AutoNSider Review | 2018 BMW X3 M40i

Luxury? You’ve got it. Performance? Oh yeah...

AutoNsider with Daryl Killian
March 11, 2018 - 3:10 pm

Of the “Big Three" German luxury-performance vehicles, one has always seemed to put the “Performance” part first… and that’s BMW.

And if there was one overall reason for that reputation for performance, it would probably be BMW’s legendary 3.0 six.

Sure… they make some Habanera-hot V-8’s… and everyone today now has surprisingly potent 2.0 liter twin-turbo four’s... but it’s that ”instant-on”,  burbling backfiring 3.0 six that has given BMW it’s street cred.

And that’s the engine that we had in our ’18 X3 M40i.

This is the third generation of BMW’s two-row, 5-passenger X3… now in it’s15th year of life… and like all the rest of ‘em on the road, they’ve only gotten better and better over the years… as has the 3.0 six.

And in a world where “Sport” is tossed around almost as often as “awesome”, “Sport” might just be an understatement when it comes to BMW’s Sport / Activity X3 M40i.

While the “regular” X3 has a 248 HP twin-turbo four that can run to 60 in a rather quick six seconds, the M40i shaves almost a second-and-a-half off that with it’s 355 HP, 155 MPH engine. An 8-speed auto comes with either engine.

In addition to the six, the M40i brings an adaptive sport suspension, beefier brakes, variable sport steering, twin-tube gas shocks, 19” alloys, a huge dual-pane moonroof, 14-way power heated leather front seats, heated steering, a 12-speaker 205 watt audio system, memory for all your settings, smart-phone connectivity, and what just may be the most distinctive puddle lights available today.

In short: Luxury? You’ve got it. Performance? Oh yeah.

And then there’s the “activity” part… and you’re not short-changed there, either.

You’ve got 8” of ground clearance, up to 62.7 cu ft of cargo space with the rear seats folded, and the ability to tow up to 4,400 lbs with a factory-installed trailer hitch. BMW’s all-wheel X Drive is an option, of course, and comes with settings for every imaginable condition… mud, snow, etc.

X3’s start in the low $40’S… with the M40i versions only $12,000 more.

If you have the need for speed… plus luxury, versatility, and enough room for five and their gear, BMW’s X3 M40i is one of those “Swiss Army Knife” vehicles that can pretty much do it all… and do it in the fast lane.