BMW G80 M3

What it’s like to own a G80 M3

G80 M3

It’s been nine months since I first laid eyes on my G80. Modern BMWs are complex machines, making this the most complex M3 yet. I gather up two others to see how the cars are performing, and if modifying the car is a good idea. Spoiler alert: The G80 M3 reliability breaks the stereotype.

Is the G80 M3 reliable?

Very much so. My M3 has 6,000 miles on it, and the Skyscraper Grey and Portimao Blue examples shown here have around the same amount of mileage.

G80 M3
G80 M3 reliability has been on point.

iDrive

I can start with the biggest issue, and it isn’t even M3-specific. iDrive.

The screen randomly goes black. The stereo will cut out. The phone won’t connect. Something different happens on almost every drive, but the point is, something happens. The same problems occur on my X3 M40i. Ditto my 335i. Why again do we need Apple CarPlay and an interface from a manufacturer? It’s a redundant question: money. As in more money for the auto makers. But it causes many problems, and once the initial set up of the car is complete, I really don’t need the BMW interface, as good as it has become.

After hopping around in several different press cars that have CarPlay, I can tell you it’s a great advantage to not have to learn an entirely new User Interface every time I get in a car.

Brakes

Beyond iDrive, there isn’t much. The brakes in my car produce a loud screech when coming to a halt. BMWs are notorious for getting rocks stuck between the rotor and dust shield, and my G80 friends have said they also have brake noise. It’s something I’ll have the dealer look at when I…

Recalls

Bring it in for the only recall on my M3, which is a software update. Circle BMW tells me they need the car for the entire day, so I’ve delayed the appointment until I need an oil change.

Otherwise, the only nagging issue is a squeaky driver’s seat. Bravo, BMW. G80 M3 reliability is top notch.

G80 M3
Skyscraper Grey looks great, as do 826M Competition wheels.

Modding the G80 M3

G80 M3
Stock, OEM+ and more.

In the old days (you know, the 90’s), modifying a car really made a difference. After all, even the most special of Japanese sport coupes had engines from common family sedans.

But now, the family sedans are the special cars. Can it really be improved upon?

My M3 – stock

G80 M3
My stock M3’s stance is clearly taller.

Aside from some drop-in BMC  air filters (which allow you to take out the charcoal filters for better breath-ability), there isn’t anything “wrong” with the car. The dumpy baby diaper look of the exhaust isn’t so nice, and the offset of the front wheels is very obvious. The car sits high in the front, which you’ll notice when parked next to lowered versions. Common mods include:

  • Reflector delete, front and rear. But to do it proper, a front Euro bumper without the cutouts for the reflectors looks best.
  • Lowering the car and adding wheel spacers. 15mm is common, but will cause the front tires to rub when turned full opposite lock. Price of beauty.
  • Many exhaust options. In my humble opinion, 90% sound terrible on the car. Go with the M Performance or what Jeremy has on his, the Akrapovic.
  • Painting the lower rocker panels body color. I love the look, and never liked the Shadowline Trim from the first time I saw the car.

Perhaps an exhaust in the future, because every M3 needs one, but I can’t personally justify mods that might make the car different, but not necessarily better.

Jonny O’s Base M3 – light OEM+

G80 M3
Aggressive looks are complimented by the lower ride height.
G80 M3
15mm spacers can cause tire rub.
G80 M3
The stance is proper when lowered.

OEM+ is a bit like pornography; difficult to define, but you know it when you see it. Enter this beautiful Skyscraper Grey base M3. Lowered on AST springs with15mm spacers, the car reduces the wheel gap to nil. Viewed from the side profile, it looks much sleeker than stock, and helps reduce the slab-sided look of the G80.

Jonny also has a Valvetronic remote for the exhaust that enables the muffler to have the valves open, regardless of drive mode. Stock, the car must be in Sport+ throttle for this to happen. I had one on the 335 and recommend this easy mod if you want your stock muffler as loud as possible, without the jumpiness of Sport+ mode.

Jeremy’s M xDrive M3 – OEM+ and beyond

G80 M3
Jeremy’s M xDrive Competition has all sorts of goodies.
G80 M3
Adding a lip gives an even more aggressive front-end appearance.

Jeremy’s car is a great example of what is possible with the aftermarket G80 M3. His mods include:

  • Painted lower rocker panels
  • KW lowering springs
  • Akra exhaust
  • Eventuri intakes
  • Racing Sport Concepts Carbon fiber front lip and side skirts
  • Forgeline 10.5×20 front, 11.5×20 rear
  • Body-color matched engine cover
  • Carbon fiber strut bracing

Under the hood it’s beautifully finished, and makes me question BMW’s decision to kill the carbon fiber strut brace from the F80 M3.

G80 M3
Slammed.
G80 M3
The engine bay details are beautiful.
G80 M3
Forgeline wheels allow the brakes to show off.

G80 Mean Tweets

The G80 M3 is the most reliable, fastest, and comfortable M3 yet. Though it might lack a little soul compared to an E90, it makes up for it in many other ways. While some may never get over the looks, owners have not only adapted but come to love it. All three of us have owned previous M3s and agree that this latest example is the most refined and capable yet.

The sky has not fallen, as some BMW enthusiasts have suggested. The car has proven so popular that BMW has upped the base price by almost $4,000 for 2023, the largest increase of any BMW model. Still, finding an allocation for one is extremely difficult.

We M faithful can be a fickle bunch, so let’s have a little fun, Jimmy Fallon style. Here are some “mean tweets” about the car.

G80 M3
Big flair, don’t care.

From my Instagram post on BMWUSA

Stop making ugly cars please. I throw up in my mouth every time I see any of your new products out on the road.

Here’s one from Car & Driver’s initial review

With a face like that? I think not! The E39’s styling is timeless. This car gives ugly a whole new meaning.

There are entire threads dedicated to G80 hate on Bimmerpost

“He went on to tell me how people have been calling left and right trying to buy out their f80’s and how that all the employees that work there hate the new g80.”

You get the point. But if you’re like me, Jonny or Jeremy, you probably don’t care. G80 M3 reliability has been incredible compared to previous generations. It’s also extremely fun and the aftermarket options are becoming plentiful. Here’s to many more trouble-free miles!

G80 M3 G80 M3 G80 M3

Special thanks to Jonny O and Jeremy for bringing out their M3s!

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I use Nikon camera bodies and lenses, a Westcott Ice Light 2, Manfrotto tripod, B + W filters and an iMac Pro to make the art you see here.

Email me at mike@machineswithsouls.com with any questions. Follow along on Instagram @machineswithsouls

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