2011 BMW
M3
vs. 2012 Ford
Mustang Shelby GT500

2011 BMW M3

9.9

Winner

BMW M3

starting from

$58,075
"The car was fine in the Comfort setting -- I felt bumps in the road and large potholes, but overall the ride was very good given the rough conditions of Chicago's roads. The stiffer Normal setting was just too firm, both on city streets and on the highway."
chicagotribune.com | talking about the M3's ride quality
"One of the few truly awesome cars I've driven, the M3 nails both the sport and the comfort ends of the spectrum."
chicagotribune.com | talking about the M3's overall satisfaction

Reasons to buy the BMW M3

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Good cornering ability
1 g
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Fast 0-60 time
4.2 seconds
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Better suspension
Independent
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Zippy 1/4 mile time
12.6 s @ 113 mph
2012 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

9.7

starting from

$49,605
"A street-legal racer that’s just looking for some action."
mustangs.about.com | talking about the Mustang's engine
"I can’t stop thinking about how much power the new Shelby offered."
mustangs.about.com | talking about the Mustang's performance

Reasons to buy the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

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Supercharged engine improves performance
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Quite powerful
550 HP @ 6,200 RPM
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Good braking distance from 60mph
104 ft
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Average highway fuel efficiency
23 mpg
Safety Features 10.0 vs 9.0
2011 BMW M3 Winner: M3
[details]
  • The M3 has 2 more airbags (including Head / Curtain, Rear Curtain), 5 vs 3
Road Tests 10.0 vs 9.4
2011 BMW M3 Winner: M3
[details]
  • The M3 can change direction more than 10% faster, 1 g vs 0.88 g
  • The M3 hits 60mph more than 10% faster, 4.2 seconds vs 4.7 seconds
  • Almost the same, 12.6 s @ 113 mph vs 13.0 s @ 112 mph
Performance 9.4 vs 10.0
2012 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Winner: Mustang Shelby GT500
[details]
  • The Mustang Shelby GT500's Supercharger forces more air into the engine, improving power output, Supercharger vs None
  • More than 30% more powerful, 550 HP @ 6,200 RPM vs 414 HP @ 8,300 RPM
  • The Mustang Shelby GT500's power-to-weight ratio is more than 20% better, providing a sportier ride, 6.9 lb/hp vs 9.0 lb/hp
Entertainment System 10.0 vs 9.8
2011 BMW M3 Winner: M3
[details]
  • The M3 has 2 more speakers, providing a better entertainment experience, 10 vs 8
Cost 10.0 vs 9.9
Too close to call
[details]
  • Very inefficient in the city
Luxury Features 10.0 vs 10.0
Too close to call
[details]
  • Neither offers a sun roof
Crash Test Ratings - vs -
Missing information
[details]
Practicality - vs 10.0
Missing information
[details]
  • A standard folding rear seat on the Mustang Shelby GT500 is a great way to free up space for road trips; requires optional upgrade on the M3
  • Very limited highway range
Overall 9.9 vs 9.7

Safety Features

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2012 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Ford
Mustang Shelby GT500
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antilock brakes Standard vs Standard Both come standard with ABS brakes
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Stability control system Yes vs Yes Both have electronic stability control
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Airbags 5 vs 3 The M3 has a good number of airbags, but the Mustang Shelby GT500 does not (missing Head / Curtain, Rear Curtain)
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Rear brakes Disc vs Disc Both have the usual brakes for this class of vehicle
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child door locks Not Available vs Not Available
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Roadside assistance system BMW Assist vs None

Road Tests

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2012 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Ford
Mustang Shelby GT500
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0-60 mph 4.2 seconds vs 4.7 seconds Both vehicles have good 0-60 times
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Braking distance at 60mph 107 ft vs 104 ft Both vehicles have above average braking abilities for this class of vehicle
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1/4 mile 12.6 s @ 113 mph vs 13.0 s @ 112 mph Both posted zippy 1/4 mile times
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Lateral acceleration 1 g vs 0.88 g The M3 has good cornering abilities, but the Mustang Shelby GT500 is not very good for this class of vehicle
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Top speed 155 mph vs 155 mph Both vehicles' top speed is just average

Performance

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2012 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Ford
Mustang Shelby GT500
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Horsepower 414 HP @ 8,300 RPM vs 550 HP @ 6,200 RPM Both the Mustang Shelby GT500 and M3 are quite powerful
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Number of gears 6 vs 6 Average number of gears
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Transmission Manual transmission vs Manual transmission Both offer a manual transmission, unlike most in this class
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paddle shifters Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers paddle shifters
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Air compressor None vs Supercharger The Mustang Shelby GT500's Supercharger lets it maximize power output, quite rare for this class of vehicle
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Power-to-weight ratio 9.0 lb/hp vs 6.9 lb/hp Both provide sporty handling
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Drivetrain type rear-wheel drive vs rear-wheel drive Both have the usual drivetrain for this class of vehicle
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Curb-to-curb turning radius 38.4 ft vs 37.0 ft The Mustang Shelby GT500 is comparable to most other vehicles for turning, but the M3 is quite bad

Entertainment System

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2012 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Ford
Mustang Shelby GT500
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Number of speakers 10 vs 8 The M3 has more speakers and the Mustang Shelby GT500 is OK, too
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Has speed sensitive volume No vs No Neither offers speed-sensitive volume
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CD player Standard vs Standard CD player comes standard
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premium radio Optional vs Standard Have your pick of music from around the world with the Mustang Shelby GT500's satellite radio; in the M3 , too, but it'll cost
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Has auxiliary audio input Yes vs Yes Both have an audio-in jack so you can plug in your own MP3 player to the stereo
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Has subwoofer No vs No Neither has a subwoofer; audio won't have that deep thumping bass sound
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entertainment system Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers an entertainment system

Cost

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2012 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Ford
Mustang Shelby GT500
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MSRP $58,075 vs $49,605 Both are priced reasonably
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In-city gas mileage 14 mpg vs 15 mpg Very inefficient in the city
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basic warranty miles 50,000 mile vs 36,000 mile The M3 's %s warranty covers lots of miles, but the Mustang Shelby GT500's doesn't cover many
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basic warranty years 4 year vs 3 year The M3 's basic warranty is long lasting, but the Mustang Shelby GT500's is very short

Luxury Features

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2012 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Ford
Mustang Shelby GT500
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moon roof Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers a sun roof
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power seats Optional vs Standard Conveniently adjust your seat with the Mustang Shelby GT500's power seats; requires an optional upgrade on the M3
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keyless entry Standard vs Standard Both have keyless entry
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leather Standard vs Optional Leather-appointed interiors are available on both; but it comes standard with the M3

Crash Test Ratings

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2012 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Ford
Mustang Shelby GT500
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Rollover resistance Unknown vs Unknown
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Front driver crash test Unknown vs Unknown
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Driver side crash test Unknown vs Unknown

Practicality

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2012 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Ford
Mustang Shelby GT500
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Passengers 5 vs 4 The M3 has lots of passenger seats and the Mustang Shelby GT500 is OK, too
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Highway driving range 332 miles vs 368 miles Very limited highway range
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Cargo space 12.0 ft3 vs 13.4 ft3 Both have OK cargo room
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front seats 51.2 ft3 vs 52.2 ft3 Both average size front seats
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folding rear seats Optional vs Standard A standard folding rear seat on the Mustang Shelby GT500 is a great way to free up space for road trips; requires optional upgrade on the M3
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power outlets Not Available vs Standard The Mustang Shelby GT500's standard power outlets will keep your gadgets charged; not available on the M3
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roof rails Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers roof rails
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navigation system Optional vs Optional Both offer an upgrade to a navigation system
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Cupholders Unknown vs 2
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front air conditioning Standard vs Standard A/C for hot summer days comes standard

Other Vehicles to Consider

2011 BMW M3 2011 Audi S4 M3 vs S4
2011 BMW M3 2011 Porsche Cayman S M3 vs Cayman S
2011 BMW M3 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI M3 vs Impreza WRX STI
2011 BMW M3 2011 Porsche Boxster S M3 vs Boxster S
2011 BMW M3 2010 BMW M6 M3 vs M6
2012 Ford Mustang GT 2011 Dodge Challenger R/T Mustang GT vs Challenger R/T
2012 Ford Mustang GT 2011 Dodge Charger R/T Mustang GT vs Charger R/T
2012 Ford Mustang GT 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Mustang GT vs Camaro SS
2012 Ford Mustang GT 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Limited Mustang GT vs Impreza WRX STI Limited
2012 Ford Mustang GT 2011 Nissan 370Z Mustang GT vs 370Z

Comments Which car would you recommend, and why?

Showing 1 comments

Jeff (2:35 AM, February 01, 2013)
With over a hundred hp less the mustang GT and BMW both post faster 0-60 and 1/4 mile times?