Review of the 2022 BMW X3 M in the UK Car News

What is that?

It’s a small detail, but I love how the M-style mirrors on this BMW X3 M set it apart from its regulation siblings. This means that even before you hit the big red start button, you know you’re in the heat.

And here we are, with a first UK drive of the hottest and smallest BMW M SUV (and yes, sorry, the pictures are of a left hooker – we’ve definitely driven the car in the UK ). It’s been refreshed and improved recently, with an updated look, 37 more lb-ft of useful torque and additional equipment.

The added grunt from the 3.0-litre petrol inline-six means the 0-62mph sprint time drops by 0.3 seconds, so marketers can claim main acceleration is over in less 4.0 seconds. That’s not bad for a family SUV, and that means it now matches the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S.

There is technical integrity here. The X3 has the same forged crankshaft as the BMW M3 and M4, which has less rotating mass, meaning the engine should spin more freely. Additional cooling is taken care of in this facelifted model through an additional engine oil cooler and a separate radiator for the transmission.

The visual changes to the exterior result in larger kidney grilles (as expected), but the most striking aspect is the new “vertically arranged and elongated side air intakes”. I wouldn’t say they’re a nice addition, but they definitely increase aggression. Even without the standard sports exhaust (a very raspy little number, by the way), people are going to notice you.

Inside, Android Auto now runs the X3’s operating system and carbon fiber trim is standard. Anything that reduces the amount of exposed piano black plastic can only be a bonus.

One thing: you’ll know if you’re in the facelifted X3 M by the location of the start button. Next to the gear lever? This will be the last version.

What does it look like?

The two M buttons stay on the steering wheel, so you can configure everything from throttle response and steering weight to suspension and stability control, with three settings each. It’s a good job there are the configurable M switches, otherwise the vast majority of every trip would be spent setting up the car.

Like the previous version, the X3 M is still an incredibly fast machine. I can’t say I noticed the faster 0-62mph time, but it’s responsive and focused in every way you’d want it to be.

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This notice was published: 2022-05-23 23:01:24

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