July 22, 2024


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BMW X3 M (2019 – present) | Expert Rating

BMW X3 M (2019 – present) | Expert Rating


The BMW X3 M is a mid-size SUV/crossover and the performance-enhanced version of the regular third-generation X3 SUV. First arriving on UK roads in 2019, the X3 M received a facelift in 2021 alongside the rest of the X3 family.

The sporty SUV range consists of three models – the petrol-powered 360hp ‘M40i’ and diesel-engined 340hp ‘M40d’, and the range-topping 510hp ‘M Competition’ trim grade.

Before its 2021 facelift, the Top Gear team concluded that the X3 M was “devastatingly easy to drive stupidly fast”, but called its ride comfort “appalling”, said that its driving dynamics and engine note “lacked character”, and commented that it was too expensive.

The majority of reviewers largely agreed with this sentiment before 2021, but the X3 M’s review scores have markedly improved since then, Carwow asserting that the post-facelift X3 M is one of the most loud and agile options in the ‘hot SUV’ class.

But despite its technical improvements, many still take issue with the price of the top-spec X3 M Competition. “It’s a mighty impressive way of getting from 0-62mph in less than four seconds”, Autocar‘s Piers Ward concludes, but “at £90,000, you’re going to have to really want all the performance of the X3 M to justify this as your family car.”

As of December 2022, the BMW X3 M holds an Expert Rating of 56%, based on 12 reviews published by the British motoring media.

X3 M highlights

  • Easy to drive
  • Impressive performance
  • Well-built and practical upmarket interior
  • Plenty of on-board tech as standard

X3 M lowlights

  • Expensive to buy and run
  • Stiff suspension
  • Uninspiring engine soundtrack
  • Other ‘hot SUVs’ are more exciting

Key specifications

Body style: Medium SUV/crossover
Engines: petrol, diesel
Price: From £62,785 on-road

Launched: Summer 2019
Last updated: Autumn 2021
Replacement due: TBA

Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

Safety rating

Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

Adult protection: 93%
Child protection: 84%
Vulnerable road users: 70%
Safety assist: 58%

The BMW X3 M has not specifically been assessed by Euro NCAP, but it shares its safety score with the regular BMW X3 range which was awarded a five-star rating in 2017.

Eco rating

No eco rating

As of December 2022, the BMW X3 M has not been lab tested by Green NCAP.

Reliability rating

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Reliability data provided exclusively for The Car Expert by MotorEasy

All data based on MotorEasy average workshop costs for extended car warranty claims

As of December 2022, the BMW X3 range has a better-than-average reliability score of 63%, according to used car warranty data provided by our partner MotorEasy. This applies to both the standard range and uprated ‘M’ models across the current (2017 onwards) generation and previous generations.

There’s more good news. When the X3 does have problems, they tend to be relatively inexpensive. Even big-ticket items like engine repairs have cost less than on many other cars – an average of around £740, compared to £1,500+ on a lot of vehicles – while gearbox warranty claims have been non-existent.

Similar cars

If you’re looking at the BMW X3 M, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Alfa Romeo Tonale | Audi RS Q3 | Cupra Ateca | Jaguar E-Pace | Mini Countryman John Cooper Works | Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 | Porsche Macan S | Volkswagen Tiguan R

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