Five things you need to know about the BMW X3
The BMW X3 is the market-leading model in its sector. Discover why by reading its key features in our blog
BMW broke the mould with its original X3, which was the world’s first true premium compact SUV. Since 2003, it has got progressively bigger, more comfortable, more luxurious and technologically advanced. Today’s X3 is the market-leading model in its sector.
It’s not necessarily four-wheel-drive
While it may seem logical to make an SUV all-wheel-drive, BMW decided to challenge convention in 2018 by launching an sDrive model, which uses a more traditional rear-drive layout to give dynamics that BMW says are comparable with its saloon models – after all, the vast majority of SUV drivers rarely venture off-road.
You can tell whether an X3 is rear or all-wheel-drive by its badge, the 4x4 models wear an xDrive emblem.
Its tech is based on the 5-Series
A lot of the X3’s in-car technology is shared with the BMW 5 Series (G30), such as its gesture control system, LED exterior and interior lighting, and the BMW iDrive 6.0 system with 12.5-inch touch-screen monitor. It also has Amazon Alexa car integration.
Other commonalities with the executive saloon include the majority of BiTurbo petrol and diesel engine choices.
There’s a plug-in hybrid version
If you want EV ability, then BMW offers a plug-in hybrid version of the X3. The xDrive30e model incorporates a 12kWh battery that allows around 20 miles of pure electric driving and is paired with a 184bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine. Regenerative braking also helps feed charge back into the battery.
A recent refresh has brought it bang up to date
The X3 has recently been given a freshen up, with slimmer light clusters front and rear, LED lighting technology, a new front apron and – most visibly – a reshaped kidney grille that shows off BMW’s bold new nose.
It also gets a fresh rear bumper, along with new body kits and revised wheel designs on the M Sport trim variants.
It has never been built in Germany
BMW might be a German brand, but the X3 has never actually been made there. The first generation was assembled for BMW under contract by Magna-Steyr in Austria, while the second series was built in BMW’s own factory, but in Spartanburg in the USA.
Since 2017, the third generation model has been built in Rosslyn, South Africa, for right-hand-drive markets. It’s also built in the USA, China, India, Egypt, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil and Russia as part of BMW’s global plan to build cars for local markets.
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Published: August 24, 2021