After three generations, the new X3 is here to take home the bacon.
The new X3 looks great, at first glance it can be very agressive and butch-looking but after sometime it makes sense to you, as a mid-size SUV you would want it to look just like that. The body is raised, clearance is good and as the pictures suggest, very capable off road even in M Sport form. The model I had was the top of the range M40i which features all the M Performance extras and added grunt to go with it. The car comes with a 3 litre straight six engine that’s turbocharged to give out 265 kW and 500 Nm of torque. 0-100 kph takes only just 4.8 seconds. To put that into perspective, the E92 M3 V8 did it in that time so you won’t be a slouch at the traffic lights no more.
The rest of the X3 models comprise of a X3 30i, a 2 litre turbocharged motor with 185 kW, an X3 20d, a 2 litre turbocharged diesel with 140 kW but my personal pick of the bunch, the 30d, which has 195 kW and 620 Nm of torque and claims just 6.0L/100 km. It has the best power, toque and fuel economy from its 3 litre straight six turbocharged diesel. You cannot fault this engine in any BMW and I may be biased but I don’t see any other 3 litre diesel coming as close to this. It simply is perfection.
The Money Question
The 20d starts at R684 200, the middle ranger 30i goes for R739 800, my winner and best pick 30d goes for R868 300, and if all you care about is speed then prepare to fork out R991 100 for the M40i. All X3 models sold in South Africa come with BMW’s xDrive 4 wheel drive, An 8-speed Automatic Transmission, with optional sport box available as an option, except for the X3 M40i, where it is standard. Also included are 4 levels of trim: Standard, xLine, Luxury Line and M Sport package.
If you are looking for an all round, premium mid size SUV then the X3 is all the car you need. Space is plenty for families and travel, engines are great and offer good economy, interiors have taken a huge leap and have an incredible premium compared to the old versions and the looks of semi off roader with street appeal is a winner. The X3 has proper class and credibility to throw around now and sure, its competition have launched some great cars in the last few years but to set a close benchmark, the X3 really does hold its own. I honestly feel owning and living with this car comes down to choice and what suits you best. When the car arrives for a proper home test later this year I can tell you what it will be like to own, but for now, good on you BMW, this is a solid effort and start to 2018.