The BMW X3 was first introduced in 2004 and was sporting the same mechanical components as the ‘E46’ 3-series. Magna Steyr, a company is Austria, was subcontracted to build the X3. In 2006, it enjoyed very good sales upon release but eventually experienced a decline when rivals began competing in the market. The second-generation BMW X3 also faces the same challenge with more competitors crowding the market, such as the Audi Q5 and the Land Rover Evoque. Nonetheless, the X3 has its merits that every potential buyers needs to consider before making a final decision.
The current BMW X3 boasts of a harmonious design that’s much sleeker than the previous generation. The synchronization among design elements, such as the overall muscular stance, the contour line that goes from the front arch to the car side, and the like create a balanced look that doesn’t overindulge itself. There’s also the BMW’s traditional Hofmeister kink around the rear window, a trademark loyalist will be looking for. Another improvement that the X3 doesn’t scrimp on is the high quality paint finish.
The 2.0-litre diesel engine comes widely available in most BMW X3 stock. It’s a good default choice with its 130mph capability and the 8.5 seconds sprint. You can either have the eight-speed auto or a smooth-shifting six-speed manual gearbox mated with the engine. The automatic is recommended over the manual as the latter tends to feel underpowered for the single carriageways. Range is consistent in the automatic, a better bet for those who need more transitions in terms of speed and gear.
The BMW X3 maintains itself as a top of the line SUV with its interior, where a tall dashboard surrounds a central display screen. This area is easily viewed from a proper angle of upright seating. There’s also more than enough space in all areas that even the tallest driver won’t be uncomfortable using this car. Boot capacity is also spacious, giving 70 litres more at 550 litres compared to the older generation. A low tailgate aperture gives access to this wider space. Nappa leather upholstery adds more luxury to this fine interior, pairing such form with the various functions of the turn-and-click iDrive controller. Supplementary buttons are found around the iDrive controller to help navigate through options, but it may take some time to get used to the cluttered design.
Although the X3 provides ample space for six foot tall passengers, the comfort doesn't continue to the central rear passenger area. This is due to the wide transmission tunnel added in its improvements. The boot space is large enough for regular luggage and can reach up to 1600 litres when the rear seats aren't being used. It's a choice between space for backseat passengers or all that luggage for long trips.
You can upgrade the vehicle with equipment such as a head-up display to show your speed on the windscreen or even satellite navigation. But these seem rather unnecessary with the model's basic features of dual-zone climate control, automatic lights and wipers, cruise control, and other luxuries. It's more practical to stick with its basics instead of spending thousands of pounds more.
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