Three X3s to kick off third gen push

Pricing and specification of the incoming third gen X3 have been announced.


EVERYTHING comes in threes with the new X3, arriving soon, at least initially.

The third-generation vehicle launches in three price levels with three engine options.

Pricing starts at $92,850 – this for the xDrive20d – rising to $99,850 (xDrive30i) and topping at $119,850 (M40i).

That won’t be the end of it; more variants including a hi-performance version  are expected to be added from 2018.

Whether this will open the door to the fresh equivalent of a past offer, the X30d, is unclear.

That edition is available in now format with a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel, but BMW here  has indicated it has been swayed by emergent buyer preference back toward petrols – now that they are perceived to be almost as efficient as equivalent diesels (and aren’t hit by the bothersome Road User Charge).

Said spokesman Paul Sherley: "We have undoubtedly seen a shift towards petrol engines over the last few years, driven by both changing customer preferences and the advancements in petrol engines. 

"We will continue to evaluate the market and refine the variants on offer as required, however the range at launch with a variety of engine options and incredibly comprehensive standard specification satisfies the majority of customer requirements at this time.”

It is not ready to altogether abdicate the dark side of the forecourt.

The 140kW/400Nm entry model will continue with a 2.0-litre direct-injection turbodiesel coupled an eight-speed auto and BMW’s xDrive permanent all-wheel drive system. It runs on 19-inch wheels, whereas the others go to 20s and 21s.

BMW quotes a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 8.0 seconds and combined fuel economy of 5.7L/100km from the cheapest car.

The X3 xDrive20d’s standard equipment includes a navigation/infotainment system with ConnectedDrive wifi, combo cloth/leather upholstery, three zone air-con, 40:20:40-split folding rear seating, a powered driver’s seat and a powered tailgate. Cruise control, auto parking, head-up display and auto speed zone detection are also standard.

The X3 xDrive30i runs a 2.0-litre four-cylinder while the M40i packs a 3.0-litre in-line six. These engine respectively churn out 185kW and 265kW, plus 350Nm and 500Nm. Quoted respective optimal economies are 7.6 and 8.4 litres per 100km. The 2.0-litre will cover 0-100kmh in 6.3s while the new flagship can crack it in 4.8s, making it the first X3 to carry a sub-5s performance mantle.

The petrol editions run a common head up display and parking assistant plus, that allows owners to remotely access, on their smartphone, a view of their parked car.

The xDrive30i also has adaptive LED headlights with the anti-dazzle selective beam setup, while the X40i adds in gesture control, heated front seats and a Harman Kardon surround sound stereo system.

The x40i’s specific standing as the sportiest edition is signalled by its M Performance-specific exterior design cues, which include the M Aerodynamics package with design elements finished in Cerium Grey. The flap-controlled M Sport exhaust system, M Sport braking package, adaptive M Sport suspension with M Performance-specific tuning, variable sport steering and 21-inch light-alloy wheels also come as standard.

The model’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system  also has a more pronounced rear bias than on the other versions. The Performance Control feature integrated into the DSC system and acting on the rear wheels “has been reconfigured to produce the dynamism, agility and traction for which M models have made their name” BMW says.

With the new model BMW here will be seeking to turn the tables on the Q5 and relative newcomers to the segment such as Mercedes-Benz’s GLC range.