They are saying that for each pot, there’s a lid, and no automaker has taken that to coronary heart fairly like BMW. The corporate’s portfolio is filled with super-niche autos which are barely distinguishable from each other.
However whereas I’ve a tough time understanding odd “coupeovers” just like the BMW X2 and X4, long-standing, historically formed choices just like the X3 nonetheless make loads of sense. Now in its third era, the 2018 X3 does not attempt to revolutionize its unique system, however as an alternative stays a strong providing amongst compact luxurious crossovers.
Straightforward to drive
The usual X3 xDrive30i mannequin is seen right here, with a 2.Zero-liter turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive and an eight-speed computerized transmission. This engine makes 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, and is sufficient to propel this four,156-pound CUV to 60 miles per hour in a BMW-estimated six seconds flat.
The X3 eschews the coupe-style roofline of the X4 for a extra conventional crossover silhouette.
Nonetheless, this is not a efficiency automobile. The BMW X3 is finest loved in Consolation mode, cruising alongside the freeway with the heated seats activated on a cold, foggy San Francisco morning. The journey high quality is tremendous easy, the steering gentle. It is an easy automobile to drive over lengthy distances.
Interact Sport mode because the street begins to twist, and the X3 responds properly. The transmission kicks down and the shifts typically have a snappier high quality; throttle response is faster as properly. The xDrive all-wheel drive system has a regular 40:60 rear-biased torque break up, although it is consistently making changes based mostly on driver demand and street circumstances.
Adaptive cruise management, lane-keeping performance and site visitors jam help are all a part of BMW’s $1,700 Driving Assistant Plus package deal, which is not fitted to my take a look at automobile — a bummer as I slog by the Bay Bridge merge level. That is additionally the place I discover the coarse, herky-jerky tendencies of the X3’s cease/begin system. Fortunately, it is simple to show the system off, and it does not have an effect on total gasoline economic system an excessive amount of. The EPA charges the X3 xDrive30i at 25 miles per gallon mixed, and my noticed testing after every week of driving was 27.three mpg.
The digital readout from the 360-degree digicam will get a cool 3D mannequin of the X3.
Different energetic driving aids like lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, daytime pedestrian detection and ahead collision warning with emergency braking aren’t commonplace, both. As a substitute, they’re bundled within the $900 Driving Help package deal (which is obligatory if you happen to additionally need the Plus pack). Contemplating a few of these options are commonplace on far cheaper crossovers, the truth that they are not fitted to each X3 is an actual letdown.
My tester does have the $1,300 Parking Help pack, which features a nifty 3D-view 360-degree digicam. I can use the rotary dial and the iDrive infotainment display screen to get a reasonably real looking picture of the X3 superimposed over the digital digicam readout. The result’s a super-cool interface that makes parallel parking — and never curbing a wheel — a lot simpler.
Within the X3’s case, BMW iDrive 6.Zero is housed in a big, 10-inch display screen. You may management it by way of contact, voice or the aforementioned dial on the middle console. BMW’s bizarre gesture controls for quantity and telephone calls are on faucet, too.
The iDrive dwelling web page options tiles for navigation, media, telephone, BMW Linked Drive, automobile settings and notifications. Most instructions are simple and intuitive, however I discovered I needed to dig deeper into menus and submenus for a number of choices, just like the controls for the accessible head-up show.
Apple CarPlay is on the market for an additional $300. And whereas BMW makes use of wi-fi CarPlay, it means you’ll be able to’t use each the onboard Wi-Fi hotspot and Apple infotainment on the similar time. I by no means obtained the system to make use of CarPlay with the wired connection. Android customers, you are still out of luck.
Cozy and capacious
In typical BMW style, the inside is refined and streamlined.
The X3’s inside options conventional BMW styling, with clear, intuitive group of the automobile’s controls. Leather-based seating is a $1,000 improve over the usual leatherette, and each rows of seats may be heated.
You may discover 28.7 cubic ft of house behind the X3’s rear seats. Fold the 40/20/40-split bench and cargo capability will increase to 62.7 cubic ft — reducing the rear seats may be executed manually or electronically, by way of controls within the hatch. These cargo numbers finest rivals just like the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Audi Q5, however fall behind the Jaguar F-Tempo, which gives as a lot as 64 cubic ft.
How I might spec it
The 2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i begins at $42,650, not together with $995 for vacation spot. For my cash, I am going to begin with the Premium tier mannequin, and I am going to add each of the driving force help packages and the park-assist pack. And regardless that just about each different automaker gives Apple CarPlay totally free, I am going to begrudgingly fork over $300 for the privilege. All in, my excellent X3 prices $55,395. The automobile I examined, in the meantime, prices $57,620.
In case you do not want all-wheel drive, a barely cheaper sDrive30i mannequin is on the market, beginning at $41,000. If it is extra energy you search, BMW gives the X3 M40i, with a three.Zero-liter turbocharged I6 engine with 355 horsepower on faucet. It begins at $54,500.
A well-rounded providing
The compact luxurious CUV section is fiercely aggressive as of late. Along with the Alfa, Audi and Jag, the X3 battles the very aggressive Acura RDX, Cadillac XT5, Infiniti QX50, Lexus NX and Volvo XC60.
The X3 does not stand out in anybody particular method, moderately, it is a complete, well-rounded package deal. It is snug and compliant for every day driving, and many helpful, too. In a world the place increasingly automakers are looking for niches within the luxurious CUV house, generally it is best to only follow what’s labored all alongside.