It is 2017 and BMW just launched the new BMW X3. Over the years since 2003, where the BMW X3 emerged as a boxy monstrosity, the design elements of the SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) has improved leaps and bounds. This is the third generation of the BMW X3.
BMW sold more than 1.5million of the first two generations. They aim to improve even more sales, especially in this segment as there is more demand for SAV globally.
Even though dubbed as a SAV, the BMW X3 is still a combination of being an off-road and an urban warrior. Still, a purist would say that the X3 may not necessarily be the super off-roader type but BMW hopes that the market who buys these vehicles would probably only need to escape muddy fields instead of overflowing rainforests.
As with BMWs, the new X3 gets at 50:50 weight distribution and now sports a rather hefty kidney grill. It also gets the full LED light treatment at the front and the rear. Available in both the xLine, M Sport and Luxury Line trim variants, customers can further customise the BMW X3 to their liking. Starting with 18-inch rims, you can choose up to 21-inch rims.
The interior trim looks familiar as that you would see in the BMW 5 series and it comes with the three trim variants. BMW has worked hard to compete in the interior against their competitors by making the BMW X3 have a more luxurious interior. The X3 also gets the new BMW Display Key which allows the X3 to be unlocked and locked by radio remote as well as display the relevant information of the car.
What about handling?
BMW says that they have improved the chassis as well as the driving dynamics, making the new X3 sharper to drive without compromising on comfort. This, of course, will depend on the trim variant you take where chassis options allow you to choose between the M Sports suspension, Dynamic Damper Control, M Sport brakes and also variable sport steering. Overall BMW has made the new X3 55kg lighter.
What about the power plant?
BMW has made three petrol engines as well as two Diesel engines available on the new BMW X3. From the petrol side, you get the top ranking X3 M40i which produces 360hp. This is followed by the X3 xDrive30i which has 252hp. On the diesel side, you get the X3 xDrive20d with a power output of 190hp and the X3 xDrive30d which produces 265hp. The BMW X3 20i completes the list producing 184hp. Customers around the world except Europe only gets the xDrive version whilst in Europe, you can opt for a rear wheel drive option. The engines are mated to an 8-speed Steptronic transmission.
BMW ConnectedDrive: semi-automated driving and cutting-edge connectivity.
When it comes to the BMW Personal CoPilot features focusing on driver assistance and (semi-)automated driving, the new BMW X3 can be specified as an option with the latest generation of Active Cruise Control and the Driving Assistant Plus safety package, including Steering and lane control
assistant, Lane Change Assistant (est. from December 2017) and Lane Keeping Assistant with side collision protection. This extensive line-up of assistance systems puts clear water between the new BMW X3 and its direct rivals.
The second pillar of BMW ConnectedDrive – alongside the BMW Personal CoPilot driver assistance systems – is formed by BMW ConnectedDrive Services and apps. As a result, the new BMW X3 now also features BMW Connected. Working on the basis of a flexible platform, the Open Mobility Cloud, this new integrated digital concept for enhanced personal mobility uses various touchpoints (such as smartphones and smartwatches) to integrate the car seamlessly into the user’s digital life. This means, for example, that it can transfer mobility-related information, such as addresses from calendar entries, from a smartphone into the car, enter them automatically as destinations into the navigation system and calculate the optimum departure time for the journey.
Gesture control allows various navigation and infotainment system functions to be operated intuitively using finger and hand gestures. Meanwhile, the likewise optional Voice Assistant lets the driver use everyday language to have their requests turned into the appropriate actions instead of having to use set
spoken commands. And the optional Head-Up Display enables the most important driving-related information to be projected directly into the driver’s field of vision. The Head-Up Display in the new BMW X3 is unrivalled in its segment for graphics, resolution and display options.