A look at the newly launched BMW X3 in SA
11 January 2018 MOTORING
By Mxolisi Mhlongo
Bavarian Motor Works (BMW) has recently launched its third generation mid-size SUV here in South Africa to take on the likes of the Audi Q5, Mercedes GLC, Volvo XC60 and Land Rover Discovery Sport. BMW SA invited us to the X3 launch in George and the model that stunned was the M40i. This is because of its sporty look and exhaust system that pops and crackles which gives the vehicle that much desired M-Power BMW fanatics are crazy about.
Would Afropolitans buy this car?
The model of choice for daily usage would be the X3 20d which is the best all-around package, not only in the range but very likely the segment. It offers excellent refinement, balance, performance and efficiency without sacrificing much compared to the bigger engine models.
The new edgy design is the single biggest break the X3 needed to step out of the shadow of the X5 with the X3’s new design language immediately catching the eye. The interior layout retains BMW’s driver-oriented dash with a 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen placed in the center of the dash. This is operated via the iDrive rotary control placed in between the front seats. 3 zone climate control and ambient lighting comes standard with the new X3 majoring in spaciousness (5 seat layout) and functionality (multiple stowage spaces around the cabin).
Performance & Technology
BMW X-Drive: This is basically a marketing term for the all-wheel-drive system found on the BMW X1, X3, X4, X5, and X6 crossover sport activity vehicles.
All engines are linked to an 8-speed Steptronic transmission. The X-Drive features intelligent all-wheel drive, which monitors all wheels and apportions the power to the best traction wheel. A rear differential and modified transfer case ensures maximum traction whether on the road, wet roads or off-road.
Lightweight technology results in the new X3 being up to 55kgs lighter than its predecessor. The dynamic handling qualities of the new BMW X3 are rooted in its ideal 50:50 weight distribution, its honed chassis and the xDrive system.
Furthermore, the standard Driving Experience Control switch lets the driver choose between various configurations – i.e. ECO PRO, COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+ modes (on 30i, 30d and M40i) – designed to make the vehicle more dynamic, more comfortable or more efficient to drive. Dynamic options: M Sport suspension, Dynamic Damper Control, M Sport brakes and variable Sport steering.
Pricing (Incl. Vat)
BMW X3 20d X-Drive R 684 200
BMW X3 30i X-Drive R 739 800
BMW X3 30d X-Drive R 868 300
BMW X3 30i X-Drive R 991 100