What the critics say
The 2020 BMW X3 M
“We’ve come a long, long way from the early days of hopped-up SUVs.” BMW’s first compact crossover built completely to high-performance specs “packs enough horsepower to embarrass many a proper sports car.” To add to the fun, it “sounds uproarious as well.” But the X3 M and its coupe-shaped counterpart, the X4 M, aren’t overpowered mutants; the two rank “among the most well-rounded sporting SUVs we’ve ever driven.”
With a twin-turbo inline-six engine that produces 473 hp, the X3 and X4 are “stonking fast”—able to reach 60 mph in under four seconds. And you’ll be even faster to 60 if you opt for the 503-hp engine in the $76,900 X3 M Competition. But you better do some of your driving at the track, where other performance components also come into play. Because the X3 M gets at best 19 mpg on the highway, and costs $20,000 more than the quickest previous X3.
In so many ways, the X3 M is “happier on the track than on the road.” Even the brakes are too aggressive for supermarket runs, and thanks to the sensitive suspension and firm chassis, “you’ll be kicked around by every crack or bump.” Still, this SUV relishes track duty. “Isn’t that what an M car is all about?” ■