2011 BMW
M3
vs. 2011 Subaru
Impreza WRX STI

2011 BMW M3

9.6

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 braking distance from 60mph
107 ft
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Good cornering ability
1 g
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Fast 0-60 time
4.2 seconds
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Quite powerful
414 HP @ 8,300 RPM
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI

9.4

starting from

$34,720

Reasons to buy the Subaru Impreza WRX STI

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Turbocharged engine improves performance
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Average range in the city
287 miles
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Average city fuel efficiency
17 mpg
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Spacious front seats
55.6 ft3
Safety Features 8.2 vs 10.0
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Winner: Impreza WRX STI
[details]
  • Almost the same
  • The Impreza WRX STI has 2 more airbags (including Head / Curtain, Rear Curtain), 5 vs 3
Luxury Features 10.0 vs 8.5
2011 BMW M3 Winner: M3
[details]
  • Almost the same
Road Tests 10.0 vs 8.6
2011 BMW M3 Winner: M3
[details]
  • The M3 needs more than 10% less space to stop from 60mph, 107 ft vs 123 ft
  • The M3 can change direction around 10% faster, 1 g vs 0.93 g
  • The M3 hits 60mph more than 20% faster, 4.2 seconds vs 5.4 seconds
Entertainment System 10.0 vs 9.6
2011 BMW M3 Winner: M3
[details]
  • Almost the same
  • The M3 has 4 more speakers, providing a better entertainment experience, 10 vs 6
Performance 9.7 vs 10.0
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Winner: Impreza WRX STI
[details]
  • Almost the same, Turbocharger vs None
  • All-wheel drive provides better traction off-road and in poor weather, all-wheel drive vs rear-wheel drive
  • The Impreza WRX STI needs around 10% less space to turn, 36.1 ft vs 38.4 ft
Cost 9.8 vs 10.0
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Winner: Impreza WRX STI
[details]
  • Gets more than 30% more miles per gallon in the city, 17 mpg vs 13 mpg
  • The best price we've seen is $35,405 cheaper (2x less), $34,720 vs $70,125
Crash Test Ratings - vs -
Missing information
[details]
Practicality - vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Both have a rear seat that folds down for extra storage space
  • Very limited highway range
Overall 9.6 vs 9.4

Safety Features

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Subaru
Impreza WRX STI
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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 5 The Impreza WRX STI has a good number of airbags, but the M3 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 Standard Keep kids safe in the rear seat with standard child door locks on the Impreza WRX STI; optional upgrade on the M3
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Roadside assistance system BMW Assist vs None

Luxury Features

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Subaru
Impreza WRX STI
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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 Impreza WRX STI
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keyless entry Standard vs Standard Both have keyless entry
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leather Standard vs Standard Both come standard with leather interiors

Road Tests

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Subaru
Impreza WRX STI
Help
0-60 mph 4.2 seconds vs 5.4 seconds The M3 has a good 0-60 time, but the Impreza WRX STI is just average
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Braking distance at 60mph 107 ft vs 123 ft The M3 has above average braking ability for this class of vehicle, but the Impreza WRX STI is just OK
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1/4 mile 12.6 s s @ 113.4 mph mph vs 13.8 s s @ 101.0 mph mph The M3 's 1/4 mile time is zippy, but the Impreza WRX STI's is just OK
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Lateral acceleration 1 g vs 0.93 g The M3 has good cornering abilities compared to the merely average Impreza WRX STI
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Top speed 155 mph vs 144 mph The M3 's top speed is average for this class of vehicle, but the Impreza WRX STI is just OK

Entertainment System

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Subaru
Impreza WRX STI
Help
Number of speakers 10 vs 6 The M3 has more speakers, but the Impreza WRX STI has very few
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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 Not Available Like your tunes? In the M3 , you can upgrade to satellite radio
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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 Optional It'll cost you to get an entertainment system on the Impreza WRX STI; but it's not available at all on the M3

Performance

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Subaru
Impreza WRX STI
Help
Horsepower 414 HP @ 8,300 RPM vs 305 HP @ 6,000 RPM The M3 is fairly powerful, but the Impreza WRX STI is not far behind
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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 Turbocharger The Impreza WRX STI's Turbocharger lets it maximize power output, quite rare for this class of vehicle
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Power-to-weight ratio 10.0 lb/hp vs 11.1 lb/hp The M3 is a sporty car, while the Impreza WRX STI is just average
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Drivetrain type rear-wheel drive vs all-wheel drive The Impreza WRX STI has a good drivetrain for driving off-road or in poor weather
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Curb-to-curb turning radius 38.4 ft vs 36.1 ft The Impreza WRX STI is comparable to most other vehicles for turning, but the M3 is quite bad

Cost

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Subaru
Impreza WRX STI
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MSRP $70,125 vs $34,720 The Impreza WRX STI has a great price and the M3 is pretty reasonable
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In-city gas mileage 13 mpg vs 17 mpg The Impreza WRX STI 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 Impreza WRX STI'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 Impreza WRX STI's is very short

Crash Test Ratings

BMW
M3
2011 BMW M3
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Subaru
Impreza WRX STI
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Rollover resistance Unknown vs 4 stars
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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
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Subaru
Impreza WRX STI
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Passengers 4 vs 5 The Impreza WRX STI has lots of passenger seats and the M3 is OK, too
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Highway driving range 332 miles vs 389 miles Very limited highway range
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Cargo space 9.0 ft3 vs 11.3 ft3 Both have OK cargo room
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front seats 51.1 ft3 vs 55.6 ft3 The Impreza WRX STI has roomy front seats and the M3 is OK
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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 Impreza WRX STI's standard power outlets will keep your gadgets charged; not available on the M3
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roof rails Not Available vs Unknown
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navigation system Optional vs Optional Both offer an upgrade to a navigation system
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Cupholders Unknown vs 8
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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 2010 BMW M6 M3 vs M6
2011 BMW M3 2011 Audi S4 M3 vs S4
2011 BMW M3 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS M3 vs Camaro SS
2011 BMW M3 2011 BMW 328i M3 vs 328i
2011 BMW M3 2011 Audi S5 Premium Plus M3 vs S5 Premium Plus
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI 2011 Nissan 370Z Touring Impreza WRX STI vs 370Z Touring
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Limited 2012 Ford Mustang GT Impreza WRX STI Limited vs Mustang GT
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI 2011 MINI Cooper Impreza WRX STI vs Cooper
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX 2012 Honda Civic Si Impreza WRX vs Civic Si
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Impreza WRX STI vs Camaro SS

Comments Which car would you recommend, and why?

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