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  • Writer's pictureRGS Eric

BMW X3 M or X5 M? Which Model is for You?

BMW has an extensive lineup of SUV models for you to choose from– one of the broadest in the automotive industry, actually. There are several different sizes for you to choose from, as well as other variables within each category including powertrains and equipment levels. When it comes to overall performance, though, some of the fastest conventional vehicles fall into this automotive line. Focusing on BMW’s SUVs, particularly the X3 M and X5 M, which of the two models is for you, especially if standing-start acceleration is a concern of yours?

The Breakdown

The X3 M, the smaller model of the two, carries a 3.0-liter inline-six mill engine, delivering 503 hp at 6,250 rpm and 443 lb-ft of torque between 2,600 and 5,600 rpm. Being that it is smaller than the X5 M, it is indeed lighter at around 4,400 pounds. If you already own a 2019-2021 (pre-LCI) X3 M or are looking to purchase one in the near future, RGS carries protective grille inserts that create an OEM-looking barrier between leaves, cigarette butts, and other debris, and the vulnerable radiators and condensers of the vehicle. These grille inserts are also compatible with the X4 M.

As for the larger of the two, the X5 M packs a 4.4-liter twin-turbo engine, bringing to the table 617 horsepower and 556 lb-ft of torque between 1,800 and 5,860 rpm. This SUV can weigh over 5,000 pounds depending on its configuration. According to records, the X5 M takes 3.7 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 62 miles per hour.

Despite the size difference, these two SUVs share transmission and drivetrain components, including the eight-speed automatic transmission and their AWD system.

Who’s the Winner?

The 0-62 mph sprint takes 3.8 seconds, 0.1 seconds longer than the recorded acceleration for the X5 M. With those stats, you can guess which of the two models accelerated quicker in a drag race. Regardless of the “winner” here, both SUVs are great conventional, mainstream vehicles that showcase above-average performance. All in all, the real question is: do you need/want a larger or smaller SUV?

Greener Options

Either option is a great choice, as you’re getting a high-quality vehicle no matter what you decide on. However, if you’re interested in hopping on the EV bandwagon, BMW has created the iX3, essentially a fully electric version of the X3 M. According to BMW’s website, the iX3 has “the driving dynamics and premium quality of the BMW X3 and the increased performance and efficiency of the fifth generation BMW eDrive technology.”

What goes into this eDrive technology, as Bimmer Life explains, is, “the unique advantage of not requiring any rare-earth metals or magnets in their construction, and instead rely on a brushed design, the origins of which can be traced back over a century.” With China being in control of around 90% of the world’s resources including neodymium, a chemical element used in the magnets found in most electric vehicles’ motors, this is a major advantage.

Are you a X3 M or X5 M fan? What about the iX3? Tell us in the comments.

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