When I first drove the new BMW X3 M40i back in November of last year, I was immediately hooked. I remember going into the drive with a bit of hesitation, as I felt it would just be a standard X3 with some extra grunt. I was dead wrong, though, as the new X3 M40i is a proper sports SUV and one of the very best driving BMWs currently on the market. I remember driving it and thinking that it felt like a BMW of old, something with that magic balance of compliance and composure, comfort and sport. I thought I might have been crazy to think that until I read a Car and Driver review that seemed to echo my sentiments. So I now, curiously, read all reviews of the X3 M40i to see if other journalists share those same feelings.

This latest review comes from Auto Express and, while they might not share my level of enthusiasm, they seem to like it quite a bit. Giving it four out of five stars, Auto Express said “It’s got more character than an Audi SQ5, and while it’s not as sharp as a Porsche Macan its breadth of abilities is strong.” And that’s true. It may not be quite as dynamic as the Porsche Macan but it’s more so than anything else in the segment. More importantly, it’s more dynamic than most other cars from BMW.

With its 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 engine, the BMW X3 M40i makes 355 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. That allows it to get form 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds, which is seriously fast for an SUV of its size. It’s not just the power and performance, though. With sweet steering and perfectly judge chassis balance, the go-fast X3 is also a blast to drive. It honestly feels like an E46 330i on stilts. That’s about as much of a compliment as I can give.

“It’s certainly sharper than rival SUVs like the not-so-sporty Volvo XC60; the nose is precise, tucking in nicely through fast corners. Body roll is kept largely in check, although swift changes of direction can upset the flow. The steering offers decent weight, and more feel than you’d expect from a car of this type.” said Auto Express.

The BMW X3 M40i might be the best all-around BMW on the market right now and it’s certainly the best overall SUV in its class. You may not believe me but I can tell you this, I’d rather drive the X3 M40i everyday than a BMW 340i.

[Source: Auto Express]