2022 BMW X3 M

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2022 BMW X3 M Test Drive Review: Cranked Up Crossover

When performance crossovers first appeared, the idea of them being genuine performance vehicles was greeted with scorn. It still is by many enthusiasts, and the BMW X3 M is treated with suspicion. But these people are wrong. They're operating on the assumption that technology hasn't evolved and mitigated weight and center of gravity issues. Sure, a new M4 will be quicker around a track or down your favorite backroad, but an X3 M will still blow your socks off while also having the ability to pack a week's worth of shopping in the back and run the kids to school in comfort. The physics-defying chassis is propelled by a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged straight-six cylinder engine making 473 horsepower. Upgrading to the Competition package brings output up to 503 hp while using the same superb eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-biased all-wheel-drive system. If that recipe sounds familiar, it's because the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio employs an almost identical strategy, while the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 opts for a V8 instead. The 2021 X3 M was a magnificent piece of kit, but the 2022 model promises updated styling, improved cabin technology, and better performance. And it delivers.

2022 BMW X3 M Changes: πŸš™What’s the difference vs 2021 BMW X3 M?

The 2022 BMW X3 M has received a substantial facelift. Outside, it has a larger kidney grille that extends into a redesigned front bumper. Together with vertical side air intakes and reshaped headlights and taillights, it looks even more aggressive than the 2021 model. New colors including Sao Paulo Yellow, Bay Blue metallic, Brooklyn Grey metllaic, and Carbon Black metallic have been added to the palette.

Inside, BMW has redesigned the center console with all-new controls, with some changes borrowed from the M3 and M4. iDrive 7 now offers remote software upgrades so that the X3 M is always equipped with the latest software and features. The standard touchscreen interface is now also larger than before.

There are even more exciting changes beneath the skin. The 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine remains, but it now produces 13 lb-ft more torque for the regular X3 M and 37 lb-ft more for the Competition version. As a result, both models are quicker than before, with the Competition model needing just 3.7 seconds to hit 60 mph.

Pros and Cons

  • Aggressively styled
  • Phenomenal power and acceleration
  • Handles better than most other SUVs
  • Loaded with comfort and safety features
  • Excellent passenger and cargo space
  • Rock-solid build quality
  • Heavy on gas
  • Ride will be too stiff for some
  • Powerful X3 M40i is over $10k cheaper

Best Deals on X3 M

2022 BMW X3 M Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Base
3.0L Twin-Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$70,100

X3 M Exterior

Depending on your taste, the latest X3 M will either be garish or possess just the right amount of attitude. The X3 has been one of BMW's more conservatively styled models for years, but the combination of the M additions and the overall facelift to the entire lineup has changed this. The grille is larger without being absurd, the headlights and taillights have been strikingly restyled, and there are new vertical side air intakes. The detailing below the grille looks rather busy, but the X3 M is an attention-grabbing vehicle, especially in one of the vivid paint colors. LED headlights, M quad tailpipes, an aerodynamic kit, and 20-inch wheels are all standard. With the Competition Package specced, the X3 M gains larger 21-inch wheels and extended Shadowline trim.

2022 BMW X3 M Forward Vision BMW
2022 BMW X3 M Rear-Facing View BMW
2022 BMW X3 M Sideward Vision BMW
See All 2022 BMW X3 M Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Key dimensions for the BMW X3 M have not changed markedly this year. The SUV measures 186 inches in length, 65.6 inches in height, and 74.7 inches in width with the exterior mirrors excluded. The wheelbase is 112.8 inches. The curb weight for the X3 M works out to 4,610 pounds. The X3 M Competition shares most of these figures but it is marginally taller at 65.7 inches.

  • Length 186.0 in
  • Wheelbase 112.8 in
  • Height 65.6 in
  • Max Width 74.7 in
  • Front Width 63.7 in
  • Rear Width 63.1 in
  • Curb Weight 4,610.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

BMW has added several new colors to the X3 M's palette for the 2022 model year. They are Carbon Black metallic, Brooklyn Grey metallic (our review car's color), Marina Bay Blue metallic, and the retina-shattering Sao Paulo Yellow. All of these options cost $550 besides the yellow, which won't add anything to your bill. Alpine White is the only other standard color. Other metallic options retailing for $550 are Black Sapphire, Dark Graphite, and Toronto Red.

  • Carbon Black Metallic
  • Black Sapphire Metallic
  • Dark Graphite Metallic
  • Marina Bay Blue Metallic
  • Toronto Red Metallic
  • Brooklyn Grey Metallic
  • Alpine White
  • Sao Paulo Yellow

X3 M Performance

BMW decided that the X3 M wasn't quite fast enough, so the automaker has made some changes to remedy that for the 2022 model year. Both models have more torque than before, with the regular X3 M now producing 473 horsepower and 457 lb-ft, and the X3 M Competition managing 503 hp and 479 lb-ft. As before, power is channeled to all four corners for maximum traction.

The X3 M will now find its way from 0 to 60 mph in a blistering 3.9 seconds, down from 4.1 seconds previously. There is an even bigger improvement for the X3 M Competition which shaves three-tenths off last year's model's sprint time. This model will now hit 60 in only 3.7 seconds. Both models are comfortably quicker than the Porsche Macan GTS. On our test drive, it was apparent that attaining these performance figures is all too easy. A top speed of 155 mph applies to both models, or 177 mph if you specify the optional M Driver's package.

2022 BMW X3 M Driving Front Angle BMW
2022 BMW X3 M Driving Back View BMW
2022 BMW X3 M Engine BMW

Engine and Transmission

BMW's fantastic S58 power plant continues to motivate the X3 M. The 3.0-liter inline-six engine is turbocharged and has been retuned this year to produce even more torque. In the non-Competition model, outputs are 473 hp and 457 lb-ft; the latter figure represents an increase of 13 lb-ft. For the X3 M Competition, outputs are raised to 503 hp and 479 lb-ft, the latter being an increase of 37 lb-ft.

The engines are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission with Drivelogic. The gearbox is known for its smooth, quick gear shifts. Drivers can switch through the ratios manually using steering-mounted shift paddles, or leave the eight-speeder to do its own thing. There are three Drivelogic modes, with Mode 3 enabling swifter gear changes and the ability to hold onto gears longer. This mode is perfect for track use and for listening to the powerful snarl from the Competition model's M Sport exhaust system.

Dipping into the settings while out and about can be frustrating, though, as there's more adjustment to drive modes than necessary for most people. However, regardless of the mode or setting, the X3 M is an incredibly potent SUV that loves nothing more than to steamroll its way past slower traffic whenever the opportunity arises.

  • Engine
    3.0L Twin-Turbo Inline-6 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Today, performance crossovers occupy the space left by hot hatches in the US, and the X3 M doesn't disappoint. Off the line, it's absurdly quick, and when you add some corners to the mix, it becomes wickedly entertaining. Then you remember there's a sport mode, and the X3 M starts to demonstrate how good a 21st-century hot hatch can be with its agility, despite weighing in at just over 4,500 pounds. The brakes will drop like a battleship anchor, helped by the sheer wealth of mechanical grip available, but are also easy to modulate and keep things smooth.

BMW has struggled with numb steering for a while, but the X3 M's steering is communicative and willing to let you know what's going on. More importantly, the same goes for your backside, as the suspension is firm while taking the crunch out of rough surfaces. Some will find the suspension too firm even in its softest setting for everyday driving, but we believe we could live with it in the long term.

X3 M Gas Mileage

The X3 M's gas mileage figures don't exactly make for pleasant reading. The SUV will only manage 15/20/17 mpg city/highway/combined, although this is 1 mpg better than last year's model. Perhaps this section highlights the appeal of the X3 M40i, reviewed separately as part of the normal X3 lineup - this model takes 4.4 seconds to hit 60 yet returns an impressive 23 mpg combined.

With a 17.2-gallon gas tank, the X3 M will be able to cover around 292 miles on a full tank.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    17.2 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 15/20 mpg
* 2022 BMW X3 M Base

X3 M Interior

BMW has made several worthwhile updates to the X3 M's cabin for the new model year. The fundamentals remain much the same, though, which means there is plenty of space, liberal use of high-quality materials, and a long list of features. The central section of the dashboard has been revised with new controls from the M3/M4, along with a larger touchscreen interface. These revised controls include a new setup button that allows access to settings for the suspension and engine. The ventilation outlets are also new.

There is no shortage of features in the new X3 M. It comes standard with power M sport seats, heated front seats, three-zone climate control, a universal garage door opener, a digital instrument cluster measuring 12.3 inches, and a touchscreen display that's the same size. Front/rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, and active blind-spot detection are just a few of the many driver-assist safety features.

2022 BMW X3 M Dashboard BMW
2022 BMW X3 M Steering Wheel Design BMW
2022 BMW X3 M Gauge Cluster BMW
See All 2022 BMW X3 M Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The reason you might buy an X3 M over a performance sedan or coupe is for its utility. To that end, it's a plentiful five-seater, and adults will be perfectly comfortable in the back. There is 36.4 inches of legroom behind the front seats and 38.5 inches of headroom, while at the front, there is 40.3 inches of legroom and 41.1 inches of headroom. For the driver, finding the right position is as easy as in any BMW, and visibility is superb whether you're making your way through traffic or backing into the garage.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 40.3 in
  • Front Head Room 40.7 in
  • Rear Leg Room 36.4 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.5 in

Interior Colors and Materials

Black Vernasca leather upholstery is standard, with select interior components covered in leatherette. This upholstery is complemented by carbon fiber trim and an Anthracite headliner. If you want any other color, this will require upgrading to Merino leather which adds both M sport seats and extended Merino leather for $1,950. Color options here include Black, Tartufo, Adelaide Grey/Black, and Sakhir Orange/Black. A combination of black Alcantara/leather with Midrand Beige contrast stitching is also offered, but that depends on how much you're willing to pay for it as this upholstery choice requires upgrading to the Competition package for $7,000. This package includes M seat belts with M stripe accenting.

If carbon fiber doesn't suit your tastes, these inlays can be replaced with Fine Wood open-pored Ash Grain or Smoke Grey Aluminum Rhombicle at no additional charge. Individual Piano Black is another option but this could extend the production time for your X3 M.

X3 M Trunk and Cargo Space

As we've found in prior reviews, the X3 M is just as practical as the regular X3. Behind the second row, you'll find a generous trunk with a capacity of 28.7 cubic feet. The trunk area has a usefully square opening and will easily accommodate bulky suitcases or a week's worth of groceries. The rear seats have 40/20/40 split-folding functionality and, when folded, cargo capacity swells to 62.7 cubes.

Interior storage consists of spacious door bins, a center console storage bin, dual cupholders front and rear, and a locking glovebox.

2022 BMW X3 M Trunk Space CarBuzz / Ian Wright
2022 BMW X3 M Cargo Space CarBuzz / Ian Wright
2022 BMW X3 M Back bumper BMW

X3 M Infotainment and Features

Features

As the range-topping X3, the X3 M exits the factory with a wide array of features. In front, there are power-adjustable M sport seats that include two-way power side bolsters, three-stage heating, and a memory system for the driver. Access and setting off are simplified by the advanced key with memory, push-button ignition, keyless entry, and a power tailgate. Elsewhere, the X3 M gets three-zone automatic climate control, a universal garage door opener, multi-color ambient lighting, rain-sensing windshield wipers, an auto-dimming function for the driver's side and interior rearview mirrors, and a digital driver's instrument cluster.

The safety specification is predictably excellent. The X3 M comes with a rearview camera, front/rear parking sensors, dynamic cruise control, forward collision warning, active blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams. Further equipment on offer via the options list includes a panoramic moonroof, a parking assistant, a head-up display, gesture control, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats.

Infotainment

Sitting center stage on the X3 M's dashboard is a 12.3-inch touchscreen that can also be controlled by BMW's now well-tuned rotary controller mounted on the center console. The infotainment system has a wealth of options and controls, but the iDrive system is intuitive and clear for the most part. Standard features include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, a wi-fi hotspot, and built-in navigation. You'll have to delve into options and packages to add things like wireless charging and BMW's gesture control system.

X3 M Problems and Reliability

Although the X3 M hasn't been specifically rated by J.D. Power, the 2022 X3 attained an excellent quality and reliability rating of 81 out of 100. Unfortunately, the 2021 X3 M was subject to three recalls as published by the NHTSA. Two of these recalls pertained to a faulty rearview camera; in some cases, the camera images were reduced or missing. The only other recall was for a fuel tank weld that may fail, potentially leading to a fuel leak and fire risk. So far, no recalls have affected the 2022 model.

Like other BMWs, the X3 is covered by a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty and four years of roadside assistance. Three years or 36,000 miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance are offered as well.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    12 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

X3 M Safety

There is no official safety review for the BMW X3 M specifically, but the regular X3 has been tested. The 2021 X3 attained a full five-star overall safety score from the NHTSA. Although it missed out on a Top Safety Pick award, the 2021 X3 nevertheless managed maximum Good scores in every crashworthiness test conducted by the IIHS. owever, some models only received a Marginal score for their headlights.

Key Safety Features

For the most part, BMW has equipped the X3 M to a high standard in terms of safety. Dynamic stability control, hill descent control, four-wheel ventilated anti-lock disc brakes, and brake fade compensation are all standard. The airbag suite includes head airbags for occupants in both rows, dual front airbags, and dual front-side airbags.

BMW's Active Guard suite includes lane departure warning, frontal collision warning, and automatic city collision mitigation and braking. The Active Driving Assistant is a system made up of active blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, and speed limit information. The SUV also gets post-crash braking, fatigue/focus alert, automatic high beams, BMW Assist eCall, front and rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera.

The optional Driving Assistance Professional Package adds an extended traffic jam assistant, a steering and lane control assistant, an evasion aid, and an emergency stop assistant. Other options are a head-up display and an automatic parking assistant.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2022 BMW X3 M a good SUV?

Without a doubt, the X3 M is one of the best, if not the best, performance crossovers around as it packs more power under the hood than a Porsche Macan while costing significantly less. We can argue which is better down a twisty road, but the BMW definitely brings a surprising value proposition to the table. If you're looking for a performance crossover to enjoy the hell out of, we can thoroughly recommend the X3 M. However, we would suggest making sure it passes the partner test by taking them out for a long test drive with the X3 M's firmness of ride in mind.

🚘What's the Price of the 2022 BMW X3 M?

The price of the BMW X3 M starts at an MSRP of $69,900, excluding a $995 destination charge in the US. The Competition package is a $7,000 option but one that we expect many customers to pick. By choosing all the available options, the X3 M's price tag will exceed $85,000 including destination.

2022 BMW X3 M Models

The BMW X3 M is a single-trim model. It's equipped with a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine producing 473 horsepower and 457 lb-ft of torque. The brand's xDrive all-wheel-drive system and an eight-speed automatic gearbox are standard; no other drivetrain configurations are offered. One of the most significant upgrades comes via the Competition Package which raises outputs to 503 hp and 479 lb-ft.

As standard, the X3 M's exterior is highlighted by 20-inch alloy wheels, power-folding mirrors, Shadowline trim, M quad tailpipes, and an aerodynamic kit. The Competition model has larger 21-inch wheels.

Inside, the base price will get you a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 12.3-inch touchscreen interface. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system are standard. There are power-adjustable front seats with heating, along with three-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Vernasca leather, and a power tailgate. The safety specification consists of, among others, forward collision warning, active blind-spot detection, and parking sensors at both ends of the body.

The Competition Package also adds special M Sport seats, an M Sport exhaust system, M seat belts, and extended Shadowline trim.

See All 2022 BMW X3 M Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Most shoppers in the USA will only care about the $7,000 Competition Package. It offers more power, better acceleration, and tempting additions like those M Sport seats and the M Sport exhaust system. Also on the performance spectrum is the $2,500 M Driver's package. This raises the top speed to 177 mph and includes a high-performance driving class from BMW.

The $1,700 Driving Assistance Professional ackage adds various camera/radar-based driver assistance systems. For example, the extended traffic jam assistant provides partially automated steering input at speeds of up to 40 mph on certain roads. This package also adds a steering and lane control assistant, and an evasion aid. For $3,650, there's the Executive package that bundles together a panoramic moonroof, parking assistance, a head-up display, gesture control, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and rear manual side window shades.

A few of the standalone options are front ventilated seats ($350, but requires the Competition package), the panoramic moonroof ($1,350), and the heated steering wheel ($190).

πŸš—What BMW X3 M Model Should I Buy?

Do you really want the over-the-top performance that the Competition Package provides? If so, then go for it and enjoy the hell out of it. However, we don't feel the Competition Package is necessary for a daily driver that you can still enjoy taking out for a spin. We would definitely drop the extra $3,650 on the Executive Package for the head-up display, heated rear seats and steering wheel, and the gesture control that is starting to become reliable to use. If we knew for a fact that we would be putting serious city and freeway miles on the X3 M, we would also spring for the $1,700 Driving Assistance Professional Package. We find the M Driver's package a bit of a shoulder shrug as a 177 mph top speed isn't something many people are going to test. However, the high-performance driving class from BMW could be worth the cost for those that want to get everything they can out of the X3 M.

Check out other BMW X3 Styles

2022 BMW X3 M Comparisons

BMW X3 CarBuzz
Porsche Macan CarBuzz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
BMW X3 M473 hp15/20 mpg$70,100
BMW X3 248 hp23/29 mpg$43,700
Porsche Macan 261 hp19/25 mpg$54,900

2022 BMW X3 M vs BMW X3

One of the X3 M's main competitors is close to home. Like the X3 M, the X3 M40i - which we review as part of the regular X3 lineup - offers turbocharged six-cylinder power and all-wheel drive. However, the M40i is $12,100 cheaper. For that saving, you have to sacrifice 91 horsepower and a 0-60 time that is half a second slower. However, the M40i's 4.4-second effort is still brilliant, and it offers a far superior combined gas mileage figure of 23 mpg. By comparison, that's six miles per gallon more than the X3 M. The M40i misses out on some of the X3 M's standard features like power seat bolsters, the Harman Kardon sound system, and the leather upholstery. However, it isn't as stiffly sprung as the X3 M so is the more approachable SUV for daily use. You'll need a track to fully exploit the X3 M's more focused suspension tuning. The hardcore X3 M is fantastic, but we'll save some money and opt for the better-balanced offering that is the M40i.

See BMW X3 Review

2022 BMW X3 M vs Porsche Macan

For the 2022 model year, Porsche elected to replace the Macan Turbo with the Macan GTS. It's this model that most closely matches up with the BMW X3 M. At $79,900, the GTS is $10,000 pricier yet is down on power at 434 hp. Its 0-60 time of 4.3 seconds also lags behind the base model X3 M's 3.9-second effort - and that's before considering the X3 M's Competition package. Besides this, the X3 M gets more equipment as standard and has a much larger trunk. That's a lot in favor of the Bimmer, but the Macan does claw back points when you drive it. Its PDK gearbox is class-leading, the V6 is powerful, and the suspension tuning is spot-on. The ride isn't as harsh as in the X3 M, yet the Macan is perhaps even more entertaining through the twisties. Because these are performance SUVs, the engaging Porsche Macan GTS is the one that impresses us most.

See Porsche Macan Review

BMW X3 M Popular Comparisons

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