2011 BMW
M3
vs. 2012 Ford
Mustang GT

2011 BMW M3

9.8

Winner

BMW M3

starting from

$70,125
"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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Better suspension
Independent
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Fast 0-60 time
4.2 seconds
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Leather
Standard
2012 Ford Mustang GT

9.3

Runner-up

Ford Mustang GT

starting from

$30,105
"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 GT

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Good braking distance from 60mph
104 ft
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Average highway fuel efficiency
26 mpg
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Tighter turning radius
33.4 ft
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Average city fuel efficiency
17 mpg
Luxury Features 10.0 vs 7.0
2011 BMW M3 Winner: M3
[details]
  • Leather comes standard on the M3 ; the Mustang GT only offers cloth seats
  • Conveniently adjust your seat with the M3 's power seats; not available on the Mustang GT
Performance 9.0 vs 10.0
2012 Ford Mustang GT Winner: Mustang GT
[details]
  • The Mustang GT needs more than 10% less space to turn, 33.4 ft vs 38.4 ft
  • The Mustang GT's power-to-weight ratio is more than 10% better, providing a sportier ride, 8.7 lb/hp vs 10.0 lb/hp
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
  • Almost the same, 4.2 seconds vs 4.4 seconds
Cost 9.8 vs 10.0
2012 Ford Mustang GT Winner: Mustang GT
[details]
  • Gets more than 30% more miles per gallon in the city, 17 mpg vs 13 mpg
  • The best price we've seen is $40,020 cheaper (2.3x less), $30,105 vs $70,125
Safety Features 10.0 vs 10.0
Too close to call
[details]
  • Limited number of airbags
Crash Test Ratings - vs -
Missing information
[details]
Practicality - vs 10.0
Missing information
[details]
  • Both have a rear seat that folds down for extra storage space
Entertainment System 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Neither offers an entertainment system
  • Neither has a subwoofer; audio won't have that deep thumping bass sound
  • Neither offers speed-sensitive volume
Overall 9.8 vs 9.3

Luxury Features

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2012 Ford Mustang GT Ford
Mustang GT
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moon roof Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers a sun roof
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power seats Standard vs Not Available Conveniently adjust your seat with the M3 's power seats; not available on the Mustang GT
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keyless entry Standard vs Standard Both have keyless entry
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leather Standard vs Not Available Leather comes standard on the M3 ; the Mustang GT only offers cloth seats

Performance

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2012 Ford Mustang GT Ford
Mustang GT
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Horsepower 414 HP @ 8,300 RPM vs 412 HP @ 6,500 RPM Fairly 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 None Neither has an air compressor to maximize power output
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Power-to-weight ratio 10.0 lb/hp vs 8.7 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 33.4 ft The Mustang GT can make tight turns, but the M3 takes a little more room to navigate

Road Tests

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2012 Ford Mustang GT Ford
Mustang GT
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0-60 mph 4.2 seconds vs 4.4 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 12.7 s @ 111 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 GT 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

Cost

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2012 Ford Mustang GT Ford
Mustang GT
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MSRP $70,125 vs $30,105 The Mustang GT has a great price and the M3 is pretty reasonable
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In-city gas mileage 13 mpg vs 17 mpg The Mustang GT has OK city mileage, while the M3 is very inefficient
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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 GT'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 GT's is very short

Safety Features

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2012 Ford Mustang GT Ford
Mustang GT
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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 3 vs 3 Limited number of airbags
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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

Crash Test Ratings

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2012 Ford Mustang GT Ford
Mustang GT
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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 GT Ford
Mustang GT
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Passengers 4 vs 4 Average number of seats
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Highway driving range 332 miles vs 416 miles The Mustang GT has OK highway range, but the M3 is very limited
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Cargo space 9.0 ft3 vs 13.4 ft3 Both have OK cargo room
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front seats 51.1 ft3 vs 52.2 ft3 Both average size front seats
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folding rear seats Standard vs Standard Both have a rear seat that folds down for extra storage space
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power outlets Not Available vs Standard The Mustang GT'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 Not Available The M3 offers an optional navigation system; not available on the Mustang GT
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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

Entertainment System

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2012 Ford Mustang GT Ford
Mustang GT
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Number of speakers 10 vs Unknown
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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 GT'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

Other Vehicles to Consider

2011 BMW M3 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI M3 vs Impreza WRX STI
2011 BMW M3 2011 Porsche Cayman M3 vs Cayman
2011 BMW M3 2010 BMW M6 M3 vs M6
2011 BMW M3 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS M3 vs Camaro SS
2011 BMW M3 2010 BMW M5 M3 vs M5
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 Shelby GT500 2012 Nissan GT-R Black Edition Mustang Shelby GT500 vs GT-R Black Edition
2012 Ford Mustang GT 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Limited Mustang GT vs Impreza WRX STI Limited

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?