The all-new third-generation BMW X3 makes its global debut with variants ranging from a rear-wheel driven entry-level model up to a 360hp 3.0-litre six-cylinder M Performance flagship.
Designated internally as the G01, the all-new X3 follows from the current 5 Series and 7 Series models in utilizing BMW’s new-generation CLAR modular platform for vehicles with longitudinally-mounted engines.
Powering the X3 is BMW’s latest-generation B-series modular engine family with the usual mix of 2.0-litre four-cylinder and 3.0-litre six-cylinder variants that should be familiar to most followers of the brand.
The European market launch this autumn starts things off with 190hp xDrive20d and 265hp xDrive30d variants lining up alongside the range-topping M40i variant with 360hp from its uprated 3.0-litre B58 straight-six petrol engine.
A pair of 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrols join the fray later in the year, producing 184 and 252hp in the 20i and 30i variants respectively. All-wheel drive is standard for the X3 in Europe, but outside the continent, BMW is offering the 184hp 20i engine with the option of rear-wheel drive as well. Expect Malaysia-bound variants to draw heavily from this section of the catalogue.
All variants of the X3 come with the highly-acclaimed ZF 8HP 8-speed Steptronic auto as the standard transmission.
Official fuel consumption ranges from 5.0 litres/100km in the xDrive20d to a maximum of 8.4 litres/100km in the M40i variant. Curiously, the rear-wheel driven sDrive20i is claimed to have slightly higher fuel consumption of 7.4 litres/100km compared to 7.2 litres/100km for the all-wheel drive xDrive20i. The more powerful xDrive30i also records 7.4 litres/100km.
Despite sitting on an all-new platform, BMW has opted to persist with a familiar suspension template with the all-new X3, retaining the predecessor’s front double wishbone, rear five-link setup. Optional upgrades include firmer M Sport suspension and electronically-controlled adaptive dampers.
Although most buyers are unlikely to venture far beyond tarmac, BMW has engineered substantial off-roading prowess into the new X3’s DNA. On standard wheels and suspension, the X3 has 204mm of ground clearance and is able to wade through 500mm of water. Approach, departure, and breakover angles are 25.7, 22.6, and 19.4 degrees respectively.
Trim-wise, BMW offers the X3 with a choice of three model lines – xLine, Luxury Line, and M Sport.
As seen in the recent G11 7 Series and G30 5 Series, the new X3 comes with a wide range advanced driver assistance systems including adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go traffic mode, lane keeping assistant, lange change assistant, priority warning, wrong-way warning, and cross traffic warning. Also handy is BMW’s Remote 3D View function that projects a three-dimensional view of the car’s surroundings.