BMW is determined to redefine the classifications we’re used to for vehicles. Whatever happened to the days when you had sports cars, trucks, vans, cars and SUVs? Now ever category appears to have numerous sub-categories causing some confusion and avoiding any form of direct competition among the vehicles offered. The BMW X3 is a great example of what the brand is attempting to do to the market. This isn’t an SUV or even a CUV, it’s an SAV which stands for Sport Activity Vehicle and is probably the right name for what the X3 happens to be.
What is the X3? This is a vehicle that’s small and compact but sporty and able to take on the winding roads offered on some of the German test tracks to be one of the most impressive driving vehicles you will find in a pseudo-SUV class. Like its sedan brother the 3 Series this vehicle is built for driving and is ready to take on any road and even some light trails if you are so daring. There is some space for cargo in the back, but don’t get ahead of yourself and think it’s generous at all, it’s not, but if you fold the seats down and only take one additional person on your adventure you can take along plenty of gear.
For power in the X3 you have the choice of three different powertrains to give you what you need. The X3 uses an eight-speed automatic transmission with all powertrains and offers the start/stop technology to ensure the engine is shut down to save on fuel when the vehicle is idling at a stop sign or stop light. The base engine for the X3 is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder model that offers 240 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is able to give you fuel numbers of 21 city/28 hwy and makes for a great choice to start with.
Moving up the line you have a diesel options which is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that comes in with 180 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque. This is the most fuel efficient engine in the group at 27 city/34 hwy mpg and it presents you with excellent low end power from the higher torque range. At the top of the lineup you have a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine with 300 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque. With this small vehicle you might feel this power is a bit excessive, but we love a few excesses now and then. This engine still give you reasonable fuel mileage at 19 city/26 hwy mpg for you to enjoy.
The X3 offers you a look that seems familiar and is a little higher up than the BMW sedans and coupes. With the signature twin kidney grill up front you will have a recognizable vehicle that also has gorgeous lines and is made to cut through the wind with ease. On the inside the X3 is a vehicle that has everything you need inside without going overboard. The seating is excellent and the controls are easy to understand in this luxury vehicle that is trying to create a new category.
There is a wonderful list of features offered for the X3. The standard offerings include power front seats, automatic climate control, rain sensing windshield wipers, a power tailgate, an infotainment system with a nine-speaker audio system and HD radio, Bluetooth connectivity, USB input, passive and active safety features to help keep you and all your passengers safe and three years/36,000 miles of complimentary maintenance for the X3.
The options allow you to move up to the M Sport version of the xDrive models to have the X3 you want to drive. For the M Sport models you can enjoy the addition of aerodynamics kids and sport seats along with an improved suspension and braking system. The xDrive models add AWD and a satin exterior look to make for a unique appearance. Other options you can consider include heated seats, a heated steering wheel, a navigation system, BMW Apps, Wi-Fi hotspot, a rearview camera, a Driver Assistant Plus Package, active cruise control and a 600-watt Harman/Kardon premium audio system.
The BMW X3 may not want to be in a category, or it might be making its own, either way this is a great vehicle for you to drive and one that will easily let you have the fun you’ve been want to have from behind the wheel in a vehicle that has some amazing luxury features for you to enjoy.