What next SUV to buy to replace my lovely BMW X3 M40i

A reasonable option would be to get a Porsche Macan AWD (Base Model) but a more expensive and desirable option would be to go for the Macan S.

BHPian mobike008 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Fellow BHPians,

I’m in a bit of a dilemma (I wish such dilemmas come more often into my life) and need some outside-in perspective to clear my mind.

As you may be aware, I own a 2021 BMW X3 M40i that I leased brand new in January 2021 and have clocked ~ 30,000 miles (48,000 kms) in the last 32 months of ownership with “zero dollars” spent out of the pocket till date on its maintenance. I have been using it like the age-old adage of Hero Honda Splendor “Fill It, Shut it and Forget it”.

Touchwood- There are zero issues with the car and the build quality is excellent and the car looks almost new inside and out. Even to date, it still runs on stock Pirellis run-flats that I got with the car.

This is one of the most enjoyable gasoline vehicles that I owned in my entire life.

BMW is a renowned brand for their sporty vehicles, luxurious interiors and solid build quality. Now pair that with the B58 engine and ZF transmission, it’s a match made in heaven and gives it a Jekyll and Hyde personality. It can become a race-car monster or ramble along the freeways at 80mph with equal ease.

I just cannot express how much joy it brings to me when I drive this car. But, by nature, I am a progressive individual and believe in furthering my passion and pushing my goals even further to bring more and more excitement into my automobile ownership experiences.

Come January 2024, our BMW X3M40i lease comes to an end and I have 4-months to make a decision on “Which Next SAV”. Yup, only SUVs to be considered as we have an EV sedan at home that does the duties of teleporting us from one place to another like a “missile”.

Well, the whole reason to come up with this thread is primarily because of an unfortunate incident- I recently came into contact with my “magical BMW lady” who gave me a fabulous deal on my BMW and she has some lucrative offers that are making me think all these options. She needs to be squarely blamed for igniting all these stupid thoughts in my gullible mind! LOL

Financially, I can afford all options but, having wasted a lot of money on “new” automobiles, it’s not a priority at all and will surely receive a lot of flak at home.

I need an outside in perspective from the following viewpoints:

  • Performance, Ride and Handling (I have always loved performance vehicles and don’t really care for any other parameters in a car as they are more or less good for all cars)
  • Financial sense- While I can afford it, does it really make sense to make this switch?
  • BMW X3 M40i has been totally reliable and was an awesome experience from a performance perspective. Will I get the same experience with the new car?

Keeping monthly outflow in mind, I am considering the following cars to lease for the next 3 years.

  • 2024 BMW X3M Competition (3.0 L, In-Line 6 S58 engine detuned to 473 HP)
  • 2023 Porsche Macan ( 2.5 Liter, 4 Liter with their famed PDK gearbox and 275 HP)
  • 2023 Porsche Macan S (3.0 Liter, 6 Cylinder with their famed PDK gearbox and 375 HP)

With that as a background, here are some options that I am considering and have 4-months to choose one of the below options:

Option 1 (Most Sensible and No Cost Option)

Once the lease ends, it sounds like a good idea to buy it back from BMW and refinance it for the same $$$$/month. I buy it back from BMW and pocket $5K-$7k as there is some equity in the car as I had negotiated a super awesome residual deal when I signed the contract for my BMW.

My car has just 30,000 miles and as per BMW forums I see many X3M40is doing great even at 90,000 miles with almost no issues.

If I spend a small amount ($2K) and get a VRSF catless downpipe and JB4 tune. This beast can easily be turned into a ravaging monster with power going up to 500 horsepower. This should keep me suitably engaged and excited for at least 2-years and cut out this stupid itch.

Option 2 (Expensive Option)

Once the lease ends, I buy it back from BMW and sell it in the outside market and pocket $5K-$7k as there is some equity in the car as I had negotiated a super awesome residual deal when I signed the contract for my BMW.

Basically, pocket $5k-$7K and get the BMW X3M which will cost me approximately 50% higher outflow per month with zero downpayment.

Positives- Brand new BMW X3M that I can drive for the next 3-years with zero maintenance costs.

Negative- I’m not sure if the X3M will be drastically different from the X3M40i from a performance aspect. I see many people sell the X3M and buy the X3M40i as they think the X3M is not good for daily driving especially the complaints are on the harsh ride.

Another negative, I will still be in the BMW world which is not really moving to the next level from a brand ownership experience.

Option 3 (Reasonable Option)

Sell the BMW X3M40i, pocket the $5k-$7k and get a Porsche Macan AWD (Base Model) and this will not impact my monthly outflow too drastically as it will be an additional 20% more than what I am paying currently each month for the BMW but, with zero downpayment.

Positives – I will enter the next level which is owning a Porsche which is definitely one level above BMW from a brand ownership perspective.

Negatives- I am not too excited about Porsche’s entry level Macan offering as it seems to be not at the same performance level as the BMW X3M40i level. But, this YT reviewer has something interesting to say about the Base Macan.

Option 4 (Expensive but, Desirable Option)

Sell the BMW X3M40i, pocket the $5k-$7k and get a Porsche Macan S and this will significantly impact my monthly outflow and will be similar to the BMW X3M payments which are 50% higher than my current monthly payments. But, again with zero downpayment.

Positives- Macan S has a lovely spec and is a true-performance car. But, is it as good as my BMW X3M40i or there is no comparison? I need to test drive myself and see the real world difference.

Negative- It’s expensive from a monthly outflow perspective.

This reviewer says the Macan S is so capable that it’s almost boring.

Porsche Macan GTS is out of budget and based on some reviews the performance difference is too marginal to warrant spending an extra $15K on this variant.

Please feel free to propose other car options (you may have noted that I didn’t even consider the Audi SQ5 or SQ8 as they don’t stand a chance in front of a BMW or a Porsche) that are in similar price and performance category.

BMW or a Porsche happens to be my most favorite choice.

Here’s what GTO had to say about the matter:

Are you going to be in the USA long-term? If yes, then I suggest holding onto your X3M340i that you are clearly so happy with, and enjoying to the bits (going by your posts & travelogues). Spend a little money on modifying it and enjoy it for another 2 years. Then, buy the Porsche variant you really want. By then, your income levels would also have logically gone higher & you saved money by retaining your current car.

On the other hand, if you are returning to India in a few years, then go ahead and get that Porsche right away. The USA is a dream market for car enthusiasts and switching cars every 2 – 3 years is the best way to experience different machines that are out of reach / unavailable in India.

How about something like the 2023 Corvette? Or the Mustang? Not keen? Any chances of buying a used sportscar like the 911? There are just so many options in the USA.

Here’s what BHPian moralfibre had to say about the matter:

Purely from a numbers perspective, the Macan GTS is the first natural progression choice given that you’ll push your bhp figures in the 400s territory. The X3M would be the next fair choice to propel you into the upper 400s territory and place you in a lucrative territory of 500bhp cars.

Other options are just moves around the equatorial regions. You’ll simply change badges without much of a change in weather. I’d vote for an X3M or a Macan GTS depending on your budget.

I hope you are opting to lease these because you are a prime candidate for whom this option of vehicle possession is carved out. Lease a car, enjoy it for 3 years and move on to the next upgrade.

Here’s what BHPian Turbanator had to say about the matter:

If you can hold on to your purchase and get something that will make you fulfil your long wish, I will certainly keep that X3M40i. Any newer cars you buy today will depreciate faster and more than if bought three years ago. This madness of crazy deliveries and multiple yearly increases is behind us. The kind of interest one has to pay today is already reflected in the market.

Your Model 3 can do everything your X3 does and some more. If you need a SAV vehicle, Maccan or even the new Cayenne makes a good case. I won’t recommend another BMW, irrespective of the trim or the model. You are in the best place to get a Porsche cheap (relatively). Maccan may feel similar to X3 once you are past the initial days, and since you travel long distances, consider a Cayenne seriously. I will pay little attention to 0-100 or some YT videos. Drive back to back on familiar roads for a distance; the best will be to take your family along as they should feel more comfortable in the Cayenne.

Here’s what BHPian Amey Kulkarni had to say about the matter:

My two cents as an owner of The Porsche Cayenne Exclusive GTS and Supra MK 5, do not test drive the Macan S / GTS if the specs on the car and your finances aren’t convincing enough.

If you taste the Porsche blood, you’re not going back to the BMW. Period!

Don’t get a barebone Macan (Standard) nor any Standard variant Porsche for that matter. Not worth it nor retains a good resale value compared to an S or a GTS.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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