So, you're in the market for a new BMW M3 or perhaps an M4? Well, what’s the difference? Truthfully told, the latest generation BMW M3 and M4 are very similar cars. But when you’re spending upwards of £80,000 on a new M car, you certainly want it to be perfect for you. That’s why we’ve decided to put the two head to head, so that you can be sure you’re making the right choice.
The G80 BMW M3 Competition and G82 BMW M4 Competition are both available in standard rear-wheel drive configurations as well as M xDrive variants (all-wheel drive). If you opt for the M xDrive variant - which we highly recommend - you’ll be able to switch between all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive whenever you wish.
The racing-inspired BMW M TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder petrol engine is equipped with twin turbochargers and is shared by the BMW M3 and BMW M4. This fantastic engine produces 510 bhp and 650 Nm of torque across both models.
The transmission of choice for both cars is the 8-speed ZF automatic transmission, which works in tandem with M xDrive to achieve a rapid 3.5 second 0-62 mph time in the M3 and M4 xDrive variants. Unfortunately, the option of a manual gearbox isn’t available in the UK.
This one’s a belter. No other sports- or super-saloon is as capable, grippy, tied down, responsive or communicative on a difficult road. - Top Gear
Without spotting the badge, the front end of the M3 and M4 look identical - which they are. The most significant differences become noticeable as you walk around each car, where you’ll first spot that the M3 is a saloon and the M4 is a coupé.
The 4-door M3 naturally becomes the more practical of the two for many people, especially those who are looking to transport more than one passenger on a regular basis. For drivers that often ride solo or with a single passenger, you may benefit from the larger doors present on the BMW M4.
In addition to this, the M4 also has a lower and sleeker roofline which contributes to its more sporty exterior. It’s important to note that the M4’s differences theoretically lead to performance benefits due to the 5kg weight saving vs the M3. Although extremely minimal and realistically unnoticeable, the M4 does weigh less both in its rear-wheel drive and xDrive form.
Aside from the same rear diffuser and exhaust setup, both cars have very different rear ends - this is where the largest design difference between the cars takes place. Both look fantastic and work excellently as part of each car’s overall aesthetic. It’s simply down to which look you prefer.
Not only is the BMW M4 Competition staggeringly quick in a straight line, but it’s also one of the most visceral and engaging performance cars we’ve tested to date. - What Car?
The £79,475 on the road price of the BMW M4 comes in slightly higher than the M3’s £78,175. The same can be said about the xDrive versions where the M3 is available from £80,970 and the M4 £82,270. When it comes to exterior paint options, interior choices and options packages, you can expect to find the same available across both cars at matching price points.
As you’ve likely gathered, these cars are extremely similar and it ultimately comes down to personal preference as to which car you should go for. We certainly suggest coming down to see both cars in person to help ensure you’re choosing the right car for you. Our teams at BMW Bristol, Hungerford, Melksham (near Bath) or Swindon would be delighted to show you around the M3 and M4 as well as booking you in for a test drive if you’d like.