BMW M3 (F80) and M4 (F82) Purchasing Guide

Photo of author

By Car Brand Experts


div id=”tve_editor” data-post-id=”27385″>

The BMW F80 M3, F82 M4, and F83 M4 Convertible were introduced in 2014, following the E90 and E92 M3 models. This generation was intricately designed to provide enhanced performance, output, and efficiency. Developing a new M car within the 3 Series (and 4 Series) lineup was a significant endeavor, given the impressive success of its predecessors.

The F8x generation reintroduced the inline-six to the M3, now equipped with twin turbochargers and 425 horsepower in the standard variant.

Powering the models was BMW’s “S55” engine, featuring twin turbochargers. This marked the first M3 to house a turbocharged powertrain. Unlike its predecessors that required high revs, this iteration delivered potent and consistent power from lower revolutions. Peak power was achieved at 406 pound-feet from a mere 1850 rpm and remained formidable up to 5500 rpm.

Additionally, this was the initial M3/M4 to incorporate variable valve timing (VANOS) and variable valve lift (Valvetronic) to broaden the power band extensively.

Buyers could opt for either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch (DCT) automatic gearbox. While the manual transmission may offer a more engaging driving experience, the DCT could shift gears quicker than manual and featured launch control for consistent acceleration. Moreover, the 7-speed transmission was equipped with a specialized cooling system.

Tested on race circuits, this system aided in maintaining the vehicle’s smooth and reliable performance by effectively managing heat buildup during races.

The M3 and M4 boasted a lightweight suspension, a precise active rear differential, and a comprehensive cooling and oiling setup, collectively enhancing the car’s performance and safety for daily driving. The steering was extremely precise and offered easy, pleasant handling, a feature cherished by M3 enthusiasts, especially given that this was the premier generation to incorporate electric assistance.

In the case of F80/F82 models, the design stood out prominently compared to the standard 3 Series. Noteworthy design elements included bold front and rear bumpers, quad exhaust pipes, an aluminum hood, and a distinctive rear lid on the M4. It wasn’t just a fancier 3 Series; only the front doors and the M3’s rear panel were shared with the standard models.

The interiors were adorned with exclusive trims, carbon fiber accents, unique gauges, and more aggressively bolstered seats. Additionally, a new M steering wheel was introduced, featuring a lightweight magnesium frame. It boasted a thick, softly-padded rim for a secure grip and a perfectly circular shape to cater to purists.

Positioned amidst competitors such as the Mercedes Benz C63 AMG, Audi RS5, Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (released in 2016), Lexus RCF, and Cadillac CT5-V, both the M3 and M4 had evolved into exceptional sports cars within their segment. Equipped with comprehensive features, these models could withstand the rigorous demands of the racetrack, delivering performance consistently while still providing the reliability and comfort for the drive back home.

In summary, the BMW M3 and M4 were rapid, potent vehicles that promised a gratifying driving experience. Combining luxury and speed, they emerged as a popular choice for many consumers.

Model Alterations (Yearly Breakdown)

2014 BMW M3/M4

The 2014 iteration marked the advent of the F80 M3 and the F82 M4, succeeding the E90 (4-door) and E92 (2-door) M3.

Featuring a 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight-six engine producing 425 horsepower.

The initial prices were $62,925 for the M3 and $65,125 for the M4.

For the 2014 model year, unique color options included Yas Marina Blue and Austin Yellow, which were used for the models’ debut.

Key options comprised gloss black painted wheels, gold caliper carbon ceramic brakes with six-piston front calipers on 400mm rotors, LED headlights, a heads-up display, and leather-trimmed dash and door sections. An electric sunroof was available at no extra cost, although opting for it meant forgoing the carbon-fiber rooftop, adding 44 lbs higher up on the vehicle.

2015 BMW M3/M4

In 2015, BMW expanded the M4 range by introducing the F83 M4 Convertible, offering enthusiasts the joy of open-top motoring, enabling them to relish the speed and surroundings in a novel manner.

Sporting a hardtop convertible configuration, it added an extra 485 lbs to the weight. However, one favorable aspect of the heavier M4 convertible was its well-distributed weight. The foldable hardtop altered the car’s balance, resulting in more weight at the rear, with 52% of the vehicle’s weight resting on the rear tires, contrasted with 52% at the front in the coupe variant.

The initial price for the M4 Convertible exceeded that of the M3 and M4 coupe. Starting at $73,495, it was $8,370 more than the coupe.

2016 BMW M3/M4

In 2016, BMW rolled out a Competition Package as an optional feature for the M3 and M4, available throughout the models’ tenure. This package encompassed an additional 19 horsepower for the base model (from 425 horsepower to 444 horsepower), elevating the driving experience to a more exhilarating and responsive level.

Equipped with larger 19-inch wheels and wider tires, cars with this package exhibited enhanced stability and improved road grip. Adjustments in stability control and differential settings allowed for smoother handling under diverse conditions. Exterior enhancements included black accent pieces, amplifying the vehicle’s aesthetic appeal, while revamped front sports seats offered heightened lateral support, contributing to increased comfort during spirited turns or swift maneuvers.

The M4 Coupe and Convertible largely shared packaging similarities, with the main distinction in the convertible variant being special seats featuring an “air scarf” – a vent designated to circulate warm air around the neck for those chillier open-top drives.

Although available within the Competition Package trim, no exclusive editions were offered for the convertible variant.

In essence, this package amalgamated stylish aesthetics and enhanced features, enriching the driving experience and comfort level for M3 and M4 models.

The cost of the Competition package stood at $5,500, setting the starting prices at $68,425 for the F80 M3, $70,625 for the F82 M4, and $78,995 for the F84.

In the same year, the BMW M4 GTS emerged, a hardcore track-focused variant that was exclusive to the coupe body style, distinguished by a Frozen Dark Grey finish complemented by an aggressive front carbon splitter, carbon fiber hood, carbon fiber roof, wing, and orange accents on the 666M wheels. A notable novelty was the introduction of OLED taillights.


div class=”thrv_wrapper thrv_text_element”>

For the first time in a BMW production model, OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes) generated light using thin layers of semiconducting organic materials. In contrast to LEDs that emit light at specific points, OLEDs illuminated uniformly across their entire surface, resulting in a consistent effect.

Upon peering inside the M4 GTS, its racing-oriented design became evident. While European models featured a genuine roll cage, North American versions sported a faux…

A semi-enclosed structure shields the car’s occupants, while the partition separating the cabin and the storage area is constructed from fiberglass.

The exclusion of the soundproofing material was done to reduce the car’s weight. The door panels are crafted from the same durable plastic found in the i3 electric vehicle. Additionally, a complete titanium exhaust system was utilized to further decrease weight; it is 20% lighter than the typical exhaust system.

The distinguishing feature of the BMW M4 GTS lies in its incorporation of a water injection system. Powered by the popular S55 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo engine, it generates 493 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. The vehicle exclusively employs a 7-speed dual-clutch (DCT) automatic transmission combined with rear-wheel-drive.

Moreover, it comes equipped with KW adaptable suspension, permitting the adjustment of suspension height and rebound damping.

With only 700 GTS units produced globally, including 300 for the United States, this unique M4 holds a high level of exclusivity.

Initially priced at $134,000 (a $68,875 increase over the standard M4).

Other notable enhancements for the 2016 BMW M3/M4:

  • Software enhancement: The 2016 model year saw software and firmware upgrades that enhanced the vehicle’s traction and stability control system, iDrive infotainment, adaptive suspension, throttle response, and transmission functionality.

2017 BMW M3/M4

In the 2017 model year, the F8x series received several updates. These included new standard features like the adaptive M Suspension, previously an optional feature. Additionally, the introduction of the iDrive 5.0 system with touchscreen capabilities.

These updates aimed to elevate the overall driving experience and user interface by providing increased control over the vehicle’s handling characteristics and offering enhanced infotainment interaction.

Furthermore, BMW unveiled the limited-edition “30 Jahre M3” (German for “30 Years M3”). Only 150 units reached North America, presented with a choice between a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

All North American models feature a luxurious Macao Blue paint color, a shade initially introduced on the E30 M3 Sport Evolution. Complementing this distinctive color are special 20-inch “star spoke” wheels reminiscent of those on the M4 GTS. Interior changes are subtle, with “30 Jahre M3” logos adorning the dashboard, doorsills, and embroidered on the two-toned seats’ headrests.

Alongside the design modifications, BMW equips the 30 Jahre M3 with the Competition package. This package, as the name suggests, enhances the M3’s competitiveness against rivals. The included adaptive suspension elevates the sedan’s performance, and the standard 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight-six engine is tweaked to deliver 444 horsepower, a 19 horsepower increase from the base model.

The initial price for the 30 Jahre M3 starts at $84,245 for the 6-speed manual and $87,145 for the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

2018 BMW M3/M4

In 2018, BMW introduced the final iteration of the F8x series and launched the M3 CS and M4 CS. According to many owners, the CS represents the ultimate version within this generation.

The F8x evolved through various versions, learning and improving along the way. Initially met with mixed reactions due to its introduction of turbos, distinct sound, and higher performance thresholds than ever before, the F8X eventually garnered praise.

BMW continued to refine the driving dynamics across all F8x models, enhancing power delivery, transmission operation, and adjusting suspension and steering through updates during the model’s lifespan.

Drawing from these improvements and insights gained from the M4 GTS, BMW developed the CS, showcasing the full potential of the F8x platform and design.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr

Among the updates in the CS variants, the power output increases to 454 horsepower (10 more than the Competition) and 440 pound-feet of torque. The suspension received significant fine-tuning, resulting in improved damping characteristics along with a CS exhaust system.

Externally, enhancements include upgraded 763M wheels, a CS-specific lip spoiler, rear deck-lid spoiler, an M Performance diffuser, and a GTS hood that enhances front-end aerodynamics.

Interior upgrades feature custom CS embroidered trim and the removal of the GTS center console.

While shared between the M3/M4 CS models, certain key differences exist for each:

M3 CS Specific

– Reimagined Silverstone Jahre 30 interior

– Absence of rear AC

– Shadowline tail lights

M4 CS Specific

– GTS tail lights

– Non-bucket GTS front seats

– GTS door cards

– Melbourne Red available as a paint choice

– Simplified radio head unit without ASD

Consider the M3/M4 CS as a lighter version of the GTS. Though not as extreme, it retains desirable features, making it a more practical daily driver.

The starting price for the M3 CS is $99,245 ($30,820 more than the M3 Competition) and the M4 CS at $101,400 ($30,775 more than the M4 Competition).

2019 BMW M3/M4

As a farewell to the F8x series, BMW unveiled the M4 Heritage Edition limited to 750 units worldwide, available in Laguna Seca Blue, Imola Red II, or Velvet Blue hues.

The M4 M Heritage pays homage to BMW M Motorsports’ rich history dating back to 1972. Featuring a carbon-fiber roof with three colored stripes spanning from front to back, alongside distinctive 20-inch gray wheels.

All Heritage models come equipped with Merino Leather M Sport seats. Laguna Seca Blue variants receive Silverstone/Black leather with turquoise stitching, Imola Red II models feature Red/Black leather with red stitching, and Velvet Blue examples sport Silverstone/Black leather with blue stitching.

The headrests, carbon trim, and door sills feature distinctive M Heritage badging. Your M4’s exclusivity is accentuated by a plate marked 1/750, showcasing its limited production run to your acquaintances.

The initial price commenced at $70,145 (a $5,020 increment from the standard M4).

BMW M3/M4 Common Issues

The BMW F8X series M3 and M4 have exhibited notable reliability, which diverges from the typical narrative associated with high-performance sports cars. This can be attributed to BMW’s emphasis on engineering rather than excessive electronic features in these models. Many drivers have clocked significant miles on their vehicles without encountering major challenges.

It is important to be aware that all vehicles can encounter problems, necessitating a Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI) by an authorized dealer or experienced independent mechanic to uncover any underlying issues.

Crank Hub Challenge: One of the vulnerabilities of the S55 engine in the M3/M4 is the issue of the crank hub spinning. If this occurs, it can result in substantial consequences, potentially leading to severe engine damage, necessitating costly repairs.

Turbochargers: While the turbochargers are generally reliable, there have been occasional reports of issues such as wastegate rattle. More concerning, albeit less common, are instances of complete turbo failure, significantly impacting the vehicle’s performance.

Suspension Noises: Some users have noted unsettling creaks or groans originating from the suspension system. These noises are more pronounced in colder temperatures, indicating potential material contraction or lubrication challenges.

Carbon Ceramic Brake Squeak: Owners who chose carbon ceramic brakes have encountered instances of audible brake squeaks. These high-pitched noises are especially noticeable in cooler weather when the brakes are not fully warmed up.

DCT Transmission: Despite offering swift shift times, the dual-clutch transmission has faced criticism. Some owners have reported instances of rough or unexpected gear shifts, detracting from the overall driving experience.

Electrical Concerns: Despite their advancement, the electronics of the M3/M4 have experienced occasional glitches. Issues range from minor inconsistencies with the iDrive system to other onboard electronics malfunctions, which, while typically not catastrophic, can be inconvenient.

Exhaust Valve Rattle: Some owners have noted a discernible rattle from the exhaust system, particularly noticeable at idle. This noise may indicate loose components or minor misalignments within the exhaust setup.

Water Pump/Thermostat: Essential for engine temperature regulation, these components can sometimes fail. Timely replacement is crucial to prevent overheating and other engine-related issues.

Oil Cooler Gasket Leaks: A subset of M3/M4 owners has reported oil leaks stemming from faulty oil cooler gaskets. These leaks pose a potential fire risk and can compromise the engine’s lubrication over time.

Air Conditioning: Some owners have raised concerns about the air conditioning system, citing issues with inadequate cooling or related operational issues, impacting cabin comfort, especially in warmer climates.

Just like any vehicle, regular maintenance is essential to prolong the vehicle’s lifespan. For those considering a used F8x M3 or M4, a pre-purchase inspection by a knowledgeable mechanic is recommended to detect any potential issues.


BMW M3 Models

2015 to 2017 BMW M3

  1. Loose Rear Sub-Frame Bolts (Recall no. 16V653000)

During rear differential servicing for a previous recall, the rear sub-frame bolts may have been reused instead of replaced, potentially leading to loosening.

2015 to 2016 BMW M3

  1. Slip-Joint Failure (Recall no. 15V782000)

Affected vehicles may have a driveshaft slip-joint lacking grease, increasing the risk of eventual failure.

2016 to 2017 BMW M3

  1. Driveshaft/Flange Failure (Recall no. 18V713000)

The connection between the driveshaft and flange may fail, resulting in propulsive loss and potentially contributing to a collision.

BMW M4 Models

2015 to 2017 BMW M4

  1. Loose Rear Sub-Frame Bolts (Recall no. 16V653000)

Similar to the M3 recall, reusing rear sub-frame bolts during differential servicing may lead to loosening.

2015 to 2016 BMW M4

  1. Slip-Joint Failure (Recall no. 15V782000)

The driveshaft slip-joint greasing issue, similar to the M3 recall, is a concern in affected M4 vehicles.

2015 to 2019 BMW M4

  1. Air Bag Inflator Initiator Failure (Recall no. 17V115000)

A risk exists of seat-mounted side air bag inflator initiators failing to ignite during collisions.

  1. Improperly Folded and Assembled Air Bag (Recall no. 19V352000)

Instances of improperly folded and assembled driver and passenger knee air bag assemblies have been identified.

All BMW M4 Convertible Vehicles

  1. Incompatible Vehicle-Sensitive Locking Mechanism (Recall no. 17V507000)

Front seat belt assemblies with Emergency Locking Retractors (ELR) may contain incompatible vehicle-sensitive locking mechanism housings.

Maintenance and Ownership Expenses

Compared to rival high-performance sports cars, BMW’s F8X series M3 and M4 offer a relatively affordable ownership experience in terms of maintenance. It’s crucial to note that owning a performance-focused vehicle like the M3 or M4 entails higher costs compared to standard commuter vehicles.

Here’s a recommended service schedule and maintenance intervals according to BMW:

1 YEAR OR 10,000 MILES

Annual replacement of engine oil and filter

Thorough inspection following BMW specifications

Complete factory diagnostics


Engine oil and filter replacement

Brake fluid renewal

Cabin air filter inspection and replacement

Tire tread check and maintenance



Substitute engine oil and filter

Renew transmission fluid and filter

Swap engine air filter

Common maintenance expenses linked with the BMW F8X M3 and M4 comprise:

  • Minor Maintenance: Typically covers oil change, cabin filters, and engine air filters. Anticipate a cost of approximately $500 at a dealership.

  • Major Maintenance: This includes minor services, as well as transmission fluid replacement, spark plug renewals, and other comprehensive assessments. Dealers may demand around $1,000 for this service.

  • Tires: Performance tires for the M3 and M4, like the Michelin Pilot Sport, will be priced at about $1,200 to $1,500 for a set.

  • Brakes: Brake pads for the M3 and M4 will cost roughly $300-$400 for a complete set at independent mechanics, with dealers potentially asking for more. If rotors require replacement, expenses can significantly escalate, particularly for models equipped with carbon ceramic brakes.

  • Transmission: The dual-clutch transmission (DCT) is quite robust, but if repairs are necessary, they can be expensive due to the intricate nature of the system.

BMW frequently provides service bundles that can be combined with the purchase of a new vehicle, which can offset maintenance costs for the initial few years of ownership. These packages are linked to the car’s VIN and can be a beneficial addition if the car is sold within that period, as the maintenance package can transfer to the new owner. Always inquire with the dealership for ongoing promotions and available packages.

Options List

The BMW F8X series M3 and M4 offer a wide range of options and packages that potential buyers can choose to customize the car according to their preferences.

Certain options encompass packages that offer exterior enhancements, such as carbon-fiber components and exclusive M Performance parts, particularly for the more performance-oriented models like the M4 GTS or M4 CS.

One frequently selected option is the enhanced paint selection which features unique BMW Individual colors that enhance the car’s appearance.

Various wheel designs are accessible for both the M3 and M4, enabling owners to further personalize the car’s aesthetics to their preference.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr

Many buyers favor the optional Adaptive M Suspension. Through adjusting the shock absorbers, this system enhances the driving experience, making the car more adaptable to varying road conditions and driving preferences.

Internally, sport seats with increased lateral support are a popular option for those seeking a sportier feel during energetic drives. However, some have noted that for longer trips, the standard seats might offer superior comfort.

The interior can be further enhanced with the Extended Merino Leather alternative, enabling owners to select a unique color scheme for their cabin. This can be a monochromatic or two-tone arrangement that extends to the seats and door panels. Additionally, the M logo is strategically positioned in various interior sections, further highlighting the car’s sporty heritage.

For individuals in search of a truly distinctive M3 or M4, BMW’s Individual program offers a deeper level of personalization. Via this program, buyers can choose from various specialized paints, interior materials, and other custom features that aren’t typically available in the standard range.

Vehicles customized through the BMW Individual program are often viewed as more appealing in the resale market. Their unique details and occasional limited availability mean they can fetch a higher resale value due to their exclusivity and individuality.

2017 BMW M3 Options List

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr

Some of the more sought-after options to consider include:

  • Adaptive M Suspension

  • Carbon Fiber Exterior Packages

  • Optional Wheels (20-inch M Star-Spoke wheels)

  • M Sport Seats

  • BMW Individual Paint

  • Extended Merino Leather Interior

  • Executive Package 

  • Competition Package

Pricing and Valuation of BMW F8x M3 and M4 (Including M4 GTS)

The Top Picks for F8x M3 and M4 Purchase

When considering the acquisition of an F8x M3 or M4, various crucial aspects come into play, influencing the vehicle’s future worth.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr

The considerations mainly categorized into four groups:

For the M3 and M4 editions more likely to appreciate in value, the standout choices include the exclusive and unique variants such as the M4 GTS and the M4 CS. Despite their premium cost, their distinctiveness guarantees a slower depreciation rate.

Although the standard M3 and M4 present a more affordable entry point, they are anticipated to retain their worth well, particularly if they feature specific desirable enhancements enriching the driving experience.

The choice of color for the M3 or M4 holds significant importance. Opting for individual or uncommon paint finishes can notably enhance the vehicle’s attractiveness and value.

Regarding market stability, the models from 2018-2019 are highly sought after. They offer a blend of the initial appeal of the F8x series and contemporary enhancements, ensuring their value stays robust.

Nevertheless, all F8x M3 and M4 variations, even those from the earlier production years, receive acclaim for their sturdy construction and driving performance, making them a reliable choice for enthusiasts and collectors alike.

With the automotive industry gradually transitioning to electric and hybrid powertrains, the twin-turbo inline-six engine of the M3 and M4 becomes even more appealing to individuals valuing traditional powerhouse performance.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr

Lastly, akin to any high-performance auto, the state and mileage significantly impact the vehicle’s worth. While some M3 and M4 units have seen vigorous use or extensive modifications, those likely to preserve their value are the ones maintained impeccably with lower mileage on the speedometer.

While contemplating an F8x M3 or M4 investment, thorough investigation, price comparison, and a preference for well-kept, low-mileage examples will secure optimal value retention.

In Closing

Conclusively, starting at around ($60,000+), the BMW F8x series M3 and M4 present robust selections for individuals delving into the realm of high-performance sporty sedans and coupes.

While competitors such as the Mercedes-AMG C63, Audi RS5, Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, and Lexus RCF offer enticing alternatives, the M3 and M4 set themselves apart with their harmonious fusion of cutting-edge technology, luxurious interiors, user-friendly design, and dependable performance both on the road and the track.

To summarize, if you seek a high-performance vehicle offering excitement and practicality in equal measure, the F8x M3 and M4 stand out as excellent choices that will not disappoint.

Smart Strategies for Car Acquisition

  • Ensure the car is equipped with adaptive suspension for optimized handling dynamics.

  • Specifications matter: Look for models featuring BMW Individual paint choices or distinctive interior combinations.

  • Exclusive releases like the M4 GTS or M4 CS are potential future valuables and could currently be undervalued.

  • 2017+ iterations of the M3 and M4 introduce enhanced technology and aesthetics, offering significant value.

  • Give preference to vehicles with comprehensive service histories, indicating well-preserved conditions and lower mileage.

Leave a Comment

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!