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The Mercury Cars Guide : May 2nd 2009
12— CARSguide Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, May 2, 2009 Sedan leaves you ‘beeming’ FULL STOP: The M3 has great braking power. AnotherBMW3-Series? What’s so exciting about that? Stuart Martin discovers thewondersofan overlookedmodel of a Falcodore rep-mobile. Oh,howwrongfirst impres- B sions can be. Maybe it’s the blue paintwork that takes the severity out of the bulges in the bodywork, or maybe they’re just plain dumb. There is a (very small) chance that the four-doors have ruled out (in their mind, at least) that this could be a special piece of equipment. For the first time in the badge’s history, the M3 is on our shores as a sedan. Coupes, then convertibles, have been seen and heard, but now the ‘‘family truckster’’ M3 is here. We are sampling the six- speed manual sedan, and there are not too many man- ual drive-trains around that can provide as much enter- tainment as this one. Sure, the double-clutch seven-speed has more tricks in its bags of electronics for another $7300, but theM3with a clutch pedal doesn’t even have an M-button on the wheel, such is its simplicity. The power button sharpens up the throttle and the DSC button turns stability control on or off. The sedan’s options list in- cludes the tricky Electronic Damper Control, for $4000, or MDrive configuration system for $3500—but none of the hi- ORING — it’s just another BMW 3-Series, isn’t it? The German equivalent tech gadgetry of its larger M-siblings is really needed. Just get in, hit the start button, slot it into first gear and you’re gone. If desired, you could have hit the state limit and re- turned to a standstill by the end of this sentence. The sedan claims a 0-100km/h time of 4.9 seconds — 4.7 in the double-clutch automated manual despite a 20kg weight penalty—and the big brakes rip it back to a standstill in about 30 metres. The four-litre V8’s outputs are unchanged from the coupe and the convertible, but the song remains the same, a quick, fit burble at idle that sings as its spins quickly to the red-line just north of 8000rpm. It is a flexible unit around town as well, requiring few gear changes, but demanding more cog-swaps, so delightful is the gearshift. While the M3 is down on power and torque compared with the C63 sedan (the RS4 had a little more torque, but the same power figure), the compact BMW ‘‘powerhaus’’ is a quicker point-to-point ma- chine thanks to tactile steer- ing and the chassis’ ability to put the outputs to ground. The tricky locking rear diff can take some credit too, but the overall package has a cohesive feel to it. The new M3 sedan has also benefited from the new-look SPEEDY: The sedan goes from 0 to 100km/h in just 4.9 seconds. iDrive, with shortcut buttons around the controller knob. It is generally easier to use and the functions take place much more quickly. Unfortunately, the screen went black twice, normal be- haviour if I had just shut everything down and was get- ting out, but a little disturbing when you are driving. For four average-sized occu- pants the room is more than adequate, but legroom is re- stricted behind taller front- seat occupants — something afflicting almost all of the compact prestige segment, not just the Beemer. But the cabin is otherwise comfortable, the front seats— with adjustable squabs and side bolsters—are supportive without being too restrictive. It might be a touch slower and use a trickle more fuel than the coupe, or the double- clutch models, but the four- door practicality—for $10,000 less than the coupe and $24,000 less than the convertible — would do me just fine. hit the start button, slot it into first gear and you’re gone ‘ lexus.com.au ’ L’Exhibition’09 *Excludes new generation RX. Available on new vehicles only, offer ends May 31, 2009. With exceptional factory backed incentives across the Lexus range* Lexus Premier Sales Event. All the economic stimulus you need. have come at a better time. See y LEXUS OF HOBART 267Argyle Street, Hobart Ph: 1800 631 298 lexusofhobart.com.au until May 31, Lexus annual sales event, L’Exhibition, couldn’t e come at a better time. See your Lexus Dealer today. After hour enquires please call Damian Mizzen on 0412 602 677 Valid L1450 LEX07093/HM Just get in, FAMILY TRUCKSTER: The BMW M3 now comes as a sedan. small torque BMWM3sedan Price:From$145,000. Engine: Four-litreDOHC variable 32-valve V8. Transmission: Six-speed manual, rear-wheel drive with variableMdifferential lock. Power:309kWat8300rpm. Torque:400Nmat 3900rpm. Performance:0-100km/hin 4.9 seconds, top speed 250km/h(governed). Fuel consumption: 12.4 litres/100km,ontest 16.4 litres/100km, tank63litres. Emissions:295g/km. Suspension:MacPherson strut, lower l-arms, joint- mountedanti-roll bar (front); multi-link transverse links, lower trailing arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar (rear). Brakes: Four-wheel ventilatedcompounddiscs, single-piston swing calipers, with anti-lockandstability control systems. Wheels: 18-inch alloys. 30% TAX BREAK Business owners may be eligible for the Small Business and General Business Tax Break proposed by the Federal Government. Once passed into law your business may be able to claim up to a 30% bonus tax deduction on motor vehicles purchased by 30 June 2009. For further details consult your tax adviser.
April 25th 2009
May 16th 2009