BMW’s successful X3 is now in its second generation and is available in South Africa.
The Bavarian company started the premium compact SUV niche with the X3 sports activity vehicle in 2004. Although the X3 had many critics, it went on to become a bestseller and over 600 000 were sold worldwide.
The X3’s design is typically BMW, with hints of X1 and X5 about it. The styling is emphasised by numerous contour lines that alter the X3’s appearance under different light and when viewed from different angles. The profile is characterised by minimal front and rear overhangs, while at the rear LED light bars in the tail lamps provide the X3 with a distinct appearance in the dark.
The X3 is also more imposing than its predecessor due to it being 83 mm longer, 28 mm wider, and with 12 mm more ground clearance.
Two models are available – the X3 xDrive20d and the X3 xDrive35i. The diesel X3 has a maximum power output of 135 kW at 4 000 r/min and 380 N.m torque between 1 750 and 2 750 r/min. The flagship X3 xDrive35i features BMW’s 3,0-litre N55 of the xDrive35i with twin-scroll turbo technology, direct fuel injection and Valvetronic. The maximum power output of 225 kW is delivered at 5 800 r/min. This model has 400 N.m that is available from 1 200 r/min.
Power is sent to all four wheels via BMW’s impressive new eight-speed transmission and xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive. In line with the marque’s Efficient Dynamics programme, the seventh and eight gear ratios have been added without any increase in weight and size, and allow for significant reductions in fuel consumption and emissions.
The X3’s handling characteristics can be altered via the optional Driving Dynamics Control selector on the centre console, which allows the driver to tailor various settings according to exterior conditions or preference. Three settings, Normal, Sport and Sport Plus, alter shock absorber firmness, throttle response, transmission shift characteristics, level of power steering assistance and the electronic stability programme.
The new BMW X3 will be produced at the Spartanburg plant in South Carolina , alongside its bigger X5 and X6 siblings.
X3 xDrive20d R465 308
X3 xDrive35i R605 182