Don't you already own an E9X M3, why'd you test drive one?

Simple, I had never driven a DCT M3.

I’ve owned my manual E90 M3 since July 28, 2014, and in that time I’ve put ~29k miles on it. I feel like I know my car very well. Despite this, I still had no idea what the DCT drove like. I figured I should answer that question, so I went for a test drive.


I should probably start with how this is different than my M3. First of all this is a coupe. It also has the DCT, obviously, as well as the competition package, and adjustable suspension. It is also red, very red; as I have admitted before I like this red. 

Lets start with the elephant in the room, the transmission. When I got my M3 I didn’t even look at DCT cars, it had to be a manual. Years later, I know I made the right choice, but I wanted to what the other side was like. I have several hours of seat time in my dad’s DCT 135is, but I still wanted to know what the M3 was like. While the salesman was copying my license, I set up the M button. The transmission mode I chose was the most aggressive mode.

Starting off, if sort of feels as if you were engaging a clutch with a third pedal. After that, it didn’t feel like a stick. I wouldn’t say that shifts were lightning quick, they were quick, but it wasn’t so quick as to surprise me. Downshifting was another matter. The perfect rev matching was something to behold. Like with my car, it is glorious to hear the S65B40 rev on rev matching downshifts. The good news for me is that it sounded like me rev matching on my downshifts; when I get it right.


The transmission didn’t detract from the car, but at the same time, it didn’t add anything. I know why the manual cars command a premium, they’re just that little more engaging to drive.

I will say it was felt like it wanted to go around the interstate cloverleaf faster than my M3, but I think that’s down to the tires. I’m getting new rubber on Wednesday, so that should be rectified.


The ride felt about the same to mine, but then again I had the adaptive suspension in sport. My suspension is pretty rough, but the seats are so comfy that they absorb most of the impact.

Other than that, it felt a lot like my M3. I mean that shouldn’t be surprising. I still prefer the manual though.  

Share This Story

Get our newsletter