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Friday, November 21, 2008

BMW M3:Fuel Economy on Third Tank

Today I put the third tank of gas in the BMW M3 Sedan and had a surprise when I checked the fuel consumption.

Guess what? I was over 19 miles per gallon on this tank -- actually at 19.4 MPG! This was a huge improvement over my first two tanks that I had in the car -- with the first tank being closer to 15 MPG and the second right at 16 MPG. The sticker is rated at 14 MPG city and 20 MPG highway, I was expecting to be in the 16-17 MPG on an ongoing basis.

There were possibly two things happening...

1. The engine is starting to get broken in. The E90 M3 is the only BMW that comes with "break-in" oil as it is not broken in at the factory. That means the first oil change is at 1200 miles for this car. Initially they are notably tight and then loosen up over the first couple of tanks of gas.

2. I made the decision to only drive the car in the M-mode, also known as the M-Drive mode where the EDC (Electronic Damping Control) is set to Sport, Power is set to Sport Plus, and the stability is set to M-Dynamic mode. In this sportier setting, is it perhaps more fuel efficient?

In checking out the M3 Boards at BWMCCA, I noticed a couple drivers of E92 coupes are up in the 21-22 MPG range ongoing. If that eventually occurs, there ends up being very little difference between this an my Audi A4. How can that be?

Here's a little humor for you in terms of the M3's fuel economy. Check out the M3 vs. the Toyota Prius in a track fuel economy test. You may be surprised!