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It might share lots of similarities to the X3 M, but this BMW X4 M Competition is one performance SUV that performs better on the track.

06 Nov 2019

Choosing between the X3 M Competition and the X4 M Competition that you see here is like deciding on which beverage to order - a cafe latte or a flat white? One has a higher proportion of coffee to milk, while the other vice versa.

In this case, BMW M didn't just make the X3 M Competition the only performance mid-sized SUV offering. There's also the sleeker-looking X4 M Competition.

The BMW X4 M Competition is very much an X3 M underneath, but with a sleeker rear end

It's BMW's answer for those who have a deep desire for a four-door coupe-like SUV. And in every other aspect aside from looks, it seems to retain the same recipe for lunacy that the X3 M has.

What's the recipe?

Well, the same 3.0-litre twin-turbo lump that sends the same mind-numbing 503bhp and 600Nm of torque to all four wheels.

The X4 M is powered by same 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six as the X3 M, making some 503bhp and a whopping 600Nm of torque

Both cars also complete the century sprint in 4.1 seconds, before reaching their limited top speed of 250km/h.

Powertrain similarities aside, there's nothing to distinguish the two cars on the inside either. Every panel is the same. Perhaps the only telling part is that it says 'X4 M' in the instrument cluster.

The only way you really know you're in the X4 M is the badge on the instrument cluster

Where they differ is practicality. Thanks to the sloping roofline, there's lesser headroom and, at 525 litres, the X4 M has a boot that's 25 litres smaller than the X3 M.

Ok, it's different behind the wheel

Yes, the X4 M could've just been a small mention when we talked about the X3 M the first time. But where the latter is already a competent SUV all around, it's the former that has brings about a more exciting drive, expecially around corners.

X4 M doesn't feel as top heavy, and has a steering that reacts quicker and more accurately. At the same time, it never feels unsettled, executing corners in a flat and orderly fashion.

The X4 M takes corners with less body roll than the X3 M

In that sense, for what we thought were just visual differences between the two cars, the X4 M is undoubtedly the better car to drive on track.

Credit for its better handling has to be the fact that it has a sleeker body shape. The X4 M sits 49mm lower, and 30mm wider than the X3 M - offering much better corner carving abilities.

Surprisingly taut and composed, the X4 M is the SUV you want for the occasional track drive

If I want to track an SUV, is this the car to get?

As of 5 November 2019, the $470,888 X4 M Competition costs $11,000 more than the X3 M Competition. Considering its better show that matches its ample go, we say it's a premium that's worth paying.

So if you're wondering which is the better weapon of choice, we can only say that it's really down to your own preference and needs.

X3 M or X4 M? Well, it really is your personal preference

In the real world where an M5 Competition isn't constantly pacing you on track, the choice of an X3 M or an X4 M depends on how much space you'd like your rear and boot to have.

Hell, like I said, it's almost like making a choice between a cafe latte and a flat white - just that one has more coffee than the other.

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