BMW X3 M xDrive X3 M Competition 5dr Step Auto

  • Automatic
  • Petrol
  • 26.2 mpg
  • 5 door suv
  • 247 g/km CO2
  • 247 g/km CO2 emissions
  • 26.2 mpg Fuel efficiency
  • 3.8 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 510 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

With this X3 M Competition model, BMW's M division turns its attention to the Munich maker's mid-sized SUV and creates a remarkably uncompromised road burning end result. An M3 crossover? That's about the size of it.

Background

It wasn't so long ago, with products like BMW's X5 M and X6 M, that many were questioning whether the Munich marque's M motorsport division should be making SUVs. Now though, and looking into the future, you wonder just much of this sub-brand's output won't be of SUV models. We've already had three in recent times, the XM Plug-in Hybrid following on from the X4 M Competition and the subject here, the X3 M Competition. As the name suggests, those latter two models are basically the same car, the X4 variant simply endowed with a lower roof line and a wider rear track. Which makes the X3 M Competition the most practical and family-orientated of the two. Though how practical and family-orientated a mid-sized SUV with 510hp and a £90,000 price tag could ever be is open to question.

Driving Experience

Even if you happen to disapprove of the idea of BMW's M division meddling with an X3 SUV, you can't deny that the job has been done properly here - even before you start looking beneath the bonnet. The steel coil suspension has been fully re-tuned, the brakes are uprated, the steering upgraded and an actively locking rear differential added. Plus there's the highly configurable four-wheel-drive system from the current BMW M5. The key though, as with any BMW M car, lies with the engine, which as enthusiasts might expect is the 'S58'-series high performance straight-six 3.0-litre twin turbo unit borrowed from the M3. For our market, it only comes only in top 'Competition' spec, which means 510hp and 650Nm of torque, figures that no other BMW six cylinder engine in history has surpassed. It's quite a powerplant, with a forged crankshaft, an indirect intercooler, a lightweight cylinder head and twin monoscroll turbo chargers boosting at up to 2.3 bar. Which first means that when you hit the big red starter button, it sounds satisfyingly snarly. And second of course guarantees that it's also very, very fast. Helped by launch control, 62mph from rest is just 3.8s away en route to a top speed which would probably be in the 180mph region if the limiter didn't click in at 155mph. As with all proper M cars, you use the central screen to set up your preferences for engine response, exhaust note, stability intervention and the change times of the M Steptronic 8- speed paddleshift auto gearbox. Then save your favourite settings into the twin red M buttons mounted on the steering wheel.

Design and Build

The visual changes which set this M Competition variant apart are predictably subtle. There are M-specific front and rear aprons. And your eye will be drawn to the vertically arranged and elongated side air intakes, framed by trim elements in high-gloss black, which is also used for the caps of the aerodynamically-optimised M exterior mirrors and the characteristic M gills integrated in the air breathers. You get big 21-inch wheels and, as with the M3, there's a multi-channel rear diffuser, which incorporates a pair of chrome tailpipes on either side. Inside, there are M Sport seats which have electrically adjustable head rests and an illuminated M logo. The air vents have galvanised trim and the dashboard and doors get carbon fibre inserts. The M leather multi-function steering wheel features contrast stitching in the BMW M colours and an open 6 o'clock spoke. The key difference though, with the interior of this M Competition model is the re-designed control island on the centre console, which includes two extra buttons in addition to the M gear selector with its Drivelogic rocker switch: these being the BMW Controller and the red engine start button. As with other M cars, two individually configured versions of your favoured M drive set-up can be permanently stored and retrieved at any time using the two red M buttons on the steering wheel. As with lesser X3 variants, you get the brand's 'Live Cockpit Professional' screen arrangement, with both instrument display and central monitor being 12.3-inches in size. The instrument display offers, amongst other things, an 'M View' with specific displays (adopted from the BMW M8). M-specific content is also available with the optional Head-up display. Otherwise, it's pretty much as with every other X3. There's plenty of headroom in the back and comfortable space for a couple of adults. Plus you get a decently shaped 550-litre boot which can be extended to 1,600-litres by folding the 40:20:40-split rear bench.

Market and Model

The X3 M Competition retails at around £94,000, which is £1,760 cheaper than its X4 M Competition stablemate. Of course, as the two cars are mechanically identical, it's only fair to see them priced so similarly, although historically, that hasn't stopped BMW pitching cars that are broadly similar under the skin at vastly different prices. M5 and M8 anyone? Nevertheless, around ninety grand might seem quite a whack for a fast X3 and some will ask whether this M Competition version is really worth nearly £30,000 more than the talented X3 M40i model. Of course, you get a lot for the asking figure, particularly inside where signature M details include red accents for the M buttons on the M leather steering wheel and the start/stop button on the centre console. The selector lever with-Drivelogic switch is leather surfaced with an embedded M logo and stitching in M colours. An anthracite-coloured BMW Individual headliner and interior trim strips in Carbon Fibre High-gloss are standard. Fine-grain Merino black leather trim is standard as are M sport seats, which are electrically adjustable and heated. These seats have pronounced side bolsters, integrated head restraints and an illuminated model badge. In addition to Carbon Black metallic and Brooklyn Grey metallic, there are two new paint finishes reserved exclusively for the X3 M Competition - Marina Bay Blue metallic and Sao¬†Paulo Yellow. In addition, a wide range of BMW Individual paint finishes are available, such as the matt finish Frozen Marina Bay Blue metallic.

Cost of Ownership

BMW has made great strides in improving its M division's straight six engine but you still won't be expecting too much in terms of efficiency here. You shouldn't be. The combined cycle WLTP-rated efficiency figures range between 25.7 and 26.2mpg, but if you regularly achieve that, then you really shouldn't have bought this car in the first place: you know where we are. The CO2 reading varies between 247-250g/km, which means that the BiK Benefit in Kind taxation rate is a lofty 37%. Even to get anywhere near the figures we just quoted, you'll need to drive with considerable restraint, with the engine in its 'Efficient' M Menu setting and the centre console 'M Mode' button set in its most sensible 'Road' format. You can monitor just how much high octane fuel you're using via a graphical read-out provided in the centre screen's 'Journey Data' section, part of a 'Driving Information' section that also has an 'Energy flow' graphic. But of course as an X3 M Competition owner, that's the last thing you'll want to do. Drive this car in anger as it was meant to be driven and the figures we've given you will of course disappear in a high octane haze. And if you use your right boot in anger a good percentage of the time, you'll certainly chew through consumables like tyres and brake pads. Insurance is as expensive as you'd expect from a car with that sort of potency under the bonnet (group 45E), but residual values should hold up well.

Summary

Make no mistake, the X3 M Competition is a serious driver's car. If you came away from the X3 M40i doubting that any X3 could ever be that, then we think this M model crossover has the power to convince you otherwise. That doesn't mean it's an automatic choice in its class. You might prefer a rival Porsche Macan GTS model's transformative air suspension. Or like more the way a Jaguar F-PACE SVR flows more smoothly over undulating tarmac. And you can certainly get the same performance with more sensible running costs from a new-era Mercedes-AMG GLC 63S. But none of these rivals have quite the authentic motorsport feel of an X3 M Competition. To have instilled this in a family SUV is quite a feat. But if anyone was going to achieve that, you'd put your money on BMW's M division to do it.

  • Auto start-stop
  • Automatic tailgate operation
  • BMW gesture control
  • 2x USB Type C ports in front centre console for charging and data transfer
  • DAB tuner
  • Electronic service booklet
  • Harman Kardon loudspeaker system
  • Body colour door handles
  • Body colour front and rear bumpers
  • Body colour spoiler
  • Front and rear bumper system with replaceable deformation elements
  • High gloss black shadow line roof rails
  • High gloss shadowline exterior trim in decorative moulding side frame/recess cover/guide rail/B, C pillars/mirror frame and triangle with mirror base
  • Lightweight engineering
  • M competition bodystyling
  • M door entry sills
  • M Double slat kidney grilles in High Gloss Black with black slats
  • M Exhaust tailpipes - Quad, round, split left and right with high gloss black finisher 100mm
  • M Sport exhaust system
  • Model inscription logo on right tailgate
  • Rear side wing doors
  • Shark fin antenna
  • Visible VIN plate
  • 12V power socket in luggage compartment and front centre console
  • 2 USB ports for charging in rear of centre console
  • Anthracite headlining
  • Battery in luggage compartment
  • Foldable boot floor with storage compartment
  • Four grab handles integrated in roof lining
  • Front and rear bottle holders integrated into door trim storage compartments
  • Front and rear side armrests integrated into door trim
  • Front centre armrest with storage compartment
  • Front cupholders x 2
  • Glove compartment with illumination
  • High gloss black front door sill finishers with X3 M competition designation
  • M Gear knob
  • M sport leather steering wheel
  • Multifunction steering wheel
  • Parcel shelf removeable and storable under boot floor
  • Reach and rake adjustable steering column
  • Rear seat centre armrest with two cupholders
  • Steering wheel heating
  • Storage compartment in rear centre console, front and rear door trims and under luggage compartment
  • Toolkit located in luggage compartment
  • Ambient light pack - X3/X4 M
  • Connected package professional - X3 M/X4 M
  • Extended storage pack with Stainless steel door sills- X3 M
  • Interior and exterior pack - X3/X4 M
  • Interior lighting pack -X3/X4 M
  • Active protection
  • Airbags - Front driver/passenger, front and rear curtain head protection, front side, manual deactivation of front passenger airbag
  • BMW emergency call
  • Child proof locking system in rear door
  • Child seat ISOFIX attachment rear outer seats
  • Crash Sensor - activation of airbags
  • Crash Sensor - activation of central locking release, hazard warning light and interior lighting
  • Deactivation of fuel pump in the event of a crash
  • Driver and front passenger with seat occupancy detection for driver's and passenger side
  • Passive protection for pedestrians
  • Side impact protection
  • Three point seatbelts to all seats with front and outer rear pyrotechnic belt tensioners and seat belt force limiters
  • Twin horns
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • Alarm system
  • Central locking switch for all doors, fuel filler cap and luggage compartment
  • Comfort access system with smart opener includes touch free opening bootlid and door handle illumination
  • Electronic engine immobiliser
  • Remote control with 2 integrated key with M specific design - 1 button open/close all lockable, windows + separate button for open luggage compartment
  • Start/stop button with keyless motor start with acoustic drive feedback and stop/stop button in blue
  • Maximum Charging Rate - kW: 130
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 247
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEH: 250
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEL: 247
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 237
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 209
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 359
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 246
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 2993
  • Compression Ratio: 9.3:1
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 6
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 84
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 90
  • Engine Code: S58B30T0
  • Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Gears: 8 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 24
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 10.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEH: 11
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEL: 10.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 10.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 9.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 15.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 10.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 26.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEH: 25.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEL: 26.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 27.2
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 30.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 17.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 26.2
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Badge Engine CC: 3.0
  • Badge Power: 510
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: N
  • Coin Series: X3 M Competition
  • Generation Mark: 3
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 45E
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 6
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 93
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 84
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 70
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 58
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 24
  • Service Interval Mileage: 18000
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 999999
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 3.8
  • Engine Power - BHP: 510
  • Engine Power - KW: 375
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 6250
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 479
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 66.3
  • Engine Torque - NM: 650
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 2750
  • Top Speed: 155
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 255/40 R21
  • Tyre Size Rear: 265/40 R21
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: DOUBLE SPOKE STYLE 892
  • Wheel Type: 21" ALLOY
  • Height: 1669
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4716
  • Wheelbase: 2864
  • Width: 1897
  • Width (including mirrors): 2138
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 65
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2500
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1600
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 550
  • Max. Loading Weight: 490
  • Max. Roof Load: 100
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 2400
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2010
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 12.6