BMW X3 xDrive35i Review
Instant redemption

Story by Raymond L Photos by Yang and Raymond L
17 Apr 2011

With the new X3, memories of the ugly duckling first generation version can finally be banished.

Introduction, styling

Before the arrival of the Audi Q5 and the Volvo XC60, the first generation BMW X3, together with the venerable Lexus RX have been the undisputed kings of the premium mid-sized SUV sector. The X3's success has been truly exceptional considering how unpretty it looked since the day it was launched way back in 2003.

The X3's styling awkward to the point that it turned me off from test driving an example during its seven-year model life - yes, the first gen E83 X3 is the only BMW model I've not driven since I started reviewing cars a decade back. Seven years after the Singapore debut of the first X3, BMW now has the chance to redeem itself with the introduction of the replacement model.

In terms of overall styling, the new F25 X3 looks far from being revolutionary. In fact, it looks so nondescript when parked along a row of BMW X models that you'd more likely to mistake it for an X5. While the styling elements are very much the current X5 as well as some hints from the outgoing E83 X3, the proportions are more first generation X5 (E53) - with the new X3 almost as big as the latter.

At the front, the new X3 is best recognized by the forward slanting and more prominent double kidney grille that we've seen on the 7 and 5 Series models in recent times, a new heavily contoured bonnet as well as a bumper that is in line with BMW's other X models like the X6. The sides feature a prominent crease that runs parallel to the window line, the C-pillar design mimics the outgoing car's while the black wheel arch extensions add a touch of ruggedness. The new X3's rear is very much similar to the current generation X5's especially in the design and shape of the tail lamps.

The wheels on the xDrive35i might be 18-inch in diameter but they somehow manage to look lost under the X5's sizable wheel arches. Well, one can always browse the BMW parts catalogue for some 19- or 20-inch wheel options. Just like the F10 5 Series, the X3 might not be groundbreaking on the styling front but it does look purposeful and is definitely prettier and has a more premium feel and look than its ugly duckling predecessor.

Sell Fast With Ease - SwiftQuote

With SwiftQuote, you get:
  Best value for your car    A peace of mind when selling    Fast sale from start to end


Best offer with no obligations.
Start Now!

I agree to the collection, use and disclosure of my personal data by Carousell and/or such other third party (as may be necessary) and to be contacted (via email, phone call and/or text message) for any purposes in connection with the application of and transaction of the vehicle, in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 and Carousell's Privacy Policy.

Fast and hassle free transactions by all parties

Mohamad Yusran Bin Yusof - 1 day ago

Smooth transaction with the dealer and price offered for my car was reasonable!

Zailani Asral - 2 days ago

Justin was super helpful and helped me really pushed for a better price. His hardwork, prompt replies and dedication was ultimately what pushed me over to swiftquote compared to other bidding websites.

Gabriel Tang - 4 days ago

The quotes is real and allow the seller to decide and accept real time. The car dealers (buyer) is sincere and quick moves with transparency. Overall, I tried few same platform but SwiftQuote is great with back by sincere buyers.

FOO KOK LOON - 5 days ago

Justin had followed up with me closely on the transaction. I gotten a patient dealer who explained to me on the condition of my car despite some wear and tear problems.

Firdous Begam - 1 week ago

Fast response from dealer and no hassle selling after dealing! Happy and satisfied seller!

PEH CHONG HIN - 1 week ago

I must say that I did have quite a good service experience with SwiftQuote in my recent endeavour to sell my car. One of your agents by the name of Ian was rather extremely helpful in getting me two quotes.

Bhaskaran s/o Segaran Nair - 1 week ago

Dear Angie, A fast, efficient and convenient way for car purchase/sale transactions. Thank you very much for your assistance. Have a great weekend. Warm regards, Teo

Teo Khiam akuat - 1 week ago


Engine Capacity 2979cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 6
Compression Ratio 10.2:1
Bore x Stroke (89.6 x 84)mm
Power 306bhp @ 5800rpm
Torque 400Nm @ 1200rpm
Power to Weight 168.1 bhp per ton


Acceleration 5.7s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 245 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 11.4 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 8 -speed Auto Tiptronic
Drive Type FF


Body Type SUV
(L x W x H)
(4648 x 1881 x 1675) mm
Wheelbase 2810 mm
Kerb Weight 1820 kg
Boot Capacity 560 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 67 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs