It might seem a bit odd for BMW purists to hear but the BMW X3 M Competition is actually one of the M Division’s very best cars. Aside from its bone-shattering ride quality, it’s almost a perfect M car — it’s seriously fast, remarkably capable, and surprisingly fun to drive. And yet, it’s still an X3, so it seats five comfortably and has a big trunk. There’s so little to not love about the X3 M that the idea of an LCI facelift making it even better makes us all very excited.
This new BMW X3 M Competition LCI follows the standard X3 LCI and brings mostly the same stuff. However, there are enough X3 M-specific updates to the LCI to make it worth reading about.
A Face That Didn’t Need Much Lifting
The BMW X3 M Competition was already such a good looking crossover, even before the LCI update. Its butch stance, big wheels, and M Division additions made it look like it was out to eat every other suburbanite crossover on the cul-de-sac. Now, with its new, more angular kidney grille design and sharper headlights, it looks even angrier. The new design isn’t any different than that of the standard X3 LCI but that’s to be expected.
Out back, new taillights with more three-dimensional geometry sit above quad exhausts and a black rear apron. It looks sporty but not overly so. There isn’t some outlandishly fake rear diffuser or superfluous canards. Just some exhausts, a roof spoiler, and sharp looking taillights. Simple.
In addition to the standard adaptive LED headlights with Matrix function, the BMW Laser Light with a range of up to 650 meters is now also available as an optional extra.
Inside, most of the BMW X3 M’s original interior design remains intact but it now gets the new iDrive 7 screen from more modern Bimmers, along with the brand’s digital gauges. Both of which simple modernize the cabin a bit, keeping it more in line with more recent offerings. The climate controls are also from BMW’s more modern cars, which does keep it looking more uniform with the brand. Aside from that, it’s mostly the same.
Just a Bit More Power
Powering the BMW X3 M Competition is the same 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged inline-six engine (S58) that powers the BMW M3. While the X3 M was actually the first car to use the engine, the M3’s makes a bit more torque than the original X3 M’s. Now, though, the LCI brings the M3 Competition’s state of tune over to its crossover-shaped sibling. The BMW X3 M now makes 503 horsepower (510 PS/375 kW) and 479 lb-ft (650 Nm) of torque.
That punchier engine is paired with the same eight-speed ZF automatic as before, and the same as the M3 Competition, and all-wheel drive. There’s no two-wheel drive mode in the X3 M, as there is in the M5, but it’s not really necessary in the X3 M. It’s an insane hooligan even with four wheels turning. BMW claims a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) of 3.8 seconds, which is about the same as the M3 Competition.
Let’s Hope It’s Softer
By far and away, the X3 M Competition’s biggest problem, before the facelift, was its ride stiffness. Riding over a pothole in an X3 M Competition can detach your retinas. Admittedly, the tradeoff is that it handles like a much smaller sports car and will do things on track that genuinely defy physics. I rode in one on track with a pro-driver at the wheel and to this day I still don’t know how we didn’t flip over. However, all enthusiasts that have driven the X3 M will tell you that they’d take some more ride comfort at the expense of outright capability ten times out of ten.
It seems that BMW heard our cries, as it’s claimed that the BMW X3 M Competition LCI has a suspension system that “ensures a high level of day-to-day comfort.” I sincerely hope that isn’t just press release-speak and BMW actually added some suppleness to the X3 M’s ride. I’m fairly certain that after a week with the X3 M awhile back, my spine as three inches shorter. So some added ride comfort will be incredibly welcome.
Could Be BMW M’s Best Daily Driver
With an improved design, upgraded tech, and hopefully an improved ride quality, the BMW X3 M Competition could become the best everyday driver in the M Division’s portfolio. The BMW M3 is a sensational machine but the X3 M is bigger, more practical, easier to see out of, and, arguably, better looking. If it rides properly, the X3 M is a homerun.
A total of eight paint finishes are available for the new BMW X3 M and BMW X4 M including newly available Carbon Black metallic, Brooklyn Grey metallic, Bay Blue metallic and Sao Paulo Yellow.
- MSRP of $69,900 for the X3 M and $73,400 for the X4. Plus $995 Destination.
- Market launch is set for September 2021.
BMW X3 M and X4 M