It’s rare when a mid-size crossover leaves such a lasting impression but I can still remember driving the BMW X3 M40i for the first time and being genuinely impressed in only a few hundred yards. For a crossover, the X3 M40i felt surprisingly special and I could remember thinking that I’d love to own one. Now, it’s a few years old and it’s been refreshed, with BMW’s typical LCI treatment. After its refresh, and now that even more competition is on the market, is it as good as we remember? You can find out in this new video from The Straight Pipes.
Fort starters, the BMW X3 M40i looks better now that it’s been refreshed. BMW didn’t do too much to the outside of the X3 M40i but what it did do made a big difference. The new headlights, more aggressive grilles, and larger front air intakes give it a more handsome, exciting face. But this X3 M40i LCI isn’t all bark and no bite — BMW also upgraded the engine.
The original BMW X3 M40i used its 3.0 liter turbocharged B58 I6 to make 365 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. I remember it feeling shockingly fast then. Now, it makes 382 horsepower and the same torque. This new 382 horsepower configuration of the B58 is used in so many modern BMWs and it’s excellent in every single one. Apparently, it’s still excellent here and has the added benefit of 48-volt mild-hybrid tech.
Back when I drove the X3 M40i, I felt it was a sweet spot between performance and comfort; far quick enough to be thrilling and sharp enough to be fun, but also comfortable and quiet enough for daily use. Now, it’s made even better by its upgraded engine, improved interior tech, and better looks. As awesome as the X3 M is, the BMW X3 M40i might just be the best X3 in the range.