BMW X3 | Harold Zeigler Newsletter Kalamazoo MI
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Date posted: December 11, 2012

BMW X3

The BMW X3 is a great alternative for sport sedan shoppers who desire just a bit more utility from their compact luxury vehicle. As is typical for a small luxury crossover SUV, the X3 offers a high seating position, all-wheel-drive traction, solid build quality and abundant equipment. However, it goes a few steps further with sweet six-cylinder engines and above-average handling one wouldn’t normally expect from an SUV.

Now in its second generation, the current BMW X3 is a greatly improved vehicle but it also has significantly more competitors than it used to. As such, the X3 isn’t the easy choice it once was. But the new model and most years of the first-generation X3 should remain near the top of your short list of choices.

Current BMW X3
The BMW X3 is available in two models, which correspond to engine. The xDrive28i gets a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter inline-6 that produces 240 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. The xDrive35i has a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 good for 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. Every X3 features all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The latter slings through gears with buttery, quiet ease and returns impressive fuel economy considering the engines’ power.

While the X3 may be smaller and cheaper than the X5, you won’t feel short-changed inside, as almost the same high-quality materials and construction are present, while the features list includes luxuries like heated rear seats and steering wheel, Bluetooth streaming audio, multiview parking cameras and a premium sound system. Like other recent BMWs, the X3 can be outfitted with adjustable drive settings that alter the tune of the suspension, steering, transmission and throttle response. We would skip it, however, as the car’s standard tuning strikes a better balance than any of the three available drive programs.

In reviews, we found the current BMW X3 improves upon its predecessor and remains an appealing compact luxury crossover. For those who want an ample dose of driving fun from their compact SUV, it’s very tough to beat — especially if you’re willing to pony up for the 35i engine. However, given its competitors from Audi, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, we would hardly declare the X3 the class leader and urge you to first shop around.

 

Source: [Edmunds]


   
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