The new BMW X3 is set to raise the bar in the premium sports activity market this year when the latest model goes on sale in the UK. With what will be the lowest-emission four-wheel drive model in the sector, the first to have start-stop with auto transmission, unparalleled agility, significantly upgraded cabin and a raft of sector-first technology, the new BMW X3 will set a new benchmark.
With a class-leading diesel engine, numerous chassis configurations courtesy of Variable Damper Control, as well as UK specific equipment packages and innovations such as Head-up Display and online connectivity, thanks to ConnectedDrive, the new BMW X3 offers customers the perfect sporty four-wheel drive vehicle, whatever their activity.
The new BMW X3 combines BMW’s X character with a dynamically stretched silhouette to produce an elegant, durable and sporting car. The typically characteristic upright kidney grille and triangular headlight arrangement of BMW X models is reflected in the front end of the X3 ensuring a powerful presence, further emphasised by the flared wheelarches and short wheelbase. Meanwhile the horizontal rear lines on the rear emphasise the X3’s robust character.
High-grade materials and intelligent packaging are integral to the new BMW X3’s interior. As always, the asymmetrical instrument panel and centre console are orientated towards the driver, while the latest generation iDrive, with 6.5-inch screen as standard, ensures all infotainment capabilities are easily accessible. The 8.8-inch high-resolution screen of the navigation system in the Professional Multimedia package featured in the new BMW X3 is the largest on-board monitor in its segment.
Throughout the cabin are a large number of storage compartments, trays and cup holders. The three rear seats offer outstanding comfort for travelling long distances and significantly more leg and elbow room compared to its predecessor. With a volume of between 550 and 1,600 litres, the luggage compartment of the new BMW X3 is also one of the best in its segment. But it is not just about pure volume – useable space is essential to the SAV customer, and the new BMW X3 has an adaptable interior which can be changed to suit personal requirements. The rear seat backrests can be split 60:40 as standard or as an option 40:20:40 where the three segments can be folded down either individually or together. In this way it is possible to adapt the luggage compartment according to requirements.
Offering unrivalled levels of performance and efficiency is BMW’s philosophy no matter what type of car and this concept has been applied to the Sports Activity Vehicle sector too. As a result, the new BMW X3 xDrive20d now offers better performance and higher efficiency than any of its rivals. Powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine with aluminium crankcase and common rail direct injection, it delivers a maximum power output of 181bhp at 4,000 rpm and peak torque of 280lb ft between 1,750 and 2,750rpm. This results in a zero-62mph time of 8.5 seconds, reaching top speed of 130mph, yet CO2 emissions for this four-wheel drive vehicle are only 149g/km, with average fuel consumption of 50.4 mpg. Other engines will be launched at a later date, but in the UK the BMW X3 xDrive20d will account for approximately 80 per cent of all sales when all other engines have been introduced.
The new BMW X3 xDrive20d with automatic transmission achieves identical acceleration, top speed and fuel consumption, with a CO2emission level of 147g/km. This reduction in emissions is thanks to the X3 being the first BMW model in the UK to team Auto Start-Stop technology with the optional eight-speed automatic transmission. The Auto Start Stop function also features as standard on the manual transmission.
The first generation BMW X3 set the bar when it came to the driving dynamics of this type of vehicle, and the second generation builds on that exceptional agility with newly conceived suspension technology, electronically controlled driver assistance and advanced four-wheel drive. For drivers who want to personalise the feel of their BMW X3, Variable Damper Control is available for the first time on this model. The electronically controlled dampers adapt to road surface conditions and the style of driving, while the driver is able to influence the action of the dampers by means of the Drive Dynamic Control system. This function enables the driver to choose between Normal, Sport and Sport+ modes using a button on the centre console. As well as damping behaviour, it can adjust the character of the accelerator, engine response, power steering weight, DSC response thresholds and – depending on desired options – the shifting dynamics of the automatic transmission.
Electric Power Steering, is incorporated in the BMW X3 for the first time, allowing precise handling and increased efficiency. Variable sports steering is also available for the first time as an option, and reduces the degree of steering movement necessary to turn the front wheels in various conditions including parking, cornering and swerving manoeuvres.
As standard, the new BMW X3 comes with xDrive permanent four-wheel drive technology, an electronically controlled system that ensures variable distribution of drive to the front and rear axles. Linked to DSC, Dynamic Stability Control, xDrive can counteract oversteer or understeer at an extremely early stage, and help to control the car through bends by sending increased drive to the rear wheels while, if needed, braking the inside rear wheel to increase the car’s mid-bend agility and traction. The commitment to offering the most complete driving on and off-road experience in the sector means the new BMW X3 also features completely redeveloped suspension technology with a double-joint spring-strut axle at the front and a multi-link rear axle.
The new BMW X3 xDrive20d SE is even better value than its predecessor. At £30,490 OTR, it is actually £115 less than the outgoing model, yet is equipped as standard with Nevada leather upholstery, two-zone air conditioning, iDrive controller and colour display. The new BMW X3 can be specified with a range of innovative features. The choice of options range from a panoramic sunroof, high-end audio equipment and the Professional Multimedia package with hard-disk storage, to automatic boot lid operation and a tow coupling with electronically pivoting ball head. The choice of systems offered under the BMW ConnectedDrive driver assistance banner is also unique in the segment, and include Head-up Display, Adaptive Headlights, High-beam Assistant and reversing camera including Top View, giving a 360 degree panoramic view for the driver.