The last BMW X3 I drove was the M40i variant, the first ever M Performance version of the X3. It’s an awesome car, one that blends everyday SUV usability with genuinely fun driving dynamics and seriously fast performance. However, while the X3 M40i might be the best overall SUV in the segment, it’s not the one most customers are going to buy. Instead, customers are going to opt for the BMW X3 xDrive30i. However, that’s not such a bad thing, as we learn from this new video from Kelly Blue Book.
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While the X3 M40i is more exciting, customers are going to want the xDrive30i for its lower price and better fuel economy but that doesn’t mean customers have to suffer. The lesser-engined BMW X3 is still an excellent all-around SUV.
Instead of the M40i’s brilliant B58 3.0 liter turbocharged I6, the X3 xDrive30i comes with a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-pot. Sure, it’s significantly less powerful, only making 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, but it’s more than enough to motivate the X3 quite quickly. Plus, its seamless eight-speed auto makes the best use of all of the engine’s power and torque.
The best part of the BMW X3, though, regardless of model is its handling. Its steering is remarkably enjoyable, with nice weighting and genuine feel and feedback. It’s also surprisingly sharp and accurate. Plus, the X3’s new chassis is agile and responsive, so it’s actually quite fun to drive, even the lowly xDrive30i.
So if you’re looking for a BMW X3, don’t feel bad if you can only afford the xDrive30i and not the more expensive M40i. Yes, the latter car is more fun and much faster but the less powerful xDrive30i is more than fun enough, while also being comfortable and practical enough, to be an excellent all around BMW SUV.