2021 BMW X3 M40i SUV

MSRP $56,600

Ranked #27 in Suv

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2021 BMW X3 M40i SUV Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 12, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The 2021 BMW X3 M40i is essentially a scaled-down version of the properly bonkers BMW X3 M. Being an M division car it is priced higher than the standard X3 and for the extra price, it gets much more powerful engine and some performance enhancements. While no major improvements are in store for the 2021 model year, it now gets Android Auto as an option and Blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning as standard. Priced at $56,600, the X M40i is certainly more expensive than most of its rivals.

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Pros

Powerful yet efficient engine

Compact dimensions make it city friendly

Offers the most practical cabins in the class

Enjoyable handling

Cons

Certainly not the most tech loaded cabin

Looks a bit understated

Has started to feel dated

What's New?

Still part of the third generation X3

Added functionality of wireless Android Auto

Active Driving Assistance Package now comes as standard


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$56600

bodystyle

dr SUV

warranty

roadside assistance

No


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$56,600 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 BMW X3 M40i SUV in Alpine White color
Alpine White

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide


The X3 M40i is powered by a 382-horsepower 3.0L twin-turbocharged inline-6 engine instead of the standard 248-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It can tow up to 4,400 pounds as well when properly equipped. While it still does not make it a proper M car it makes it a bit more special and sporty. It goes after rivals like the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43,Audi SQ5, and Porsche Macan S. So just like you, we also have the question in our mind that where exactly does the X3 M40i fit between the X3 and X3 M, and that's exactly what we are here to find out. 

2021 BMW X3 M40i SUV Features

As mentioned above, the M40i is a scaled-down version of the M version and is available in a single trim level only. It is priced at $56,600 and comes with key standard features like 19-inch wheels, 14-way power-adjustable front seats, a panoramic moonroof, and adaptive headlights. The M badge-related features include stiffer M Sport suspension and the M Sport brakes. Some of the features exclusive to this trim level are mentioned below:

Trim

X3 M40i

MSRP (AWD)

$56,600

Key Features

Tri-zone automatic climate control

 

10.2-inch touchscreen display

 

12-speaker audio system

 

Panoramic moonroof

 

14-way power-adjustable front leather seats

 

Adaptive headlights

 

M Sport brakes & suspension

There are no optional packages available with the M40i but you can avail of different individual options. The optional features list includes features such as genuine leather upholstery, head-up display, parallel park assist, adaptive cruise control, adaptive suspension,n and much more.

Which trim should you buy?

The 2021 BMW X3 M40i comes pretty much in one fully loaded trim. While the price for the X3 M40i starts at around $56,600, the car comes with a lot of optional extras to make to car perfectly suited for your taste and liking. And if you choose to go with all the options then you are looking at a figure close to 70 grand.

2021 BMW X3 M40i SUV Engine and Performance

Under the hood of the 2021 BMW X3 M40i is the same 3.0L twin-turbocharged in-line six engine that you’ll find in the BMW X3 M but in a slightly lower state of tune. Also, some key performance components are replaced by lower-budget parts. But nonetheless, this engine has been breathed into by the M division of BMW which means it packs quite a lot of punch. To be figure specific, the engine produces 382 hp @ 5800 RPM and 365 lb-ft @ 1520 RPM. This sweet yet crackpot motor is paired to a conventional 8-speed torque converter transmission by BMW which is also one of the best in the class. 

It munches miles effortlessly and you don’t realize how much power it has till you pass that 2500 mark but after that, the motor starts to pull like hell. That is where it starts to get into its character and if you keep the pedal floored, the car will get you to serious high speeds with topping at 155 MPH where it is electronically limited. The gearbox is a very responsive one and holds on to gear quite long when in sports mode. M sports is maybe the best mode to drive the car in as that is where one can extract the most of this setup. 

Models

2021 BMW X3 M40i

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 

2021 Audi SQ5

2021 Porsche Macan S

MSRP

$56,600

$59,900

$52,900

$60,200

Engine

3.0L Twin-Turbo Inline Six-Cylinder

3.0L Bi-Turbo V6

3.0L Turbocharged V6

3.0L Turbocharged V6

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

8-speed automatic

9-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

7-speed dual-clutch automatic

Power 

382 hp @ 5,800 RPM

385 hp @ 6,100 RPM

349 hp @ 5,400 RPM

348 hp @ 5,400 RPM

Torque 

365 lb-ft @ 1,520 RPM

384 lb-ft @ 2,500 RPM

369 lb-ft @ 1,370 RPM

354 lb-ft @ 1,360 RPM

0-60 MPH (seconds)

4.4

4.7

4.7

4.9

Quarter-Mile (seconds)

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Top Speed (MPH)

155

158

155

157

This might not be the most powerful motor in the class though it is just a few units of power shy of the GLC 43’s motor. While this might be the car with the highest horsepower per penny ratio if that's a thing. We have seen this motor in some other M performance cars as well like the M340i and one thing we can say that it is a once very refined motor. It has this dual nature that below 2500 RPM it is very sophisticated and silent. 

When we talk about the numbers, BMW has the second most powerful engine after the GLC 43 AMG still it is the quickest for a spirit to 60 MPH with a time of just 4.4 seconds. The top speed of all the cars is electronically limited to around 155 MPH so there is no clear winner on that.

How well does the 2021 BMW X3 M40i handle?

BMW's M division is certainly known to make some of the best handling cars in the industry and because the X3 M40i is also developed under close supervision of the specialist from the M division team so that makes it a really good car to handle. The steering provides good feedback and gains adequate heft at high speeds. Now, to make things clear this is not as good to handle like a Porsche Macan but still, it is a rather enjoyable car to drive. It is a high riding SUV and there is a considerable amount of body roll but because of the firmer suspension and stiffer dampers, it is quite well contained to its limits. 

While it can take up most bumps and potholes in its stride comfortably, the big ones do filter into the cabin. Power is sent to all the four wheels via BMW’s proprietary xDrive AWD system but because this is an M performance car so it is more of a rear-biased AWD system. Further, you can opt for M sport differential which is a $1,300 worth of upgrade but we feel that it is a must-have upgrade as it makes things a lot sweeter. 

2021 BMW X3 M40i Braking Performance

 The 2021 BMW X3 M40i comes standard with M Sport brakes and calipers which include 13.7-inch rotors at the front while at the back there are 13.5-inch rotors. Now the X3 is not as heavy as the full-size SUVs, but still, at 4,244 pounds, it is a heavy car, and to stop all that momentum you need extra large brakes. That is why the car comes with four-piston brake calipers at the front which are again tuned by the M sports division. No official figures on braking but we are suspecting an under 50-meter distance for 70-0 MPH.

Models

2021 BMW X3 M40i

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 

2021 Audi SQ5

2021 Porsche Macan S

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

13.7

14.2

13.8

14.2

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

13.5

12.6

13

13

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,244 lbs

4,191 lbs

4,288 lbs

4,293 lbs

60-0 MPH (feet)

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

In comparison, the front rotors are the smallest in the X3 while the rear rotors are the biggest. Unlike some of the competition cars which have a huge difference in the size of the front and rear discs, the BMW has rather balanced the things and this in theory at least makes the braking more effective.

2021 BMW X3 M40i SUV Fuel Economy

This is where we feel BMW has used some sort of witchcraft because the X3 M40i returns a combined MPG of 23 out of this motor. BMW has some serious engineering in making this car powerful yet the most efficient of the bunch. This means that while the owning cost is high, the running cost of the M40i is below average, which makes it more pocket-friendly. This performance and efficiency balance makes it even more practical as an everyday runner.

Models

2021 BMW X3 M40i

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 

2021 Audi SQ5

2021 Porsche Macan S

MPG (City)

21

18

18

18

MPG (Highway)

27 

24

24

24

MPG (Combined)

23

20

20 

20

Fuel Tank Capacity (Gallons)

17.2

17.4

18.5

19.8

Range (City/Highway/Combined; Miles) 

357/459/391

306/408/340

324/432/360

342/459/380

While the fuel tank of the BMW X3 M40i is the smallest of all, it still has the highest range in this comparison. It means that you might be able to do that weekend-long trip without having to stop at a fuel pump. Thanks to the biggest fuel tank capacity of the Porsche Macan S it offers the second-best range in its class.

2021 BMW X3 M40i SUV Interior

The interior of the 2021 BMW X3 M40i in typical BMW fashion is just flawless. While other brands skip the quality of plastics as some lower part of the dash where particularly your hands won’t reach out of intention, BMW on the other hand does a really good job in making sure the cabin is built to finesse. No matter how hard you dig in, you won’t be able to find a single hard plastic and squeaky piece of trim. Everything is put together quite well which makes you feel that this interior isn’t going anywhere for years to come.

Front seats are M sport seats which are extremely comfortable and supportive. They are big and broad and are capable of holding on to everybody's shape firmly. This is a performance car so it is expected that you won’t get tossed around while taking on the corners and the seats do a great job of keeping you in place. The seats are draped in SensaTec upholstery, that’s what BMW calls it. What we can say is it is lovely to touch and feels quite premium.

The rear bench is again having sport seats to the sides while the middle one is anyway going to be only comfortable for small kids. The contouring of the side seats is quite good and the level of comfort is also good. The knee is quite adequate and despite having a big sunroof, the headroom is not a compromise.

The X3 might not have the most spacious cabin but it definitely has the most balanced cabin design of the bunch. Also, it has the biggest boot at 28.7 cu-ft. which can easily gulp most of your luggage for four people for a weekend-long trip easily. Opting for a hands-free tailgate makes it even easier to load and unload the luggage. The rear seat folds down to liberate more space that enables you to load bigger items if needed.

Models

2021 BMW X3 M40i

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 

2021 Audi SQ5

2021 Porsche Macan S

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

40/57.6/40.3

37.8/57.3/40.8

40.2/57.7/40.9

N/A

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

38.5/56/36.4

38.5/56.5/37.3

37.7/56.5/38

N/A

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)

28.7

17.6

25.9

17.6

Though there is a fact that this maybe is not the most tech-laden interior of the bunch and competitor cars like Audi SQ5 and Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 feel like they have a more modern and sophisticated-looking interior. The X3 on the other hand, a rather simple and fuss-free experience. We rather love the simplistic and easy to the eyes design of BMW than the ones in other cars. Some of the interior features in the 2021 BMW X3 M40i are:

  • Multi-function tilt & telescopic steering wheel
  • Leather steering wheel and shift knob
  • Aluminum foot pedals, door, and dashboard trim
  • Proximity entry
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Power liftgate
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control

What’s there to keep you entertained?

The 2021 BMW X3 gets a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen unit which runs BMW’s proprietary iDrive system. This has got to be the party piece of this interior as it is of high resolution, is crystal clear to look at and the system is just so smooth and lag-free. It simply is the best system in the business. 

It comes with inbuilt navigation and optional Apple CarPlay. Also along with it is a digital driver’s display which is very weirdly executed with two rings in between surrounding the two digital dials. The older generation of BMW’s driver display was pretty useless and honestly, BMW has worked a lot on improving that since then. Now the digital driver’s display is a lot better than what it used to be, though still, it has a long way to go before it will be as good as Audi’s virtual cockpit.

  • The 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • SiriusXM Radio
  • HD Radio
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Bluetooth
  • Harman Kardon sound system
  • ConnectedDrive Services
  • Navigation
  • iDrive system

2021 BMW X3 M40i SUV Exterior

The 2021 BMW X3 M40i might have the most understated look among all the competition. The design of the X3 M40i is not very different from the regular X3 and this is where we are left wanting more. When you spend an extra sum of money, you want to be treated differently but that is an area we feel BMW should have put a bit more effort into. The only visual change you can find is that the X3 M40i has a more aggressive bumper at the front with larger air intakes and that’s it. Similarly at the back, you get a different bumper as well and of course twin tailpipes.

Though the car comes with a bunch of color options to choose from, we think the car looks the best in Carbon black metallic, and that too with the optional Shadowline trim selected. As standard, the car comes with ten-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels but these can also be upgraded to optional 21-inches which does the job of filling the wheel well quite well, while they also will result in a firmer and stiffer ride.

Models

2021 BMW X3 M40i

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 

2021 Audi SQ5

2021 Porsche Macan S

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,244 lbs

4,191 lbs

4,288 lbs

4,293 lbs

Length (inches)

186.1

183.5

184.3

184.9

Width (inches)

74.7

76

74.5

76.2

Height (inches)

66

64

65.5

63.9

Ground Clearance (inches)

7.2

 

 

 

Wheelbase (inches)

112.8

113.1

111

110.5

All in all, we feel the design is a lot understated and while BMW could have done a bit more to make the X3 M40i stand out from the normal X3, it still is a very handsome looking car and one has to see it for real to actually understand its design. At 4,244 pounds, the BMW is the second lightest car after the GLC 43 AMG and to all of our surprise, the Macan is the heaviest of the group. BMW is also the longest and tallest among all while being not that wide. Some of the standout exterior features are as follows:

  • Power-folding, heated exterior mirrors
  • Chrome exhaust tips
  • LED headlamps, DRLs & brake lights
  • Satin aluminum roof rails
  • Rear spoiler with center brake light
  • 19-inch alloy wheels

2021 BMW X3 M40i SUV Safety

If you’re buying a car that costs near to 60 grand then it is pretty obvious that the car will be brimming with safety tech. Something similar is the case with the X3 as it is loaded with all the modern safety technology that one can ask for. It has aced all the crash tests by both the NHTSA and IIHS. Some of the standout safety features are as follows:

  • Fatigue and focus alert feature
  • Programmable LED daytime running lights
  • Anti-theft alarm system
  • Active protection system
  • BMW Assist eCall includes emergency requests (SOS button)
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Blind-spot monitoring system
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rearview camera
  • Pedestrian detection

2021 BMW X3 M40i SUV Competition

BMW X3 M40i vs Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 

 The GLC 43 might be the closest rival to the X3 M40i as both are the scaled-down versions of their bigger and sportier siblings and both have near-identical performance figures. While the BMW has an in-six motor, the one in the AMG is a V6 which is completely different from that of the BMW’s in terms of power delivery. 

 The BMW is much linear in nature while the AMG has sudden power bursts which make it more exciting to drive. Also, the GLC has a better power to weight ratio and looks better. And all of this comes for a cost as the GLC 43 AMG is considerably more expensive than the X3 M40i.

BMW X3 M40i vs Audi SQ5

 The Audi SQ5 might be the one with the least powerful motor here but it is also the least expensive one. And by least powerful we in no matter mean that it is not a proper performance SUV. It has the letter S before its name and that says a lot about Audi’s intention with this car. 

 It is nearly 30 hp less on power than the BMW but Audi’s exceptional Quattro AWD system means that it is no less on performance. It is quite on par with the BMW if not ahead in terms of performance. One thing that the Audi can do better is having more interior space than the BMW which is always a good thing.

BMW X3 M40i vs Porsche Macan S

 The Porsche Macan S is by far the best-handling SUV of the bunch. Engineers at Porsche do know how to make a car float and that is exactly what the Macan does. While it has the same engine as the SQ5 and that means the power figures are considerably lesser than the BMW, there is no match for the way the Macan glides. 

 It can better utilize all that horsepower than any of the cars. If it is about straight-line drag then the BMW might win but when it's about a lap around the corner, we are pretty sure the Macan will make others run for their money.

2021 BMW X3 M40i SUV Final Verdict

The 2021 BMW X3 M40i feels like a more special and sporty version of the standard X3. If you prefer performance over comfort but at the same time want a practical crossover, the X3 M40i should fit your bill. For the price it demands, it is the most balanced car in terms of performance, luxury, practicality, and usability. It strikes a near-perfect balance between daily usability and weekend sports. 

Though we do feel BMW could have done a bit more to make it look better and a bit more athletic as it is still quite hard to differentiate it from a normal X3. Other than that if you’ve shortlisted this, then we would recommend that you must get one.