When I drove the BMW X3 M for the first time, the first car comparison that came to mind was the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. That was the car that the X3 M reminded me of most and not just on paper. While they’re similar on paper, they have a similar brutality that isn’t typically seen in SUVs. even performance ones. But the real question is: which one is better? Auto Express finds out.

Before we take a look at which one AE liked better, let’s check the specs. The BMW X3 M Competition uses a 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged inline-six engine with 510 PS (503 hp) and 442 lb-ft of torque. While the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio uses a 2.9 liter twin-turbocharged V6 that makes 505 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. They both use eight-speed ZF-sourced automatics and are both all-wheel drive. See? Similar.

They’re also both rated at around 4.0 seconds to 60 mph. However, independent tests have clocked both cars to be quicker than that, with the Stelvio being the quicker of the two, typically.

But which one is actually better to drive? According to Auto Express, it’s the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifolgio. Both cars handle extremely well, ride extremely harshly and are remarkably quick. Where the BMW X3 M Competition edges the Alfa is inside. Its cabin is significantly better. However, where the Stelvio bests the BMW X3 M is in its handling. While they’re both highly capable machines, the Alfa is said to be the more enjoyable, more energetic of the two.

Having driven both, I can see that. The BMW X3 M is a fantastic car and one that I like quite a bit. But there’s a seriousness to it that can’t match the Alfa’s enthusiasm. What’s funny is that, compared to the rest of the BMW lineup, the X3 M is a hilarious and entertaining car. But compared to the ever-so-charming Alfa, the big Bimmer is second place.

[Source: Auto Express]