It's an SUV that isn't boring. It's a machine that's versatile.
Want to overtake that Camry driver doing 20 'kays under in a 100 zone? Want an SUV that's practical and fast? Want an SUV that's built with passion and excitement? Well the M40i is the car you need.
It's not your average run-of-the-mill SUV; it's a beast that will pop and burble every time you start it up, and it will scream whenever you overtake someone. The interior lights up in purple (or whatever colour you wish), and when you open the door you'll be greeted with a quality-built cabin with the world's thickest steering wheel and an adequate digital gauge cluster.
We had the Audi SQ5 and Jaguar F-Pace on the shortlist, and being honest the Audi's interior didn't really do it.
The F-Pace nearly made it, as it was beautiful and ticked all the boxes, except the dealbreaker was the amount of boxes that you needed to tick on the options list. It was a shame as I really liked the F-Pace too (another capable and great car that had a level of elegance)
If you are interested in the M40i, get the red leather seats and mood lights optioned up as it elevates car a lot, making it feel more special. The only thing I wish BMW would do is make the iDrive screen larger.
A word of advice with the leather seats, they are semi-aniline and are therefore unsealed. You need to take special care, clean them down gently with interior cleaner and use Mother's leather conditioner as this will keep them moisturised. Don't rub too hard as this can leech the colour out.
As for how the car drives, it's one of the best SUVs you could get into. It handles extremely well and drives like a sedan.
The suspension is firm and bumpy, but I was aware of this as this is an M package after all. Handling + M package = Bumpy/firm suspension, but it's nowhere near as bad as what the journo's say and to be honest every single car that revolves around performance has hard suspension. You should expect that.
The lane-keeping assist system is great, as it will drive the car if you let go from the steering wheel (as long as there are lanes), but if there are very sharp turns it will switch off. For long highways it's great.
The B58 engine is a complete gem and the ZF 8-speed is a fantastic gearbox. BMW should be given a medal for how well they tuned the gearbox and engine together.
There's never been an instance of fumbling or gear hunting that some have reported with other makes that have 8-speed transmissions. To be honest this ZF gearbox runs rings around any DSG transmission due to its smoothness and shifting capabilities.
The engine is very smooth and the exhaust note will always belt out a pop and crackle, which only a few other SUVS can do (Like SRT, RSQ models, Mercs etc).
Personally there have been no issues with reliability and many people talk highly of the B58 - there's known information that Toyota had a hand with it, so that's fantastic.
The headlights are incredible. When you switch the high beams on "Auto" they move around and make shadows on the cars in front of you or heading towards you. I was completely blown away by this technology.
Yes, like every single European car, be prepared for the future with servicing costs and parts. It is not cheap.
The warranty period is abhorrent; it's only 3 years!
The wheels are huge. Great for performance but not cheap to replace tyres, especially when they are run-flats!
Unfortunately it's only for a niche price bracket, as it's $126 grand off the truck like it's Euro stablemates.
Fuel economy is 11.5-12 litres per 100 kilometres, but I personally don't care what it drinks. You know you're in for it when you buy a performance car of any sort.
In conclusion for the ownership experience, I highly recommend this car to anyone who's looking in the upmarket SUV sector.