2018 BMW X3 FIRST LOOK
2018 BMW X3 FIRST LOOK BY AUTO CRITIC STEVE HAMMES
With the X2 and X7 in the future product pipeline BMW will have a self-proclaimed Sports Activity Vehicle of every numeral from 1 to 7. In 2003, it was the X3 that launched the premium compact utility segment and now for the first time since 2011, it has been completely redesigned.
The all-new 2018 X3 by in large keeps its predecessor’s exterior dimensions, however the wheelbase has been extended by 2.2” to create an extremely short front overhang emphasizing its 50:50 weight distribution. It’s also the first BMW SAV to feature a factory-installed trailer hitch capable of towing 4,400 pounds.
The standard xLine design emphasizes the vehicle’s strength while the optional Luxury Package, available for the first time in the X3 model range, skews more towards an elegant character. Other X3 highlights include improved aerodynamics and a host of other fuel saving efforts, a larger head-up display, upsized touchscreen and gesture control technology. There’s also enhanced comfort and safety with standard sport seats, tri-zone climate control, rear seatback recline, and a pre-collision detection system.
The standard 2.0-liter turbo-4 in the X3 xDrive30i sees a modest bump in output now rated at 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. All models come with a more efficient 8-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel drive system with greater bias to the rear to improve handling dynamics. 0-to-60mph takes place in 6 seconds flat. For added excitement, the new X3 M40i marks the arrival of the first ever M Performance derivative in this model series. Its 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine ratchets up output to 355 horsepower hastening that sprint to a mere 4.6 seconds.
This racier trim also includes a wealth of model-specific set-up and equipment features including launch control, even more rear bias for xDrive, an available adaptive suspension and M Sport brakes. But it’s not just a pretty face – this X3 possesses 8” of ground clearance, respectable approach , breakover and departure angles and the ability to ford nearly 20” of water.
A plethora of 7 Series technology trickles down to the X3 as well, including iDrive 6.0 with a touchscreen interface and full smartphone integration. Gas mileage and pricing will be announced closer to the U.S. –built X3’s on sale date this November.