BMW X3: The Old Guard Compact Luxury Crossover


Well, everything was moving all smoothly for the X3, till exotic car makers like Porsche and Lexus entered the fray. Cars like the Porsche Macan are really tearing down on X3’s claim to prominence in this segment. However, it’s funny that a car on its second generation can be considered as old. If age is a factor on this model, then it’s safe to say that the X3 is aging gracefully. Rather than cheating age by plastic surgery, the X3 seems to be doing it by having a healthy diet and getting enough exercise.

The History

The first generation of the BMW X3 was christened internally as the E83, and it was preceded by the xActivity concept which debuted in the 2003 Detroit Auto Show. Later, BMW’s Sport Activity Vehicle as their proprietary descriptor puts was unveiled in the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show. It was designed by Magna Steyr of Graz, Austria.

Current Model

Currently, the BMW X3 has reached its second generation which has been internally named as the F25. Production for the X3 moved from BMW’s factory in Austria to its other facility in Greer, South Carolina. It was unveiled in the 2010 Paris Motor Show and later in the 2012 Auto China (X3 xDrive28i). After this, the F25 went on to receive a LCI (Life Cycle Impulse) facelift.

The Variants

The X3 has a number of variants, and here is a list of them:

  • sDrive18d
  • sDrive28i
  • xDrive28i
  • xDrive28d
  • xDrive30d
  • xDrive35d
  • xDrive35i

All variants that are named as xDrive are all-wheel variants, while those that carry the sDrive badge are rear-wheel drive variants. Also, any model name ending with an “i” is a petrol variant, while any other that ends with “d” is a diesel variant.


The Powertrain

Powering the X3 are six engines:

  • 0L turbo four
  • 0L turbodiesel four
  • 0L six
  • 0L turbo six
  • 0L turbodiesel six
  • 0L twin-turbodiesel six

The most powerful petrol engine belongs to the xDrive35i, which is the twin-turbo six that is able to churn out 302 hp and 400 N·m of torque. The xDrive35i accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 5.7 seconds, while reaching a top speed of 245 km/h. As for the most powerful diesel engine, it is the xDrive35d which offers 309 hp and 630 N·m of torque. The xDrive35d also has great performance accelerating 0.1 seconds slower than the xDrive35i from 0-100 km/h and managing to reach a maximum speed of 244 km/h.

The Interior

A slick looking dashboard highlights the cabin. The interior feels premium with fine materials, tech, comfort and unmatched luxury.

The Exterior

This SUV’s iconic kidney grille and twin circular headlights make it easily distinguished as a BMW. This BMW looks really aggressive and rugged. By far it look more streamlined than its predecessor with smoother curves.

Our Verdict

The X3 offers something special that you might not find in this segment and that is its great performance. The X3 drives just as well as the 3-series sedan, which it is based on. One thing you can always be sure that BMW are going do with any model they make is superior performance. However, with the likes of Porsche and Jaguar making some really exquisite cabins and head-turning exterior, the Bimmer just doesn’t excite us as it used to. Though it’s aging, the X3 has still got enough to be the benchmark of this segment.

Interestingly, the BMW X3’s third generation is expected to arrive in 2017, it will be codenamed as the G01 and is created by BMW’s Australian designer Calvin Luk.

The X3 is available from the dealerships at a starting price of $ 38,950.

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Cris Shaki

Passionate about cars, tech, people, business, history, art & writing. I also enjoy being a graphic designer and web designer.

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