The third-generation X3 carries on BMW’s tradition of making sporty but practical SUVs. Where the first-generation car was clearly focused on delivering driving pleasure and sporty dynamics, and the second-generation X3 was more practical, this new car promises to deliver both, more luxury and more driving pleasure.Set to rival the Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLC when it launches towards the middle of 2018, the new X3 is built on a chassis that is considerably stiffer and 55kgs lighter than the one on the car it replaces. This has been done by using more high-strength steel and aluminium than the second-generation car The X3, however, isn’t much larger on the outside. Its 4,708mm length, and also its width, are similar to that of the outgoing car. Where BMW engineers and designers have made more space, is between the wheels. So this all-new X3 gets an approximately 50mm-longer wheelbase for more space on the inside.
DESIGN AND STYLE ;
BMW’s generational shifts rarely bring massive change, but the new X3 actually presents itself with some serious talking points as it rolls into showrooms. To start off, let’s talk about the show that will be cast by the new X3. The roof line has been reworked to have more of a slope to it, which also means the rear hatch is more angular and there’s a serious feeling of length when viewed from the side. The new model also sits more parallel to the ground, effectively putting an end to the slightly raked look of the last-gen model.
Up front, you can see that there are some pretty major changes in play here. First off, those kidney grilles are now larger and feature the angular louvers. The chrome trim surrounding the grille also features a more angular approach up top, and for this generation, the hood is actually cut out to show off the entire top side of the trim as opposed to it sitting under the tip of the hood. Down below, that little vent that did reside below the grilles is now gone, to make way for a larger air dam than now features a sporty overhang up top. Flanking the air dam is a pair of redesigned corner vents with a unique trim application. Just above those sit a sleek pair of LED foglamps that replace the dated-looking round units of the last-gen model. Then we’ve got the headlights that are now LED as standard and feature the angular LED rings like those found on the BMW M2, for example. Finally, BMW took the time to revamp the hood in a way that extends the body lines and makes them a bit sharper – a feature that also contributes to an overall feeling of length.
Around back, the X3 is just a tad bit bubblier than before, but the differences aren’t quite so obvious back here. The same general hatch design carries over, however, the hatch is a little wider, as is the rear glass. The new taillights extend a little further onto the hatch, while LED lights with a 3D look are available as an option. The reflector on the corners is now a bit longer, wrapping around the corner while the trim down below has been restyled to provide a sportier appearance and accent the twin tailpipes that are now standard across the board regardless of engine choice. But, that’s not all there is to talk about when it comes to the exterior. Remember how I said there were three different model variants? Well, here they are:
Then entry-level xLine model gets its own styling tat includes a matt aluminum pair of grilles p front to go with matt aluminum side window graphics. Underbody protection (skid plates) are standard, but the xLine also gets Glacier Silver trim elements all of the way around. Moving up to the Luxury line replaced the matt aluminum grill and window graphics with chrome units while the trim elements are bi-colored to add a bit of extra flare. Both the xLine and Luxury line models can be optioned with 19- or 20-inch light-alloy wheels. Then there’s the M Sport package, which is what you really want. It gets its own aerodynamic kit to go with M Sport brakes, suspension, and exhaust. The rear glass gets a unique Shadow Line window graphic while the M light-alloy wheels can be optioned as large as 21-inches if you’re into big wheels.
CABIN AND COMFORT ;
BMW has given the X3 generous interior space, with the cabin offering ample amount of room for occupants. The wide X3 feels airy thanks to the large windows and big panoramic roof. Everything feels top notch inside, including fit and finish with the right choice of materials being used. The dual tone dashboard is very functional and interior space is one of the strong points of this vehicle. Not only are the seats extremely supportive, they offer splendid back support too. The rear bench is a bit low but offers very good legroom and headroom. The BMW X3 can seat 5 passengers in comfort.
The dashboard takes bits and pieces from the 3-Series including the seats, audio system and air conditioner. There are quite a few curves on the dashboard along with a metallic strip which runs right below the centre AC vents. The dash and doors get wooden inserts and a large 8.8-inch screen is integrated into the centre of the dashboard, which is the display screen for the fourth generation iDrive system and entertainment package (TV, DVD, et all) with 12-speakers. The typical BMW instrument cluster has four pods and is finished in classic black and white colors. A small display for the trip computer is placed right below the speedometer and tachometer.
The 3-spoke sport steering has the usual buttons to control various car functions and also has a chrome U shaped strip over the third spoke. The X3 has a lot of storage compartments and the driver centric centre console tilts towards the driver. The centre console has quite a few buttons next to the joystick type gear lever, including hill descent, auto hold, drive select, iDrive controller, electro mechanical parking brake, etc. The tail gate opens and closes electronically with the use of a button. Boot space is humungous at 550-litres and can be further boosted to 1600-litres with the rear seats folded. The X3 offers a lot of practicality and the seats can be folded in a multitude of ways.
ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;
The base and mid range variants are fitted with a powerful 2.0-litre, in-line diesel engine that comes with a displacement capacity of 1995cc. It is integrated with four cylinders and sixteen valves, which is based on DOHC valve configuration. It is incorporated with a high pressure common rail based direct injection fuel supply system. The car maker has also installed the a twin-power turbocharger, which helps this motor to unleash a maximum power of 190bhp at 4000rpm and generates a commanding torque output of 400Nm between 1750 to 2750rpm. This refined diesel engine is paired with an advanced 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission gearbox. On the other hand, the top end trim gets a 3.0-litre diesel engine that has six cylinders and displaces 2993cc. This turbocharged engine has the ability to churn out 258bhp at 4000rpm along with a maximum torque of 560Nm between 1500 to 3000rpm. This mill is mated to an 8-speed Sport automatic transmission gearbox.
This SUV is now available with two diesel engine options. The existing variants are available with a 2.0-litre diesel engine, which is capable of delivering a maximum mileage of 18.56 Kmpl. On the other hand, its new trim houses a 3.0-litre engine that can give away 16.55 Kmpl.Its 4 cylinder engine has the ability to generates a maximum power of 190bhp in combination with a commanding torque output of 400Nm. While the new V6 diesel mill has twin-power turbocharger for producing mammoth power. It unleashes a maximum of 258bhp along with a hammering torque of 560Nm.
The German automaker has never compromised on the braking mechanism of any model including this SUV. All its four wheels have been fitted with set of internally vented disc brakes, which are further loaded with superior brake calipers for enhancing its performance. It also has an advanced anti lock braking system and brake assist that works in collaboration with cornering brake control to keep the vehicle stable. In addition to these, this vehicle is also blessed with dynamic stability control including traction control, which reduces the loss of traction. As far as its suspension is concerned, both the front and rear axles are coupled with dynamic damper control with infinite and independent damping function. At the same time, it has an electromechanical steering system featuring Servotronic assistance that activates only when needed and helps in improving the efficiency. This height adjustable steering wheel is speed sensitive and makes it easy to maneuver even in city traffic conditions.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
The ride of the X3 is a bit stiff. There is no complaining, if you need the car to handle well it has to be a bit stiffer. But the good bit is that bumps and shocks aren’t too hard on the occupants and the X3 like other luxury SUVs does a good job. The handling is just like any other sedan. It has some amount of roll, but that’s about it. The new electronic power steering has made the steering light, but shift to the Sport mode and the steering wheel becomes heavy and the suspension stiffens. The throttle response is also improved and even the gears shift a lot faster. In the Sport mode, the X3 is a lot different from the comfort mode, where it is a bit more relaxed.
SAFETY FEATURES ;
BMW always gives a lot of preference in the security of every car they produce irrespective of the segment it belongs. This SUV also has many safety features like front airbags for the driver and the front passenger.There are head airbags for the front and rear passengers, side airbags for the driver and the front passenger, Anti-lock braking system (ABS) with brake assist, cornering brake control (CBC), electronic vehicle immobiliser. Also, it has a side impact protection, aDynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) and many more.
With its highly intelligent and sophisticated features, the X3 is certainly likely to feature among the top in the SUV segment. It marries the demands of the city driver by providing fuel efficiency and energy management with the desires of a terrain driver by providing high torque capacity, coasting mode for seamless highway driving boosted by a lightweight and aerodynamically sound body. The various driving modes prove the driver compatibility and versatility of the car.The car makes for an excellent family carrier as well with its spacious interiors, storage space, elevated seating, panoramic sunroof among others. All in all, the X3 is a car for anyone and everyone!