The Wild Child
Don’t be fooled by its family looks and X3 badge for this is not your ordinary compact SUV. The M40i is the first X3 to get the treatment from BMW’s tuners and it pleasantly delivers on the promise of the M badge.
I shouldn’t smile like this when I step from a BMW X3. After all, the X3 is the sensible one of the family, the car a Dad feels safe giving to his child as their first car.
It’s definitely not the sort of car that makes you feel like taking on anyone who pulls up next to you at the lights.
But with its cheeky exhaust note and knowing it will get to 100kmh in 4.6 seconds and top out at 250kmh, this M40i version is not the typical representation of a BMW X3.
In fact, cast aside the thoughts that pop into your head when someone mentions X3 such as self-parking, lane keep assist, active cruise control and WiFi connectivity.
It has all that of course, so don’t worry, but what this M40i version - the first M Performance model in the X3’s three generations - also has is something that’s virtually impossible to find on compact SUVs, personality. [To be continued...]
BMW X3 M40i
Don’t be fooled by its family looks and X3 badge, for this is not your ordinary compact SUV. The M40i is the first X3 to get the M Sport treatment from BMW’s tuners.
The BMW X3 is supposed to be the sensible one of the family, the car a Dad feels safe loaning to his child, but suddenly after some tweaking by M Sport which has given it M2 levels of performance, it’s turned into BMW’s wild child.
After my first drive of the new BMW X3 M40i something didn’t feel quite right. Outwardly it looks not too different to the regular X3 and inside it’s the usual plain-Jane look you find on every current-gen BMW.
But as I stepped from the X3 I wanted to get back in and go for another drive. This is not supposed to happen with compact SUVs, it’s meant to only happen with sports cars and grand tourers. Yet the X3 M40i was tempting me back for another crack at my favourite drive route.
With a cheeky exhaust note in Sports Mode and knowing it will get to 100kmh in 4.6 seconds and top out at 250kmh, this M40i version is not the typical representation of a BMW X3.
With 355bhp from a three-litre, single, twin-scroll turbocharged inline six under the hood that also delivers 500Nm of torque, it’s a proper rival to the Porsche Macan, Mercedes AMG GLC 43 and Audi SQ5 and if you look at it this way, that’s just 10bhp less than the M2 Coupe from which it borrows its power train, yet gives up the same torque. [To be continued...]