I won’t forget driving the BMW X3 M40i for some time. It might not be the most thrilling car on the market, or even in its class, nor is it the fastest, but it’s genuinely very good to drive. Surprisingly so. In fact, it’s so good that after just a few short miles I almost wanted to stop, get out and make sure I was actually in an X3 and not a 3 Series of some sort. So it’s a shockingly good car to drive. But is it as good as the Porsche Macan S?
In this new comparison test from Car Advice, we take a look at the hottest X3 currently on sale (the X3 M is not on sale just yet) and the longtime segment leader Porsche Macan S. Which is the best warm German crossover?
The Porsche Macan has long been the enthusiast-favorite in the sporty premium crossover segment. Its near-sports car-sharp handling and steering precision make it the choice of crossovers if there are as many twisty turns on your daily school run as there are traffic lights. However, the Macan is getting a bit old now and, even after a mild refresh, its competitors are starting to catch up.
While the Porsche is still the choice of the two when it comes to twisty turns, the BMW X3 M40i isn’t far behind. According to Car Advice, the X3 M40 is still a great driver’s car, if not quite as scalpel sharp as the Macan. However, the Bimmer is faster by quite a bit, nailing 60 mph in 4.8 seconds to the Porsche’s 5.2 seconds. Plus, the BMW X3 M40i makes a better noise from its turbo-I6, compared to the Macan’s relatively flat-sounding turbo-V6.
Furthermore, the Bimmer is more practical, more spacious, packed with better tech and cheaper to own. So while the Macan is still the sharpest tool in the shed, it’s more of a one-trick pony to the very sharp multi-tool that is the BMW X3 M40i. So it wins Car Advice’s test.