Finally, BMW is offering a proper performance version of its medium-size premium SUV. Most of the Euro competitors have been in this space for a few years now. Do good things come to those who wait? Let’s check out the new BMW X3 M40i and see.
Before the M40i came along the bestest, most-powerful and most badass X3 was – in Australia at least – the xDrive30d. Yep, a diesel. Many carmakers are starting to wind back on diesel options. In fact, Audi’s main rival, the SQ5, switched from a potent diesel to a petrol engine (250kW/500Nm) for the latest generation. Jaguar has been offering the F-PACE S (280kW/450Nm) for a couple of years now, and Mercedes-AMG has the GLC 43 (270kW/520Nm) and 63 (375kW/700Nm).
For the X3 M40i BMW is using a revised version of the 3.0-litre turbo inline six ‘B58’ engine. It’s actually the most powerful version of this engine so far, producing 265kW and 500Nm. This is sent through the slick ZF-based eight-speed automatic and into an xDrive all-wheel drive system. BMW Australia still offers the 30d (195kW/620Nm), but we miss out on the 240kW/680Nm X3 M40d offered overseas.
Alright, alright. Enough with the numbers. Actually, one more; $99,900 (excluding on-roads). Compared with the aforementioned rivals, this is bang in line with the SQ5, and slightly more affordable than the F-PACE S and Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 (both around $104k).