BMW has unveiled the third generation X3 SUV which is larger than its predecessor, gets a set of updated petrol and diesel engines and more tech than ever before. Expect an Indian launch in mid-2018.
The BMW X3 has been one of the best selling SUVs in the Bavarian automaker’s portfolio. Launched originally in 2003, over 1.5 million new X3s have been sold in the last 14 years across two generations. In India, the BMW X3 has been a popular option for customers who wanted a Rs 50 lakh BMW but wanted an SUV instead of the staple 3 Series. And now, BMW has unveiled a new third generation X3 that is larger, more efficient and offers more tech than ever before. The BMW X3 will also get a set of two diesel and three petrol engines that have been thoroughly updated.
In terms of exterior design, the BMW X3 is evolutionary in terms of overall stance but does feature a lot of very obvious design changes. For starters, the headlamps and the grille have again been separated from each other unlike the design found in the likes of the X5 or the new 5 Series. The grille is now much larger as compared to older generation and new larger bumper gets bigger air intakes and a set of LED hexagonal fog lamps. The new X3 also features full LED headlamps and fog lamps along with a set of full LED 3D tail lamps. The new X3 also gets a larger standard wheel size – 18-inches with the top spec model getting a set of 21-inch wheels.
In terms of interior changes, the new cabin is in line with the new design philosophy that has been seen on other cars too. The new X3 does not have an inbuilt screen in the dashboard but one on the top instead with gesture control. The infotainment also features connectivity options like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. The new X3 will also have optional gesture control for the infotainment system. The new X3 is also more spacious with a lot more space for both front and rear passengers and more boot space. The more interior space is a result of a 2.2-inch longer wheelbase on the new car. The new X3 will also get interior ambient lighting options along with a heads up display that has colour readout instead of the usual monochrome setup. The new X3 will also offer buyers the option of choosing acoustic glass to make SUV quieter and in turn more comfortable for passengers.
In terms of engines, the BMW X3 will get two standard petrol and diesel engines and an M-spec petrol engine. The BMW X3 xDrive30i makes 248 bhp while the X3 xDrive20i makes 181 bhp. Both cars are available with all wheel drive while a rear wheel drive model will follow shortly. The diesel engines on the other hand are the base BMW X3 xDrive20d that makes 188 bhp and the BMW X3 xDrive30d that makes 262 bhp. All engines are paired with BMW’s 8-speed ‘Steptronic’ transmission that has also been updated for the new car.
The new BMW X3 is also available in a new BMW X3 M40i variant that gets sportier styling and a more powerful engine. The M-spec X3 gets new front bumpers that have a larger air intake and sportier styling along with a set of 20-inch standard or 21-inch optional M-Sport split wheels. The X3 M40i will also get a slightly lower ride height with sportier ride quality. The engine makes 355 bhp and is mated to an all wheel drive setup. The X3 M40i will be able to go from 0-100 kmph in 4.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 250 kmph.
The BMW X3 in India will go up against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLC and the upcoming Audi Q5. It will also take on the likes of the upcoming Volvo XC60 and also the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque.