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2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive review: Super fast, super sleek

2022 BMW M3 Competition Exterior

The BMW M3 has a long, iconic history behind it. It’s one of the top choices for drivers out there who want a modern BMW that doesn’t stray too far into being overpriced, plus it has always performed like a beast and makes it easy to customize the driving experience. The 2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive is no exception to that rule, boasting a stunning design and the modern BMW experience that many love.

Of course, the M3 Competition is still far from cheap, and it faces tough competition — though perhaps not quite as tough as in years past given the emphasis that many companies are placing on SUVs and crossovers. Is the BMW M3 Competition still the sports sedan to beat?

2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive

Rating: 4 Stars
2022 BMW M3 Competition Wheel
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Pros

  • Stunning design
  • Comfortable interior
  • Excellent performance
  • Good interior space

Cons

  • Drive modes can be confusing

2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive exterior design

I really like the exterior design of the 2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive — but not everyone may agree. I’m used to the newer oversized BMW grilles, and on this car, I just plain like them. On this car, it contributes to a relatively aggressive front look, and combined with the slim headlights, it makes for a very sleek design. Of course, that’s all down to personal preference.

2022 BMW M3 Competition SideImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

What I think is less controversial is the design of the rear of the car and the side profile. The car in general sits relatively low to the ground, with a long hood at the front, and an angular rear again, with slim taillights and two dual-tip exhaust pipes.

Our review car comes in the Frozen Brilliant White finish, which I love. It has more of a matte feel to it, without being completely matte — and combined with the black highlights for the vents and the roof, it has a nice dual-tone color scheme to it. Our review car also has the carbon fiber trim, which looks great but isn’t necessarily a must-have.

2022 BMW M3 Competition WheelImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Generally, I love the look of the BMW M3 Competition xDrive. It’s sleek, sporty, and to me, represents some of the best of what BMW has to offer right now.

2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive interior design

The great design extends to the interior too. Perhaps my favorite thing about our review model is the fact that it has the orange and black upholstery, which looks awesome. Now, to be fair, I probably wouldn’t buy a car with an orange interior — but I certainly love having it for a week while I review a car. Some might be a little bolder than me — and I encourage those people to go with the colorful interior. You won’t regret it.

2022 BMW M3 Competition Driver SeatImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The rest of the interior of the car is somewhat what you would expect from BMW, with some additional premium touches. Our model comes with carbon fiber highlights, but even without those, the interior looks and feels premium and strong. You’ll get plenty of physical controls for things like climate, and there are tri-zone climate controls to ensure that your passengers are comfortable in the back. And, there are plenty of USB-C ports dotted around the car for both the driver and the passengers, plus a wireless charging pad at the front.

At the front, the car has a 10.2-inch infotainment display, coupled with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. You’ll also get controls for the various driving modes, which can get a little confusing at times. One of the advantages of this car is that the driving experience is so customizable — but one of the disadvantages is that the customizations can get a little tricky to navigate.

2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive infotainment

The 2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive comes with BMW’s iDrive 7 infotainment system, and it works fine here. As I’ve mentioned in other recent BMW reviews, iDrive 7 is relatively fast to react to touch input, at least on this car. But it’s still not super well-designed, and nowhere near as modern-looking or as user-friendly as the likes of CarPlay and Android Auto.

2022 BMW M3 Competition ControlsImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Thankfully, the car comes with both CarPlay and Android Auto through a wireless connection. I’ve had some issues with a spotty wireless connection in BMWs in the past, but those issues usually resolve themselves. Unfortunately, you can’t use CarPlay or Android Auto through a wired connection in those situations, so you may instead have to reset the infotainment system.

2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive performance

Easily the best thing about the 2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive is how it performs. The car is extremely responsive, very agile, and frankly, an absolute joy to drive.

The car comes with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter i6 engine that can deliver a hefty 503-horsepower, and get you from 0-60 in 3.4 seconds. Yeah, it’s quick. The Comp models come with all-wheel drive, and that helps you take full advantage of the power on offer here.

2022 BMW M3 Competition RearImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

I found the car to be excellent in every aspect of driving. Some might find it a little too responsive, though, of course, I recommend tweaking the drive settings to your preferences when you first get the car.

The performance features make this not only a fun road car, but a great track car too. Now, most aren’t shopping for something to take to the track — but if you’re one of the few that are, it’s definitely worth going for one of the Competition models over the standard M2 Sedan.

2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive driver assist

The 2022 BMW M3 Competition xDrive comes with a number of driver-assist features that could come in handy, though many of them are only available as an upgrade. In the base model, you’ll get things like a backup camera and blind-spot monitoring, but spend a little money and you’ll get additional features like a 360-degree camera view for parking, automatic parking, and more.

2022 BMW M3 Competition RearImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

You’ll also find a lane departure assistant and adaptive cruise control, which can make for a self-driving-type experience on the highway when combined. It’s no autopilot, but it’s smart nonetheless.

Conclusions

BGR Gold Award 2022

The BMW M3 Competition xDrive is an absolute blast. It’s not necessarily the most practical car, but it still makes a serious case for itself as an everyday driver that gives you the power you need to have some serious fun. Not everyone will need or want the xDrive model, but those that do get it will love what it has to offer.

The competition

The M3 is iconic for a reason — and if you want a car like it, it’s probably the car to buy. But there is still some competition to consider if you’re unsure about exactly what you want. Notably, it’s worth considering the arguably even cooler BMW M4, which is a little more expensive. Or, it may be worth taking a look at something like the Audi RS5.

Should I buy the 2022 BMW M3 Competition?

Yes. It’s a killer option for those that want a sporty experience and that classic BMW design.

Christian de Looper was born in Canberra, Australia, where he lived until the age of 14. After his father got a job in Paris, France, Christian lived there for five years, after which he moved to Minnesota for college. During college, Christian developed a passion for consumer technology by writing for tech blogs. Christian now lives in sunny Santa Cruz, California.