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Nowadays, one in every four cars that leave the BMW showroom is an X model. This is mainly because of the increased popularity of the mid-size luxury SUV market in the country
The first-generation X3 was launched back in 2003. Since then, it has been one of the best-selling mid-size luxury SUVs from the German automaker. In the past decade and a half, the car went through a lot of changes and in 2011, we saw the birth of the second-generation model.
Now, BMW has come up with their third-generation X3. The SUV looks much bigger, feels a lot more premium and gets design improvements on both theexteriors and interiors. We got a chance to drive the X3 xDrive 20d Luxury Line for a couple of days and here is what we have to say about the car.
Design & Style
In terms of design, the third-generation BMW X3 has evolved a lot. The SUV now looks more aggressive than the previous version and gets BMW's latest technology and equipment as well. At the front, the kidney grille is bigger and features Active Air Stream, which opens and closes the inbuilt vents as per the cooling requirements of the engine. When shut, they provide better aerodynamics to the car.
Other upgrades include the new adaptive double-barrel LED headlamps with DRLs and fog lamps. Moreover, the strong creases on the hood give the car a much more muscular look than before.
From the side, the SUV offers a clean look with its shallow body lines. The wheelbase of the car has increased by 54mm, which has helped improve the cabin space. The SUV also gets a chrome lining around its windows. You also get the xDrive 20d badging along with an air vent on either side of the car.
The SUV receives a new set of LED tail lights which complement the rear profile really well. Other than the 'X3' logo on the tailgate, badges are kept to a minimum. The twin exhausts surely aid to its sportiness while the overall design changes are prominent yet in line with the previous X3 models.
As you step inside the X3, you will notice that the car welcomes you with a much more airy cabin. Since we got the Luxury Line variant, the seats were neatly wrapped in Brown Dacota leather which goes well with the overall black theme.
The dashboard and the steering wheel is wrapped in soft-touch leather and there are stone finishes and piano black elements to highlight the console. Bits of brushed aluminium are also present in the cabin and you get an 'X3' badge right below the climate control system. The quality of the buttons on the dashboard is top-notch.
Stereo and Infotainment
The centre console is a familiar BMW affair which has been borrowed from the 5 Series and 7 Series. There is a 10.2-inch touchscreen which displays various vehicle information, navigation and audio. Unfortunately, the screen misses out on gesture controls which are seen on various BMW sedans.
The infotainment system supports Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay but misses out on Android Auto. You also get a wireless phone charging pad below the three-zone climate control. There is a 600W 16-speaker Harman Kardon Surround Sound system for the music lover in you.
On the other hand, the BMW X3 gets a 12.3-inch digital multifunction display for the instrument cluster which offers superb readability at all times. The graphics on the cluster change according to the selected drive mode. In Eco mode, you get the average and instant fuel efficiency on the right cluster, with an option to limit the top speed.
Practicality, Comfort & Boot Space
Speaking about practicality and comfort, the latest BMW X3 is loaded with features. The front seats are really comfortable and are electrically-adjustable but only the driver's side gets a seat memory function. There are bottle holders on each door and cup holders on the centre console and the rear armrest.
Moving to the rear seats, the bench is relatively flat and comfortable for three adult passengers. However, the transmission tunnel will cause some discomfort to the legs of the middle passenger. However, things are not as bad as before thanks to the increased wheelbase. The rear seats can be reclined by 9 degrees promising more comfort during long journeys.
If you want to have a wonderful experience during a rainy day, just open the blinds of the super-sized panoramic sunroof. There are manual sun-blinders on the rear-door windows that work really well on a hot sunny day.The boot gets a powered tailgate and can gulp in 550-litres of luggage. Want more space? There is an easy mechanism to fold the second row to give 1,600 litres, which is quite a lot. The boot can also be closed from the driver-side controls.
Engine, Performance & Driving Impressions
The X3 xDrive20d is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine which churns out a healthy 187.4bhp at 4,000rpm and 400Nm of peak torque that kicks in at just 1,750rpm. Power from the engine is transmitted to all the wheels (AWD) through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The 2018 BMW X3 uses an aluminium construction for certain components of the engine and suspension. This makes it lighter by 55kg than the outgoing model. BMW claims a 0 to 100kmph sprint of just under 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 240km/h (electronically limited). The driveability is good and the mid-range pull is quite strong. However, there is a lack of power and it feels like the engine is lugging a bit at higher revs.
The good news for the new X3 is its ride and handling. Though it isn't an off-roader and doesn't even have an off-road driving mode, it will manage to drive through adequately-demanding terrains. The X3 is best for road use and it absolutely astonishes you when you hit the curves. BMW has very smartly given the car a 50:50 weight distribution which helps a lot while you are hitting tight corners.
The X3 gets 19-inch alloy wheels that come fitted with 245mm section tyres and provide phenomenal grip even at triple-digit speeds.
You get four drive modes to choose from: Comfort, Eco Pro, Sport and Adaptive. Selecting one of these modes changes your steering feel, throttle response and the ride quality via the adaptive suspension. For city driving Comfort mode is the best and if you further want to save some amount of fuel, go for the Eco Pro.
BMW X3 Specifications Overview
|Model||X3 xDrive20d Expedition||X3 xDrive20d Luxury Line|
|Engine||2.0-litre 16V xDrive20d Diesel Engine||2.0-litre 16V xDrive20d Diesel Engine|
|Transmission||8-speed automatic||8-speed automatic|
|Acceleration (seconds)||Under 8.5||Under 8.5|
On the safety front, the new BMW X3 comes loaded with features such as six airbags, ABS, Traction Control, Attentiveness Assistance, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) including Cornering Brake Control (CBC), electric parking brake with auto hold, side-impact protection, electronic vehicle immobiliser and crash sensors. ISOFIX child seat mounts are also present.
Service & Warranty
BMW Service Inclusive and BMW Service Inclusive Plus are optionally available with the all-new X3. These service packages cover all routine service and maintenance work with a choice of plans from 3 years or 40,000 kilometres to 10 years or 2,00,000 kilometres. This includes original BMW parts required for routine service work irrespective of how many times the service is done.
The new X3 20d Luxury Line price-wise locks horns with the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Volvo XC60, Lexus NX, Land Rover Evoque and Jaguar F-Pace.
|Model||Displacement (CC)||Power/Torque (bhp/Nm)||Mileage (km/l)|
|BMW 20d Luxury Line||1995||187.4/400||14.7|
|Audi Q5 35TDI||1968||190/400||16 |
|Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d||2143||170/400||17 |
Promeet Ghosh Thinks!
The BMW X3 20d Luxury Line offers a right blend of elegant styling and luxurious features. With the overall interior and exterior tweaks, the SUV looks really amazing and feels good to drive. But all of these carry a price tag of Rs 56,70,000 ex-showroom (India), which I feel is decent enough when it comes to the comfort, luxury and features it offers.