There’s more to the X3 M40i than just 15 M badges
After spending a considerable amount of time with our long-term 2018 BMW X3 M40i, I’ve discovered a few interesting and useful features that BMW doesn’t necessarily advertise or list on the window sticker.
Convenient Comfort Access
With Comfort Access keyless entry, just press and hold the lock/unlock button to roll all the windows up or down. The system also lets you open the tailgate by swiping your leg under the rear bumper.
Love That Sound
The exhaust backfires and burbles in Sport and Sport+ modes. It sounds like gunshots in a tunnel. So awesome!
Point At It
Gesture control lets you adjust volume or skip to the next song without looking at the infotainment system. A two-finger point at the dashboard skips to the next song, and a pointed, rotating index finger at the dash adjusts volume (you can custom-program gestures to other commands, as well).
Surround View with 3-D view gives you a bird’s-eye view when you’re parking. It even automatically switches to a forward-facing view when you’re backing into a wall, as if you’re looking at the car from the wall’s perspective. It also has a Car Wash mode that focuses on the view right above the vehicle’s nose; guidelines help you drive into the conveyor system without scraping your wheels on the rails.
The Supra Connection
In M40i trim, the X3 is equipped with a similar engine as the new Z4 and Supra. There are a few small changes, and the power outputs are different, but all are powered by BMW’s turbocharged inline-six engine, codenamed B58. In the X3, the turbo-six makes 355 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque.
Go Ahead, Customize It
You can set presets for seat and steering wheel positions and the climate control system. The level of heating and cooling is customizable for each individual seat—driver, front passenger, and either outboard second-row seats.
The Nav System Does That, Too
The navigation system will give you current weather information on the map. When you scale the map to 10 miles (16 km), it shows up-to-date weather information from nearby cities. You can pinch-to-zoom the map using the iDrive touchpad.
To shift instantly to the lowest possible gear, press and hold the left shift paddle. To shift back into automatic mode after you’ve engaged manual shifting, press and hold the right shift paddle.
Red Light Activity
When you’re stopped at a red light, the stop/start system will restart the engine when detects the car in front of you has begun to move.
I’m amazed at the number of features in our X3 and the hundreds of ways it can be customized. I’ve merely scratched the surface, which makes me feel like it justifies the $68,670 USD sticker price.