The all-new third-generation 2018 BMW X3 has been officially revealed with a sharper design and more powerful yet efficient powerplants, including a range-topping M40i – a first for the model.
In terms of design, the X3’s new sheetmetal is all-new but strikes a familiar post. Up front, the headlights are now slimmer and look almost like those from the X1, while the corporate grille has grown. The foglamps also feature a hexagonal design for the first time on an X model.
At the back, the light clusters have a three-dimensional look when optioned with the full-LED lights. All variants get twin tailpipes at the back, while an automatic tailgate is now standard and can be opened by the wave of a foot.
Wheel size has gone up a notch, from the previously 17-inch to the now standard 18-inch, with the M40i wearing 21-inch light alloy wheels.
There are three trim levels on the new X3 – xLine, M Sport and Luxury Line (the latter is new to the line-up). As well as making various exterior tweaks, the three trim variants also adapt the ambience inside the car to their particular themes.
The new interior is now classier and more luxurious than before. The cabin is offered with three-zone climate control (optional), ambient lighting, new multi-function steering wheel and door pockets large enough for one-litre bottles.
Boot capacity is now 550 litres, extendable to 1,600 litres with the rear 40:20:40 split backrests folded down via a touch of a button.
Like the 5 and 7 Series, the new X3 can be optioned with BMW’s Display Key, which not only locks and unlocks the car, but also shows a variety of status information on the car and serves as the control unit for the optional auxiliary heating, for example.
Two diesel and three petrol engines are on offer from launch, headlined by the new 265kW/500Nm 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six X3 M40i that is good for a 0-100km/h of 4.8 seconds and top speed of 250km/h, while returning a claimed 8.2 – 8.4L/100km in the combined cycle.
The X3 xDrive30i is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol generating 185kW and 350Nm of torque. It will send the all-wheel drive from 0-100km/h in 6.3 seconds on route to a top speed of 240km/h. Combined fuel consumption is rated at 7.4L/100km/h.
Available from the 2nd quarter of 2018, the xDrive20i and sDrive20i pair are equipped with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol delivering 135kW/290Nm. They will do 0-100km/h in 8.3 seconds and have a top speed of 215km/h. Fuel consumption is a claimed 7.2L/100km for the xDrive and 7.4L/100km for the sDrive.
On the diesel front, the xDrive30d gets a 3.0-litre in-line six turbo-diesel generating 195kW/620Nm of torque, enough to send the SUV from 0-100km/h in 5.8 seconds en route to a top speed of 240km/h. It is rated at 5.7-6.0L/100km on the combined cycle.
Finally, the xDrive20d comes with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel with 140kW/400Nm of torque. It capable of hitting 100km/h from a standstill in 8.0 seconds and has a top speed of 213km/h. Fuel consumption is rated at 5.0-5.4L/100km on the combined cycle.
All engines are mated with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission.
The new X3 features Gesture control and semi-autonomous driving when optioned with BMW’s Personal CoPilot. Active Cruise Control, Driving Assistant Plus, which includes steering and lane control assistant, Lane Change Assistant and Lane Keeping Assistant are also on offer.
The new BMW X3 now also features BMW Connected. Working on the basis of a flexible platform, the Open Mobility Cloud, this new integrated digital concept for enhanced personal mobility uses various touchpoints (such as smartphones and smartwatches) to integrate the car seamlessly into the user’s digital life. This means, for example, that it can transfer mobility-related information, such as addresses from calendar entries, from a smartphone into the car, enter them automatically as destinations into the navigation system and calculate the optimum departure time for the journey.
The new 2018 BMW X3 will arrive in Australia early next year, with local pricing and specifications announced closer to launch.