The high-horsepower SUVs automakers offer for exorbitant prices aren’t what most people buy. Mid-range options with modest horsepower figures under the bonnet and reasonable RRPs draw in most shoppers. A new CarExpert video reveals that these mid-range offerings aren’t slouches, comparing the BMW X3 xDrive30i to the Porsche Macan T.
Both SUVs have turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines under their bonnets powering all four wheels. However, they differ in their outputs and gearboxes. The BMW’s powertrain makes 248 bhp and 258 pound-feet of torque. The Porsche’s engine makes a bit more, producing 261 bhp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
Gallery: BMW X3 (2021)
The Porsche’s extra power is an advantage that comes at a cost – weight. The automaker packed the Macan with luxury features, which aren’t light. The Porsche is heavier than the BMW, tipping the scales at 1,818 kilograms (4,008 pounds) compared to the BMW’s 1,768 kg (3,897 lbs) curb weight.
The Porsche never struggled against the BMW in any of the four eighth-mile drag races. In each one, the BMW launched from the line first, but the Porsche was able to reclaim the lead before crossing the finish line ahead of the X3. The BMW’s best outing had it losing by less than a car length, but the Porsche was the better performer.
The Porsche’s advantage is noticeable in the performance numbers gathered at the end of the video. According to CarExpert’s data, the X3 completed the quarter-mile race in 14.54 seconds compared to Porsche’s 14.10-second time. The Macan was a second quicker than the BMW in the eight-mile race. The Porsche was also quicker to 62 miles per hour, needing 5.86 seconds to complete the sprint in sport mode with launch control. The BMW needed 6.49 seconds.
It’s no surprise automakers can cram supercar levels of horsepower and performance into big and bloated SUVs and crossovers. Anything is possible at the right price, but customers don’t have to spend a small fortune for performance. The BMW X3 xDrive30i and Porsche Macan T might not have the correct badges or engines to please enthusiasts, but they offer some decent performance capability.