With a 2.0 turbocharged four-cylinder power plant, good for 252bhp and a healthy squirt of 350Nm of torque from a low 1,450rpm, and eight ratios and fulltime all-wheel drive, the X3 is wonderfully responsive. From rest to 100km/h, it only takes it 6.3 seconds, and even with its size, it never comes across as a clumsy, lumbering hunk of steel. It actually is rather precise and nimble on tarmac, in part, due to the M Sport suspension package and larger 20-inch rims. Steering feel is also pretty good, as we expected, and with prolonged driving, you will appreciate how well the car turns into a corner with minimal roll for an SUV, and how well it exits too.
Also because of the M Sport suspension and larger rims, the X3 does deliver a ride which is just slightly on the firmer side. And while the excellent seats do help with some dampening, we would only recommend the M Sport for those who want to have a more intense and sharper driving experience.
Another down side to the firmer suspension set-up we also realise is its unwillingness to bite into gravel, and you would need quite a fair bit of adjusting to get the car to do what you want it to do... not that we would often find ourselves away from tarmac over here anyway.
That said, we believe that the sweet spot here would be the xLine model which drops the rim size by an inch, meaning more rubber and air between your bum and the road… mmm more comfortable, and a softer suspension setup. And with less kit, the car is more affordable too.
And again, put into even greater perspective, the M Sport could then be THE car to buy if you feel that the high-performing M40i at approximately $50k more, is way too much coin to part with, but you still want all that road-holding goodness and superb brakes, and can live without 355bhp and an earth-turning 500Nm.
Confused? Good! *grin*
While the market is already saturated with the likes of the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC and the Volvo XC60, we certainly feel that BMW has delivered the goods well with its new X3. Being a premium brand SUV also means that it has to check plenty many boxes, and the boxes do keep on coming, and truly it can be a slippery slope. However, they have ensured that the new car easily checks the important ones - Handling, utility, comfort, and enough tech goodies, while delivering well on timeless styling.
As we have mentioned previously, “And over the time that the X3 has been in existence, it has grown up, and we could boldly say this one will definitely grow into the lives of many”.
#SG #CarReview #Testdrive #BMW #X3 #G01 #Roadtest