BMW releases third-gen X3

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2018 BMW X 3.
2018 BMW X 3.

The new BMW X3 is set for export in 2018, and while BMW hasn’t yet indicated which those new models it will be, it is likely to include the entry level 20i petrol version, which served as the range-opening model for the outgoing X3.

As reported last week, BMW is also close to a decision on whether or not to produce a top spec X3 M version, which would likely share the twin-turbo inline six from the M3 and M4.

Kicking off the range is the four cylinder xDrive20d, which makes 140 kW/400 Nm from its 2.0 liter diesel engine.

Next up is the xDrive30i, for now the sole petrol offering, which makes 185 kW/350 Nm from its 2.0 liter turbo-petrol four cylinder unit.

Topping the range for now is the xDrive30d, which uses a 3.0 liter turbo-diesel inline six-cylinder engine, making 190 kW/62 0Nm, a 60 Nm increase over the outgoing model.

All variants use the xDrive all-wheel-drive system and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Standard equipment on the xDrive20d includes 19 inch alloy wheels, folding door mirrors, roof rails, sports steering wheel, electric sports front seats with cloth/leather upholstery, LED headlights, head-up display, a 6.5 inch info screen, front and rear parking sensors with rearview camera, driving assistant with lane departure warning, wireless phone charging and Navigation system Business.

The xDrive30i and 30d share the same level of specification, which includes 20 inch wheels, Vernasca leather upholstery, adaptive LED headlights with high-beam assist, comfort access system, driving assistant plus package (optional on the 20d), parking assistant plus with surround view camera, multi-function instrument display with 12.0 inch screen and Navigation system Professional with 10.0-inch touchscreen.

BMW has borrowed technology from the latest 5 Series for the new X3, including iDrive6 interface and the Personal CoPilot system, which allows for up to 30 seconds of hands-free driving, as well as active cruise control with stop and go function cross-traffic warning and lane keeping assistant.

Styling has been updated for the third-generation X3, which now sits on the same rear-drive-based platform as the new 5 Series and next-gen 3 Series.

Changes include a fresh headlight design with the hexagonal LED headlights that are becoming more common on new BMW models, a more aggressive lower air intake, softer tail-light design and new rear and side bumpers.

Dimensions have increased in length/width/height by 51 mm/10 mm/15mm, while wheelbase length has also grown by 54 mm. Weight savings of up to 55 kg have also resulted from the new platform.

Rear cargo storage remains the same at 550 liters with the 40:20:40 split-fold seats up, increasing to 1,600 liters folded down.

A number of optional packages will be offered on the X3, including the M Sport package, Innovations package, Exclusive package and Rear Comfort package, Through the first eight month of 2017, BMW has sold 2334 examples of the X3. down 13.1 per cent year-on-year.