MotorWeek had the chance to test the BMW X4 M40i a while back and they did so in their typical fashion, combining advice about practicality with real-life tests of BMW’s performance claims. They took the M Performance model out for an instrumented test as well and came back surprised, not only to find out that it does handle great, but also returns better MPG figures than the EPA estimates.

Under the hood of the M40i hides the 355 HP and 365 lb-ft B58 3-liter straight six engine we’ve all grown to love. It delivers a great punch and it’s helped by BMW’s xDrive system which has been set up to be rear biased. That delivers a great experience behind the wheel as power is sent to the front only when needed, and thus understeer becomes a rare occurrence according to the MotorWeek review.

The suspension is also quite stiff and, when coupled with the M Adaptive dampers does work wonders for the car, especially when you consider just how tall and heavy it really is. You wouldn’t feel that from the driver’s seat though. The usual slalom portion of the test was handled diligently by the M40i even though a bit more feedback through the steering would’ve been welcome. Furthermore, the brakes performed admirably, bringing the car to a standstill from 60 mph in 99 feet.

The practicality factor does suffer a bit on the X4 compared to the X3 it’s based on, but that’s to be expected. The sloping roof-line cuts nearly 10 cubic feet off the available luggage space but room in the back is better than you’d expect for a Sports Activity Coupe, even with the sunroof on, as this tester shows. Returning 23.5 mpg is also a nice surprise, making this one heck of a good car in MotorWeek’s book.