2018 BMW X3 M40i Verdict: What We Liked and Didn’t Like After a Year
The day I’ve been dreading has finally come. BMW wants its X3 M40i back and I’m beyond bummed. Even after approximately 12 months and 30,800 miles, I was still excited to start up the burly B58 and take it for a quick trip to the grocery store or across the state. When did a year become so short?
Time flies when you’re having fun and piling on miles, and I’ve thoroughly gotten to know the X3’s characteristics, both positive and negative. Let’s start with the good stuff. I spend a lot of time on the road, and the X3 made it quite pleasant. The Bluetooth-connected Apple CarPlay connects instantly and reliably and allows me to start streaming music or podcasts through the optional Harman Kardon system. Seats are comfy, and the cabin feels airy and spacious. The ride is compliant enough in Comfort mode, though I would forgo the $1,900 21-incher rollers. They made the ride choppier and, as per a previous update, hindered performance. The Premium and Executive packages include features that I used on a daily basis and made features like the head-up display a must for me in every car now. Surround View with 3D View and Parking Assistant Plus made parking anywhere in L.A. a breeze. Another must is the ventilated seats. A $350 option in our car.
Th X3 is also easy on the eyes. Proportions are just right, and adaptive full LED headlight and LED foglights give it presence at night. The hockey stick patterned flood lights are also a luxurious touch. After a year I still look at it with desire and admiration, sometimes looking back as I walk away, especially when the sun hits the must-have Phytonic Blue paint, a $550 option, just right.
Read more about our long-term 2018 BMW X3 M40i:
My favorite aspect of our X3 has to be the drivetrain. Like the MKV Supra with which it shares an engine, it feels like it’s packing more than the listed 355 horsepower. You’ll surprise unsuspecting RT Chargers and Challengers off the line, and shame V-6 Mustangs and Camaros, and STIs all day. The ZF supplied eight-speed is also one of the best in the business. It somehow manages to ratchet off fast shifts like a dual-clutch, yet it’s smooth and buttery when left in Comfort mode. I—and other staffers—didn’t hesitate to smash the right pedal, which is reflected on our observed 19.9 mpg average. That’s below the EPA’s estimate of 23 mpg combined. I don’t fault the car but blame myself and other lead-footed staffers for the lower than expected mileage. Can you blame us for our lack of self-control? Keep in mind, gas is free for us. I know, life is rough.
Our time with the X3 M Lite, as I like to call it, hasn’t been without blemishes. The sunroof started leaking into my lap when I took it through an automated car wash, and the front suspension developed a creaking noise. Both occurred pretty early into our loan, and the sunroof leak was remedied after a couple trips to the dealer, thankfully covered under warranty. The creaking was never resolved.
Other than that, the car has been pretty hassle-free. The interior has held up well against the battery of camera gear thrown into it, and we managed to avoid any damage to the exterior. All maintenance was free thanks to BMW’s Ultimate Care program, which covered basic maintenance for the first three years or 36,000 miles. That’s standard on all 2017 and newer BMWs. We took it in for routine service four times. Service was free of charge, and we were given a loaner. Maintenance cost totals a whopping $0, and so does normal-wear cost. We did change out the wheels and tires for an aftermarket set generously provided by Tire Rack when the factory rubber needed replacement. If it wasn’t for that, a replacement set of Pirelli P Zero RFTs from Tire Rack would’ve cost us around $1,800, plus $120 for installation at a local shop. So normal wear would’ve realistically cost roughly $2,000.
The X3 also retains its value pretty well for a luxury vehicle. According to IntelliChoice estimates, the 2018 X3 will be worth 51.1 percent of its original value in five years (https://www.motortrend.com/news/18-luxury-vehicles-with-the-lowest-depreciation-rates/). For perspective, the industry average is 47.8 percent, and a 2018 BMW 340i xDrive comes in at 45.8 percent. At the lower end, a Nissan Leaf SV is at 26.79 percent after five years. IntelliChoice gives the 2018 BMW X3 M40i an above average value rating and estimates a $57,795 five-year cost of ownership. A 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC 43 was given a poor value rating, with a $66,770 five-year cost of ownership. In general, luxury vehicles don’t retain their value, but if you really need the clout, the X3 won’t torture your wallet as much as others.
I will thoroughly miss my best long-termer yet. Although its reliability is still questionable, the X3 has proven to be a multitalented beast. It packs impressive performance yet it is practical, comfortable, and packed with useful tech as optioned. The X3 is long gone by now, and I’m left crying Drake tears reminiscing about it during my commute home in my new long-termer: the Kia Soul.
|SERVICE LIFE||12 mo/ 30,800 mi|
|OPTIONS||Premium ($2,950: heated steering wheel/front seats, navigation w/real-time traffic, head-up display, remote services); Executive ($2,550: auto parking assist, gesture control, 12.3″ digital instrument cluster, Vernasca leather upholstery, F/R parking sensors, surround-view cameras); 21″ x 8.5″ front and 21″ x 9.5″ rear M Double-Spoke wheels w/245/40R21 front; 275/35R21 rear run-flat performance tires); adaptive cruise w/stop ($1,200); active driving assist ($900: front-collision warning with low-speed collision mitigation, rear cross-traffic warning, daytime pedestrian protection, speed limit info, blind-spot warning, lane-departure warning); Harman Kardon surround audio ($875); adaptive M suspension ($700), blue metallic paint ($550); wireless charging tray, 3G WiFi hotspot, enhanced USB and Bluetooth ($500); ventilated front seats ($350); Apple CarPlay ($300); rear window side shades ($350)|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$68,670|
|AVG ECON/CO2||19.9 mpg / 0.97 lb/mi|
|PROBLEM AREAS||Front suspension tension struts, sunroof drain|
|MAINTENANCE COST||$0 (4- oil change; 3- inspection; 2- in-cabin filter; air filter|
|NORMAL-WEAR COST||$0 – Front brake pads and rotors|
|3-YEAR RESIDUAL VALUE*||$49,900 (73%)|
|*IntelliChoice data; assumes 42,000 miles at the end of 3-years|
|2018 BMW X3 M40i|
|DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT||Front-engine, AWD|
|ENGINE TYPE||Turbocharged I-6, alum block/head|
|VALVETRAIN||DOHC, 4 valves/cyl|
|DISPLACEMENT||182.9 cu in/2,998 cc|
|POWER (SAE NET)||355 hp @ 5,500 rpm|
|TORQUE (SAE NET)||369 lb-ft @ 1,520 rpm|
|WEIGHT TO POWER||12.1 lb/hp|
|SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR||Struts, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar|
|BRAKES, F; R||13.7-in vented disc; 13.5-in vented disc, ABS|
|WHEELS, F;R||8.5 x 21-in; 9.5 x 21-in, forged aluminum|
|TIRES, F;R||245/40R21 100Y; 275/35R21 103Y Bridgestone Alenza 001* RFT|
|TRACK, F/R||63.0/63.6 in|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||186.1 x 74.7 x 66.0 in|
|GROUND CLEARANCE||8.0 in|
|APPRCH/DEPART ANGLE||25.7/22.6 deg|
|TURNING CIRCLE||39.7 ft|
|CURB WEIGHT||4,282 lb|
|WEIGHT DIST, F/R||50/50%|
|TOWING CAPACITY||4,400 lb|
|HEADROOM, F/R||40.0/38.5 in|
|LEGROOM, F/R||40.3/36.4 in|
|SHOULDER ROOM, F/R||57.6/56.0 in|
|CARGO VOLUME BEH 1ST/2ND||62.6/28.7 cu ft|
|ACCELERATION TO MPH|
|PASSING, 45-65 MPH||2.4|
|QUARTER MILE||13.4 sec @ 103.7 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||112 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.85 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||25.9 sec @ 0.72 g (avg)|
|TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH||1,500 rpm|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$68,670|
|AIRBAGS||8: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain, front knee|
|BASIC WARRANTY||4 yrs/50,000 miles|
|POWERTRAIN WARRANTY||4 yrs/50,000 miles|
|ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE||4 yrs/Unlimited miles|
|FUEL CAPACITY||17.2 gal|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON||20/27/23 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||169/125 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.86 lb/mile|
|RECOMMENDED FUEL||Unleaded premium|
Source : Erika Pizano Link