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BMW M3 Convertible: Test Drive

Date: 03 February 2009   |   Author:

Category: Sporting
P11D price: £57,435
Key rival: Mercedes CLK63 AMG

BMW's quickest ever 3-series - the M3 - is now available with an automatic gearbox that actually cuts CO2 and fuel consumption compared with the manual.

Admittedly a 4.0-litre V8 performance car will never be a green leader, but the double clutch gearbox is 16g/km and 1.1mpg better than its manual sibling, compared to the normal rise in emissions and consumption for an auto.

It's not cheap, though. Bearing in mind the general preference for a manual in performance vehicles, buyers are expected to stump up £2590 for the new gearbox, and in the convertible that's on top of the £4610 premium over the coupe and £5335 over the saloon.

But both gearbox and car are predictably outstanding to drive. The gear change from the auto 'box is smooth, and it's difficult to outwit or confuse it. However, the high purchase price and running costs give the drop-top M3 a hefty 119.0p per mile running costs figure.

BMW M3 Convertible DCT
P11D price£57,435
Model price range£21,520-£57,435
Fuel consumption23.0mpg
CO2 (tax) 293g/km/35%
BIK 20/40% per month£335/£670
Service intervalvariable mls
Insurancegroup 20
Warranty3yrs/unlimited mls
Boot space (min/max)210/350 litres
Engine size/power3999cc/426PS
Top speed/0-62mph155mph/5.1secs
On sale April 2008
VerdictNew gearbox works well
and improves acceleration
while cutting emissions,
but it’s not cheap


New gearbox works well and improves acceleration while cutting emissions, but it’s not cheap