BMW—The ultimate driving machine—has more SUVs than coupes in their product range. This sounds similar to if Adidas made more money selling high heeled shoes compared to trainers.
Sadly, the reality is that people want and love SUVs. But they actually really want an SUV, or is it just a social norm? If we asked people what they wanted before the Ford Model T, they would have answered a faster horse.
So, do customers really want SUVs, or are car companies misreading market research? Likely both. The SUV trend became increasingly worse after people grew bored with ugly MPVs. In the early 2000s, the MPV became a trendy vehicle, and there were lots of weird versions like modern SUVs. As a result of the herding effect, everyone wanted to own an MPV, yet eventually, people became tired of them.
During that time, SUVs became popular. In fact, smaller SUVs entered the market. There used to be large and expensive SUVs, which reflected a kind of scarcity effect where there is an over appreciation of something due to its limited supply—like diamonds! Large SUVs were too expensive, and everyone wanted to own one. Thanks to the Range Rover Evoque, the mid and small-sized SUVs became trendier and more affordable.
Now you don’t need to be wealthy to buy a cool looking SUV. There is an SUV for any type of budget or taste, and car companies are offering more and more SUVs on the market, similar to the MPV market.
Consequently, we have ended up with the BMW X3 M Competition. A mid-size SUV that is as fast as a sedan car, yet is somehow capable of off roading. Is this a failure? Of course. We also have the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S which is ridiculous, yet people still buy it.
Unlike MPVs, SUVs are bit comfier. You can easily get in and get out. You sit higher and are capable of climbing to a pavement. These are the things that the average driver wants to experience.
Thankfully, BMW is doing this very well. Sedan performance in a vehicle with a higher centre of gravity and it has nothing to do with off-roading. Sadly, this is the future of the automotive industry. Sooner or later, we will have an SUV that is faster than a BMW M5. Due to the visual appearance and ease of use of an SUV, they won’t have the same fate that MPVs had.
Nonetheless, when we run out of sedans, people will start to miss them.
Is the BMW X3 M Competition worth buying? It is if you don’t like sedans and you have no clue about the laws of physics. Otherwise, just wait for the new BMW M3.
3.0-litre twin-turbo six-cylinder petrol. Eight-speed automatic, all-wheel-drive
503bhp @ 5,950-7,200rpm/600Nm (443lb ft) @ 2,600-5,950rpm. 0-62mph: 4.1 seconds. 177mph (delimited)
Photo Credit // BMW