10 reasons why the BMW X3 M Competition is a crossover we’d really like to drive
At the time of writing this article, BMW is arguably one of the most controversial automakers. Although they produce jaw-dropping machines like the M5 competition, more often than not there seems to be a heated debate over their design choices. Take for example the recently unveiled BMW XM. Despite being the most powerful Beemer to ever exist, it still isn’t welcomed with open arms by the automotive community simply because it’s less appealing than we expected.
That said, we’re here to talk about BMW’s oft-overlooked crossover SUV, the X3, specifically the X3 M Competition. Today we’re going to analyze the X3 M competition from top to bottom and tell you why it’s one of the few crossovers we’d really like to drive.
10/10 The BMW X3 M Competition shares the same engine as the BMW M3 Competition
The BMW X3 M has two trim levels, namely the base model X3 M and the X3 M Competition. The X3 M inhabits a 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight-six that produces 473 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque. The X3 M Competition, meanwhile, features the same twin-turbo straight-six but develops 503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque.
Those numbers should sound familiar, after all that’s the same amount of power the current G80 M3 competition produces. The X3 M and M3 share the same powertrain dubbed S58.
9/10 The acceleration of the BMW X3 M Competition
According to BMW, the pre-facelift BMW X3 M Competition hit 60 mph from a standstill in 4 dead seconds, but since the facelifted model (also known as LCI) produces 37 lb-ft more torque than the pre-facelift Competition, this figure has dropped even more.
BMW says the X3 Competition LCI will do 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds. However, these numbers seem a little modest. Through real-world testing, we’ve concluded the X3 Comp can do 0-60mph in as little as 3.3 seconds – that’s just a few hairs behind the Audi RS6.
8/10 The BMW X3 M Competition has an exquisite interior
BMW has never let buyers down when it comes to what’s inside. Sure, most of them might look the same, but again, the phrase “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” exists. Mounted in the center of the dash is a 12.3-inch touchscreen that uses BMW’s latest Drive system, and it’s smarter than ever.
The materials used in the cabin are also well crafted. Its seats are well bolstered, heated and electronically adjustable. Speaking of seats, did we mention that at the heart of the X3 M Competition, it’s still family-friendly?
7/10 The BMW X3 M Competition behaves like an M car
If you want the hardcore M car experience everyone always talks about, you better go for something like the track-focused M4 CSL. That said, SUVs aren’t usually fun cars, but then again, the X3 M Competition isn’t your typical crossover.
In the style of M cars, the X3 M Competition features an adaptive M suspension that uses electronically controlled adaptive dampers that allow for either a smooth, relaxing ride or a hard, rigorous ride. By stiffening the shocks, the X3 reduces overall body roll and allows it to dive nose-first into corners, just like its other M brethren.
6/10 The BMW X3 M competition is practical
The BMW X3 may not accommodate as many people as the BMW X5, but it is more affordable and can comfortably accommodate up to 5 people. Oh, and don’t forget, all X3 M Competition models come standard with BMW’s impeccable all-wheel-drive system called xDrive, hence its insane acceleration.
As you can see pictured above, although the X3 M Competition is tailor-made for those who want to carve up mountain roads, it can still hold its own on dirt roads.
5/10 The understated design of the BMW X3 M Competition
On the one hand, some buyers despise a “normal-looking” performance car, but on the other, you have those who covet them. Why would a minimal exterior design be beneficial, you might be wondering? Well, one word: Sleeper.
A couchette is essentially an incredibly fast car with the exterior characteristics of smaller, slower vehicles – for example, a crossover. Essentially, sleeper cars are the perfect tools to embarrass supercar owners, and the BMW X3 M Competition will most certainly accomplish that feat.
4/10 The BMW X3 M competition in comparison with other fast crossovers
Right off the bat we have to tackle the elephant in the room, the price of the X3 M Comp. A base X3 M model will set you back around $74,000 and a Competition model will top $80,000. Sure, that’s a lot of money for a crossover, but remember, this one is blazingly fast, handles like a race car, and its S58 powertrain is reliable, too. How does it stack up against other compact SUVs with similar performance stats?
There are two glaring rivals that come to mind: the Italian-made Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrofoglio and the criminally underrated Gensisis GV60. The Stelvio QV pushes 505 hp and does 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds, but it costs over $80,000 and has questionable reliability issues… The Genesis GV60 Performance, on the other hand, only produces up to at 429 hp and costs about $10,000 less than the X3 Comp. However, this is an electric crossover, so it won’t have the glorious growl of the Beemer.
3/10 BMW X3 M Competition looks surprisingly good
It’s a sight for sore eyes to hear a truly decent sounding car in 2022. Sure, you still have supercars like the V8-powered Chevrolet Corvette Z06 that cause a huge ruckus when racing down the road, but having an SUV always sound great seems almost impossible.
Arguably the best sounding modern SUV is the Ferrari Purosange, but again it has twice as many cylinders as the X3 M. The X3 M Competition comes standard with a variable M Sport exhaust system that crackles and pops, but also has the iconic six-in-line scream that BMW is famous for. Listen to this pre-facelifted X3 M Competition, and don’t blink, there’s a cheeky drift in there too.
2/10 The more fuel-efficient BMW X3 M Competition you expect
Fuel economy is one of the last things to worry about when buying a fun and exciting car, but in the case of the X3 M, it’s just another reason why its price is justified. On paper, the X3 M and the competition are both supposed to average 14 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. This is not the case, however.
Various X3 M and Competition owners have noted that their vehicles use less gas than expected, especially on the highway. When the X3 did long trips, more often than not, it got an average fuel economy rating of 26 mpg.
1/10 The BMW X3 M Competition is a vehicle that can do it all
Usually, fun crossovers exist at the expense of a few things, be it comfort, price, or even handling. Nevertheless, we are happy to report that the BMW X3 M Competition is an almost perfect car suited to everyone’s wants and needs.
The X3 M Competition can tackle rough terrain, take a hot lap around your local circuit and set a better time than most sports cars, and can be fun for the whole family. Although BMW is facing backlash from its fans, the X3 M Comp is definitely not one of the reasons.