2021 BMW X3 M Facelift presented at the BMW Welt

We just saw the BMW X4 M Competition LCI Facelift (that’s a mouthful) at the BMW Welt, wearing a retina-searing Sao Paulo Yellow paint. Alongside it was the more sensibly-shaped BMW X3 Competition LCI Facelift, in another interesting, but more more timid, color — Frozen Marina Bay Blue.

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Frozen colors are always good looking, if a bit annoying to maintain, and Frozen Marina Bay Blue is one of the better ones. It’s a great compromise between vibrant and sophisticated. Many of the darker Frozen colors can get a bit boring after a while but Marina Bay Blue is exciting enough to stave off boredom. In fact, if anyone’s asking my opinion (which would be a first), I’d say Frozen Marina Bay Blue is the best color option for the X3 M Competition.

As with the BMW X4 M we just saw, there are some new visual changes for the X3 M Competition LCI. It gets some new grilles, sharper headlights, three-dimensional looking taillights, and some necessary interior tweaks to keep it looking fresh. The X3 M was a good looking car to start out with, so the added changes only make it better.

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Under the skin, though, it remains pretty much the same. The 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged inline six remains, packing 503 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque. Which means it’s shockingly quick and extremely exciting. However, we do hope that BMW massaged the suspension a bit, to be more supple. The X3 M Competition is an incredibly impressive SUV but it doesn’t need to be because… it’s an SUV. So trading a bit of that track competence for any semblance of ride comfort would be a welcome compromise.

If BMW can make the X3 M Comp’s suspension a bit more comfortable for everyday driving, it’s actually a great alternative to the BMW M3 Touring. The M3 Touring will only be available in select European markets and will be sold in very limited numbers. For the rest of us, the X3 M Competition is even more practical, while being a bit less fun to drive, but still offers a similar package. Plus, it looks better, especially in a color like Frozen Marina Bay Blue.

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