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Compare the2024 BMW M3VS 2023 Porsche Panamera

2024 BMW M3
2023 Porsche Panamera

Safety

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The M3’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Panamera doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The M3 has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Panamera doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The M3 has a standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Panamera doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The M3 offers an optional Active Park Distance Control that uses rear sensors to monitor for objects to the rear and automatically applies the brakes to prevent a collision. The Panamera doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The M3 has a standard blind spot warning system that uses sensors to alert the driver to objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them and moves the vehicle back into its lane. A system to reveal vehicles in the Panamera’s blind spot costs extra.

To help make backing out of a parking space safer, the M3’s standard Cross Traffic Warning uses sensors in the rear to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Panamera doesn’t offer a rear cross-path warning system.

The M3’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Panamera doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the M3 and the Panamera have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

Warranty

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BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the M3 for 2 years and 26000 miles longer than Porsche pays for maintenance for the Panamera (3/36,000 vs. 1/10,000).

There are over 80 percent more BMW dealers than there are Porsche dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the M3’s warranty.

Engine

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As tested in Motor Trend the M3 Competition is faster than the Panamera 4S 2.9 turbo V6 (automatics tested):

M3

Panamera

Zero to 60 MPH

3.5 sec

3.8 sec

Quarter Mile

11.6 sec

12.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

125.6 MPH

111.3 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the M3 Competition is faster than the Panamera GTS 4.0 turbo V8 (automatics tested):

M3

Panamera

Zero to 60 MPH

2.8 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

7 sec

8.6 sec

Quarter Mile

11 sec

11.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

124 MPH

116 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the M3 gets better mileage than the Panamera Sedan running its gasoline engine:

MPG

M3

AWD

Auto

Competition 3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

16 city/22 hwy

CS 3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

15 city/22 hwy

Panamera Sedan

AWD

Auto

Turbo S 4.0 turbo V8

15 city/21 hwy

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the BMW M3 higher (5 out of 10) than the Porsche Panamera (3 to 5). This means the M3 produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Panamera every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the M3’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the Panamera:

M3

Panamera

Front Rotors

15 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

14.6 inches

13 inches

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The M3 has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Panamera doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

The M3 stops shorter than the Panamera:

M3

Panamera

70 to 0 MPH

150 feet

156 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

102 feet

107 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the M3 has larger front tires than the Panamera (275/40R18 vs. 265/45R19).

The M3’s standard 275/40R18 front and 285/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Panamera’s standard 45 series front and 40 series rear tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The M3 Competition handles at 1.03 G’s, while the Panamera 4 pulls only .94 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The M3 Competition executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Panamera (23.8 seconds @ .85 average G’s vs. 24.5 seconds @ .77 average G’s).

Chassis

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The BMW M3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 1400 pounds less than the Porsche Panamera.

The M3 is 9.7 inches shorter than the Panamera, making the M3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The M3 has 2.6 inches more front headroom and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Panamera.

Cargo Capacity

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With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the M3 offers cargo security. The Panamera’s hatchback body style, non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

Ergonomics

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The M3 offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Panamera doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

If the windows are left open on the M3 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Panamera can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The M3’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Panamera’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

Laser headlights, optional on the M3, produce their light by firing blue lasers through phosphorus, a process that uses one-half the power of the Panamera’s LED headlights. Laser headlights can have double the range of LEDs with a much smaller surface area.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the M3 has standard extendable sun visors. The Panamera doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The M3’s optional Parking Assistant Plus can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Panamera doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

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The BMW 3 Series outsold the Porsche Panamera by over 10 to one during 2022.

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