It is almost fifteen years since BMW created this CUV segment with its X3. The automaker is now set to debut a third generation of this impressive model this November in time for the 2018 model year. Due to the model’s immense success, BMW has opted to retain its overall look. The model, however, gets an array of new features both on the outside and in the cabin. In addition, the 2018 BMW X3 gets an M performance version for the first time ever which gives the X3 a competitive edge over its rivals.
2018 BMW X3 Exterior
In terms of size, only the wheelbase has been extended by 2.2 inches. The length, width and height of the model remain unchanged. The model’s weight distribution has been enhanced to improve handling and stability; it now has a 50:50 front-to-rear weight sharing. The model aerodynamics have been also revised starting with the addition of an Active Kidney Grille that features active shutters followed by BMW’s innovative Air Curtain system, underbody panels as well as a roof spoiler. These help to enhance the model’s efficiency and thus improve its fuel economy.
The Beemer will also for the first time feature a factory-installed trailer hitch. There are also options for larger wheels wrapped in performance tires, adaptive LED lights and a panoramic sunroof. The model’s rugged design continues and it features a host of aluminum as well as silver matte finishes.
Standard models will ride on 18-inch wheels with a Y-spoke finish. Adding the M Sport package gets you the M Aerodynamic Kit and 19-inch wheels with double-spokes (These features are standard on the M40i).
The cabin looks premium due to its excellent layout and quality materials; actually it looks to have evolved from that of the second generation. The dashboard is still wide and leans forward. The floating infotainment display is also carried over though with a bit of improvement. The HVAC controls look unchanged though. The model comes with a 10.25-inch touch-screen.
Front sport seats with power-adjustable bolsters are standard. The front seats are heated as standard but ventilation is optional. On the other hand, the rear seats recline to enhance passengers comfort. They also have a 40/20/40 split-folding functionality. Due to the increased wheelbase, the cabin is more spacious and the cargo space has also increased to 28.7 cubic feet with rear seats in place and can expand up to 62.7 cubic feet upon folding flat the rear seats.
The X3 also features an Anthracite headliner as a standard feature; automatic climate control is also standard.
The M Sport package which is optional for the xDrive30i features an M Sport steering wheel, a dash wrapped in simulated leather and M doorsill finish. These features are standard for the M40i. There is also an optional Luxury package for the xDrive 30i to make the cabin look and feel more upscale.
A comprehensive ambient cabin lighting that features a choice between six colors is optional.
The model’s also features the automaker’s latest iDrive 6.0 which can be controlled via gesture controls and voice commands. In addition, there are advanced connectivity apps, both Android and iOS. The model can also be paired with wearable devices including the Samsung Gear S2 & S3 and Apple Watch.
Going by the current trend, the X3 features advanced active and passive safety features including blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, cross traffic alert, lane departure alert as well as a traffic-jam assist. Parking the CUV is easy thanks to a ParkNow service and the automaker’s innovative remote camera view.
Engine and performance
The 2018 BMW X3 will be offered with a choice between two mills in the U.S.A. i.e. a 4-cylinder and an inline-6. The base X3 xDrive30i is powered by turbocharged 2.0 L, 4-cylinder mill that produces 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The engine mates to an 8-speed Sports automatic gearbox with paddle shifters. The system sends power to all wheels enabling the model to accelerate to 60 mph in 6 seconds. This trim’s xDrive AWD system gets some enhancement compared to the outgoing model including a revised transfer case; there is also a lighter differential at the rear. The model also features Dynamic Brake Control, Cornering Brake Control, hill-descent control, Performance Control and a Dynamic Stability Control system. In addition, the model is offered in three driving modes, they are Comfort, Eco Sport and Sport. There is also an Adaptive mode that comes if you add the Dynamic Damper Control which is optional.
It gets even better; for the first time ever, the X3 gets an M-badged variant. Dubbed the M40i, the model is powered by a 3.0 L, 6-cylinder mill good for 355 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. This model is quite fast compared to the xDrive30i needing only 4.6 seconds to hit 60 mph. It has a top speed of 155 mph. The model adds an M Sport-tuned exhaust system featuring black tips, M Sport suspension and M Sport brakes along with 4-piston front calipers in a blue paint. It also features a Launch Control and a Sport+ driving mode. Drivers also have an option for an M Sport Adaptive suspension.
Price and release date
The X3 was revealed at its place of origin i.e. Spartanburg, S.C. As for the price, I don’t expect the new model to vary much from the current model’s prices. Increasing the price significantly will affect sales as there is a host of other competitors, most of which are waiting to capitalize on any misdoing from BMW. The new 2018 BMW X3 will be offered in two trim levels, the standard xDrive 30i and the M40i. Sales will commence this November.