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BMW X3 M 2022: more grunt meets razor-sharp looks


If you’re in the market for a seriously rapid family hauler that can still mount a curb in a pinch, you might want to look to BMW’s updated go-fast midsize SUV that now features more grunt to match its aggressive new looks.

The facelifted version of the BMW X3 M has been unveiled and boasts a suite of upgrades that see it blend near-M3 levels performance with practicality the sedan would struggle to match.

The BMW X3 M closely shares its equipment with the coupe-like X4 M, with both expected to make it to Australia in the fourth quarter of this year.

BMW X3 M 2022 rear driving
BMW has given the X3 M a facelift giving it more torque and a sharp new look

What’s under the bonnet of the X3 M?

Featuring the same twin-turbo 3.0L straight-six engine fitted under the bonnet of the M3 and M4 Competition, the X3 M is just as much of an animal in a straight line as its slow-slug brethren.

Now updated with a 50Nm bump in torque, the X3 M makes the same 375kW power peak but torque has now climbed to 650Nm.

Pair that with an eight-speed torque converter and a rear-biased all-wheel drive system and the X3 M will lock up the wheels and launch from 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds – a snappy 0.3-second improvement over the outgoing model. 

BMW X3 M 2022 front 3/4
Under the bonnet sits the same 3.0L twin-turbo straight six-engine that is in the M3 Competition

BMW has fitted a throaty M Sport exhaust along with adaptive dampers as standard fit in Australia which BMW says offers a useful dual personality as either a comfortable daily driver or a keen handling performance car when you need it.

When the time comes to stop, BMW has fitted a set of compound brakes as standard that can be finished in blue with an M logo or just a simple black and red look if you so desire.

Over the top sits the new 21-inch wheels that weigh 2kg less at each corner and feature a staggered setup with 255mm of rubber at the front and 265mm at the rear.

BMW X3 M 2022 rear
Adaptive dampers and a sports exhaust are standard fit in Australia

What’s changed on the outside of the X3 M?

As with the regular X3, the M variant has freshened up its outer appearance with its headlights now 10mm narrower than before, giving it a more glary-eyed look.

Nestled in between is the enlarged kidney grille with a sharper front intake and accompanying side vents stretching upwards to give it a more expressive look.

It’s a similar story at the rear with the X3 M carrying over the LED taillights from the regular model – while the SUV flares its performance creditants through the quad exhaust pipes and rear diffuser.

BMW X3 M 2022 interior
The interior has been given a bigger centre screen and digital driver’s display

The X3 M’s interior in detail:

But the space you’re going to look at the most is the interior and thankfully BMW have made a solid effort to modernise the X3 M’s with subtle changes to the centre console with less visual clutter for the driver.

Sitting in front of the armrest remains the gear shifter and iDrive selector easily within the driver’s reach and you can cycle through the drive modes on the steering wheel.

In place of the old analogue dials, BMW has now fitted a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display that is paired with a matching screen in the centre.

More information will be released on pricing closer to the release date in the fourth quarter of this year.

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