A few weeks back, I had the chance to drive the new BMW X3 M Competition, the first-ever M-ified version of the X3 crossover. After having driven the BMW X3 M40i and being genuinely impressed, I was extremely optimistic about the X3 M. I had imagined that if BMW could harness the specialness of the X3 M40i but with more performance and a bit more raucous attitude, the X3 M would be awesome. Turns out, I was right.

In this new video, I explain why the new BMW X3 M Competition is potentially the best all-around M car on sale right now. It’s that good.

When you consider the fact that the X3 M is essentially just a tall M3 Touring, it starts to make so much more sense. It shares the same engine, gearbox and all-wheel drive system as the upcoming BMW M3, except that it’s a bit taller and has a much bigger trunk. So the only difference between the BMW X3 M and a BMW M3 Touring (which will never actually exist), is the higher center of gravity in the former. But, and I promise you, the higher center of gravity in the X3 M isn’t an issue.

Its steering is sharp and its front-end almost refuses to understeer. Its front-end has a tenacity that belies its size and drivertrain. And it’s a surprisingly agile machine, with an agility and playfulness that almost shouldn’t be allowed in an SUV. So SUV-haters might call me hilarious names for suggesting that the X3 M could possible rival a potential M3 wagon but I’d also be willing to bet that none of those haters have driven it. It’s a remarkably fun car to drive and surprisingly athletic.

When you combine its impressive athleticism, blistering speed and surprising fun with a big back seat, a trunk large enough to swallow a couple of child seats and a ride height that makes everyday life a bit easier and the BMW X3 M Competition because such a logical, everyday M car.