, dropping to 28.0mpg for the xDrive model. In reality, those figures are just about achievable on longer journeys and motorways, rising to over 30mpg in average-speed roadworks that seem to make up 50 per cent of the UK’s motorway network at the moment.

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The numbers look different when you start making more use of the performance, easily dipping to the low 20s on faster commutes and far below when the full 503bhp is unleashed. Track useage will see this drop to single digits – not unusual, but then the track also reveals some of its other running cost considerations, which have grown alongside its weight and power figures.

> BMW M440i Convertible review

On a dry, high-grip surface an M3 on cast iron brakes seems to quite happily munch through a set of brake pads over the course of a day’s hard track use, the standard Pilot Sport 4 S tyres not being much more long standing. That’s not down to the compounds of either, it must be said, but a consequence of the M3’s kerb weight and aggressive suspension geometry. 

BlackCircles currently has replacement BMW-specific Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S rubber available for around £300 per tyre on the front axle and £340 on the rear. Staggered wheel sizes both in terms of width and diameter made replacing the OEM rubber for a new compound a complicated game. 

Ceramics stand up to track use better, but their replacement value, if a disc does go (unlikely, but not unheard of)... we’re talking big numbers. So while the M3 is certainly a resilient track day weapon, the job of keeping it in tip-top shape will be an expensive one.

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