The New BMW X3M Facelift
Article by : Pragati Khairnar and Arnav Kulkarni
BMW has recently had their fair share of violently critiqued SUV designs with the new iX and XM, but among those lies the perfect outlier; the facelifted X3M.
Launched on the 20th of January 2022, this is BMW’s latest competitor to the likes of the Audi Q5, Mercedes GLC and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio.
Does it rise above the competition? Or does it fade away into the sidelines?
Lets find out, RPMStyle!
The abiding tradition of BMW for their iconic kidney grille stays (thankfully in a proportionate manner this time around). The full LED + Laser Headlights straddling the grille are lowered by 10mm to make the front look more sleek and aggressive. The vertical air inlets in conjunction with the redesigned bumper complete the “aggressive” fascia and give it a mature, serious look.
The recast rear with sculptured 3D full LED Taillamps that look straight out of a Halo game, the wider bumper, sharper body linesand the broader (and definitely 100% real) quad-exit exhaust pipes present a much bolder rear-end.
Brooklyn Grey and Tanzanite Blue II are the 2 fresh off the factory paint jobs available
The facelift really did up-lift the face of the X3M and while BMW played it safe (surprisingly) with the X3M’s exterior design, the relatively minor changes do add up to a better looking X3 overall while still maintaining most of the brand/model identity *cough* M4 *cough*
Once you’re done admiring the exterior and you do finally decide to step in, the X3M is just as much of a welcome, comforting host on the inside, as it is a ruthless, powerful brute on the outside. Open the doors and you’re greeted by a wave of expensive materials all around, intricately stitched leather encapsulates the seats and dash, supple alcantara flows around the cabin, with hints of carbon fibre to add a dash of sportiness even on the inside.
Nowhere in the cabin would you find bits of cheap materials, scrabbly plastic bits or squeaky panels.
The cockpit comprises of the same old BMW feel, the same M Sport steering wheel with the 2 M Mode buttons, and a fantastic gripper with just the right amount of girth for quick, hard cornering, behind which lies the now fully digital 12.3’ gauge cluster . The infotainment is also an updated 12.3’ screen with BMW’s latest iDrive system complete with Sat-Nav, wireless CarPlay and AndroidAuto.
The X3M is surprisingly spacious and comfortable for a mid-sized Sports SUV. While, the plush leather seats keep you just as comfortable on long-hauls, as strapped in on a hot lap around a circuit, it doesn’t skimp out on legroom or headroom either! The rear leg-room extends to just above 36’ so your passengers don’t deal with sore legs or bruised knees.
Oh you’re a traveler? Sure!
The X3M has a massive 812 litre boot for all your bags AND that beer cooler or a rolled up tent (whichever lifestyle caters to you)
Well well well, the new X3M does look more mature and aggressive than ever, but does it deliver? Or is it all just deceiving looks?
The engine, the chassis induced agility and the sheer speed shatter all negative misconceptions surrounding it. The X3M carves corners that defy all physics of its size, and while the xDrive system makes sure it stays composed, you can still kick the rear out for a much more engaging and fun cornering experience. The X3M oscillates between wildly entertaining and utterly terrifying just enough to make the driver feel more alive and get that adrenaline pumping, or get your passengers screaming for their lives.
BMW has fitted it with the familiar i6 twin-turbo power plant from the M3 and the M4 that provides upwards of 503 horsepower (we all know how they understate their numbers) and up to 649 Nm (479 lb-ft) of torque propelling the top-of-the-line competition model to 60mph from a standstill in a neck-spasm-inducing 3.7 seconds via an 8-speed ZF Transmission.
The suspension, while notorious for being too firm on some roads and driving conditions, is a perfect companion for sporty driving and track days keeping the behemoth shockingly upright and perky through corners.
Let’s just say that this refresh has been nothing short of satisfying, all the upgrades are praise-worthy and we thank the BMW designers for the appropriately sized grille. While it stays with the same engine “why fix it, if it ain’t broke”
The X3M is a surprisingly practical M Model that meets practicality and sportiness right in the middle while not sacrificing either of them enough for it to be a displeasing experience. This definitely holds its head up against the GLCs, Q5s and Stelvios.