Friday, January 5, 2018

BMW X3 M40i test: Too athletic?

BMW X3 M40i test: Too athletic?

BMW X3 M40i. The BMW X3, 3rd generation, inaugurates a very nasty version M40i, boosted by the 6-cylinder in line 3.0 turbo 360 hp. On the program: really sporty performances and sound, but also very stiff comfort. A flick on the button "start & stop" is enough to take the measure of this X3 M40i. All exhaust valves open, the 3.0 turbo gasoline climbs instantly to 1500 rpm, and stays there for 30 good seconds, exhaling, even if the block is already in temperature, a music raucous, hot, and very powerful. Recalling furiously the character of the "real" BMW M, this stream of nice decibels excludes any possibility of discreet departure face to face the neighborhood. In unison with this exuberant six-in-line, the muscular look incorporates a largely open front-side shield, air-guide extractors behind the front wheels, as well as a diffuser between the two exhaust outlets. All in keeping with the dynamic temperament on the road, X3 high performance.

Four modes, a preference
Equipped with active steering with variable gear ratios and, on our test model, the M Sport suspension option, this high-performance BMW features an unusually sharp front axle for an SUV. Very pleasant on winding road, where this M does not seem to make his weight (1,810 kg anyway, despite a relief of 55 kg), this agility however finds its limits if the turns are tightening with a front that loses then grip quite brutally and without warning. A lack of progressivity - unattractive on wet roads - due, in large part, to large anti-roll bars, essential to the stability of the machine. With rear steering wheels, BMW could have chosen more progressive and efficient settings, but these are not planned on the X3.

BMW X3 M40i Interior

BMW X3 M40i Interior

Its anti-roll bars are also responsible for strong transverse body movements on degraded roads, which shake the body and head laterally, degrading comfort. Despite the controlled damping, softness is not the strong point of this M40i outside flat surfaces. The acceptable choice is the Adaptive mode, certainly firm, especially at low speeds but able to provide, depending on the pace and coating, the most suitable damping force. We prefer it to the comfort mode, which is too soft, leaving the rear waving and bouncing on the stops, and Sport + Sport + modes exaggeratedly firm, doing a much too heavy steering and a box Auto. 8, too typical, refusing to pass the last report even at 130 km / h.

Finally a touch screen on the X3
As you will have understood, except for your quarter of an hour of craziness, the Adaptive position is essential not to put the family at bay, and let it enjoy a very refined interior, where space does not matter. not lack , neither for the luggage nor for the legs of the big ones installed at the back. Given the performance of this edgy X3, your occupants would appreciate, however, a less flat and longer seat to better support their thighs. And above all, a folder offering better lateral support, almost nonexistent here.

BMW X3 M40i Interior

BMW X3 M40i Touch Screen

It is appreciated however that this third generation of X3 finally adopts the touch screen facilitating the ergonomics of entertainment systems increasingly rich and complex. From now on, to control these hundreds of electronic functions, you have the choice between this one or the commands at the wheel, the wheel iDrive, the voice command, and finally the command gesture. Functionality that we do not recommend given its reaction time, lack of precision, and non-functioning recurring. Now remains to take over, in a few weeks, 2.0 diesel (190 hp) or petrol (184 hp) - much more requested - hoping that a more "family" comfort will be at the rendezvous.

BMW X3 M40i test: Too athletic?

Trade nameBMW X3 M40i
Engine6-cylinder in-line, Turbo, 24 S, 2998 cm 3
Power360 hp
Couple500 Nm
Transmission4x4
Box typeAutomatic
Image: © Bruno Picault

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