BMW X3 continues to set the SUV benchmark

The BMW X3 has remained relevant thanks to continuous upgrades

The BMW X3 is one of the stalwarts of the premium SUV segment and the latest model is sportier, more modern and more digital than ever before. BMW have been able to utilise their experience in this segment to refine their offering and the current X3 features a new look, improved equipment and a range structured in a way that it caters exactly for what local customers want.

A redesigned front end and revised rear section lend even clearer emphasis to the robust off-road look and sporty appearance of the latest generation X3. A modern interior features the latest equipment and updated infotainment.

Modern design

The latest incarnation of the X3 features a modern appearance with design changes to the front and rear and an emphasis on classic X elements. A redesigned kidney grille, headlights, front apron and rear bumper ensure a fresh look, which is rounded off with new graphics on the rear lights. High quality X elements such as under body protection and specific side skirts in the style of the previous X line are now standard fitment.

The front headlights now feature adaptive LED technology with Matrix function while BMW Laser Lights are available as an optional extra. At the rear, a black border gives the full LED rear lights a more precise appearance. Newly designed and painted under body protection provides a powerful finish to the road while flush-fitting free form tailpipe trims are larger and sportier.

M sports package

The M sports package gives the BMW X3 a sportier orientation, thanks to a specific front apron that features larger air inlets and inserts finished in high-gloss black as well as more pronounced air curtains. The rear bumper includes a more striking diffuser finished in Dark Shadow along with two additional side air curtains.

The BMW X3 M40i, shows its affiliation to the BMW M portfolio with a specific BMW M kidney, which in addition to a chrome frame, bears the typical M double grille bars in high-gloss black as well as an M logo. Aerodynamically optimised M exterior mirrors, free-form tailpipe trims and the striking two teeth design ensure a distinctive look.

Inside story

The latest X3 features the same centre console first seen in the 4 Series, the free standing, central Control display with touch function includes a 10.25 inch screen while a 12.3-inch version is also available as an option. Sport seats are covered in a new Sensatec generation fabric that incorporates the new Ray grain with perforated main seat surfaces as well as automatic climate control with three-zone control.

In addition to a cupholder and model specific emblem, the centre console accommodates the newly designed control island with gear selector lever, buttons for the start/stop system, the electric parking brake, hill descent control and various driving experience functions as well as the BMW Controller.

BMW Live Cockpit Professional includes a high-resolution instrument cluster behind the steering wheel and a Control display, both measuring 12.3-inches. These displays offer BMW Live Cockpit Professional that allows for wireless smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Under the bonnet

In South Africa the BMW X3 is available with five engine options. These include three diesel engines offering 110kW in the BMW X3 sDrive18d, 140kW in the xDrive20d and 195kW in the xDrive30d.

Petrol engine models include the X3 sDrive20i with 135kW and the X3 M40i boasting 285kW.

All engine versions are paired with an eight speed Steptronic gearbox that has been specifically matched to the respective engine characteristics. BMW xDrive all-wheel drive makes a significant contribution to the versatile sporty flair as its precise electronic control ensures especially sporty power distribution that is typical of the brand and optimises both driving stability and traction over rough terrain.

The X3 is fitted with the latest in terms of driver assistance systems. Driving Assistant Professional, available for the first time as an option in this model series, offers the driver comfortable relief and increased safety in a variety of situations. Additional optional functions, which are available, include Active Cruise Control, junction warning with city brake function and emergency lane assistant. 

The BMW X3 was one of the pioneers of the Sport Utility Segment and continues to be at the forefront, by sticking to a recipe that works but always refining their offering. The latest generation is a premium modern vehicle, that is beautifully designed inside and out while still offering motorists the ability to explore far beyond where the road ends.