2022 BMW X3 M40i is a great choice if you want 3-Series driving dynamics with more ground clearance
For many car enthusiasts, SUVs are no more than a grocery getter or a family hauler, but it would never be one car to do it all. 2022 BMW X3 M40i may not be able to replace your weekend warrior, but it can be a great daily driver if you are a car enthusiast, or prioritizing driving experience.
X3 is a very important model for BMW, not just because SUVs and Crossovers are popular, but it is one of the bestselling BMW model in North America. 2022 BMW X3 is updated (also called LCI – Life Cycle Impulse), but those updates are mainly visual changes.
Exterior and Interior
Although the X3 gets mid-cycle refresh, for an untrained eye the differences are minimal. For instance, two kidneys are now connected but they still keep nice proportions, so thankfully BMW didn’t put enormous grille from the M4. Front headlights are also redesigned, as well as daytime running lights.
Also, the front bumper is totally new with a lot of sharp angles, makes the X3 LCI more aggressive looking than the outgoing pre-facelift model. As M40i is the sportiest entry without going full M treatment, it still comes with big grille in the front bumper, but some of them are not functional.
The biggest difference in the rear end is the taillight design. Now it comes with 3D shape at the outer edge. It also has dual exhaust tips with updated shape and they are not fake. Other than that, it still keeps traditional X3 design language, I wish there were less gimmicky details such as the fake vents especially in the rear.
The side profile is where you feel X3 has been growing to a level it almost feels as big as the first generation X5. There are few more fake vents on front fenders for sportier look, but unfortunately those are also not functional. Like from the other angles, side profile has traditional BMW lines, sporty yet elegant.
The interior looks like any other 3-Series with more interior space, as it shares the platform with current generation 3-Series. It has many common parts that are used in other BMW models, from button layout to infotainment system is all belongs to BMW ecosystem and you would feel right at home if you are coming from any other BMW models.
2022 BMW X3 M40i does not have fancy seats with the M logos, but the front seats are very adjustable including side bolstering and manual thigh support. I find sport seats a little bit on the tight side especially the bottom cushion may not be the best fit if you are an overweight person.
As you expect from a compact crossover, you don’t get a lot of legroom space. Due to its drivetrain design, it sacrifices a little bit of rear cargo and passenger space, which is acceptable for a crossover that’s meant for driving pleasure. At 6’1″, you don’t feel cramped but definitely not the best place for long trips as it has a quite flat bottom cushion for the rear passengers.
Compared to other premium entries, it has decent amount of cargo space. It comes with 28.7 cubic feet (813L) and it can go up to 62.7 cubic feet (1775L) if you fold down the rear seats. Our tester had the original BMW roof box, which is a great addition if you want to have extra cargo space for longer trips.
Engine and Drivetrain
2022 BMW X3 LCI comes with 3 different engine options, and M40i is the fastest option before the X3M. The biggest difference compared to the other engine options is that M40i comes with 6 cylinder turbocharged engine with B58 engine code, which produces around 382 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque.
When it comes to inline 6 engines, BMW’s offerings are always at the top, if not the best. Latest gen B58 engine is no exception. The best part about is that it is very similar to the S58 engine, which is used in X3M. So you are basically getting slightly downgraded M engine for much cheaper.
Like many other BMW models, it comes with ZF 8-Speed torque converted automatic transmission. We have had a chance to drive many other cars with the same transmission, but what makes BMW’s 8 speed unique is the overall transmission tuning. It is not just as fast as dual clutch, but it can be extremely smooth in almost all circumstances.
As expected from a crossover, All Wheel Drive is standard with the 2022 BMW X3. BMW’s xDrive is tuned just as same, it is a rear biased AWD system that prioritizes fun while still being sure footed. It also comes with 48-volt starter generator which not only improves fuel economy, but it also helps AWD system to get 0-100 km/h numbers below 4.5 seconds.
Driving Impressions and Features
If you are looking for a premium compact crossover, 2022 BMW X3 M40i would not disappoint you. Of course, you should not expect it to drive like a real M, or an X3M, but BMW finds a great balance of a comfortable ride for families while still being sporty enough for spirited driving.
Like many other BMW steering wheels, this one also feels numb but it is extremely precise for a compact crossover. It compensates the numbness of the steering wheel by having a very communicative chassis, it is very predictable and you get more feedback and feel what’s going on from the chassis/driver’s seat more than the steering wheel.
The interior design, center console stack has a nice combination of good materials, but in the mean time, all important features have dedicated physical buttons. I really like overall BMW interior layout as they don’t go too far with electronics, it keeps a nice balance of quality and ease of use.
Aside from the steering wheel, the biggest flaw of the whole driving experience is the overall brake feeling. They are quite capable, but like the steering wheel it just doesn’t give you enough feedback and super touchy at lower speeds due to the mild hybrid system.
2022 BMW X3 M40i has probably the least amount of digital screen real estate when you compare it with the other premium entries, but the way that they implement is the most user friendly system. You don’t have to spend weeks to get used to the infotainment and digital gauge features and overall layout.
When it comes to features, you have to pay the premium to have all fancy features, as expected from a premium German automaker. Our tester had pretty much anything available in an X3, but I was pretty impressed with the Head-Up Display, Harman Kardon Surround Sound System which both comes with Premium Package Enhanced option.
There are some features that I was expecting to see, such as heated rear seats and ventilated front seats that you can even find in non-premium entries for much cheaper price tag. Also, Advanced Driver Assistance Package is a $2000 option which offers Adaptive Cruise Control that also does lane centering, which should have been standard.
Pricing and the Verdict
We have several different options when it comes to compact crossovers. You should not be looking for the value option if you are in the market for a premium entry, and 2022 BMW X3 M40i is a great option if you need an SUV that can do it all. Unlike many other entries, it is not just practical and upscale, but it definitely feels sporty.
Pre-facelift X3M Competition was one of my favorite SUVs of all time, but it was a compromised SUV when it comes to suspension comfort and daily driver. After driving the 2022 BMW X3 M40i, it definitely rides much better as a family hauler while still having car-like driving dynamics. As a result, it is one of the best do-it-all premium crossovers in the market.
2022 BMW X3 M40i starts at $66,900 CAD, but with all optional packages and stand alone options, the total comes up to $85,000. Some of those options are Premium Package Enhanced ($7900), Advanced Driver Assistance Package ($2000), Fiona Red/Black Merino Leather ($3000) and Digital Cockpit Professional ($1200). For more details – please visit www.bmw.ca