Jamaica Gleaner / BMW’s offering to the compact luxury crossover SUV segment, the X3, is an improvement in styling over its first-generation predecessor, looking similar to the larger X5 but with a few styling differences. This face-lifted model does not have an aggressive facia like other current BMW models yet remains attractive, with subtle accents.
The rear stylish LED tail lights sit proportionately. While being smaller than the X5, its styling is similar but seems to be more round or curvy on the corners, with the LED headlights subtly wrapping around from the front on to the fenders, away from the huge, functional signature BMW kidney grille commanding your attention at the front. Sharper body lines on the side add to the clean look as well, sloping gradually downward from the rear tail light, passing the door handles, to the front fender, adding a slight shadow effect to the side of the car.
Upon entering the cabin of the X3, one can see that its rich leather is abundant, wrapping around its seats and door cards. Luxury and comfort is the theme in this interior since the seats are not as sports oriented as BMW Mototrsport-influenced models. If comfort was the goal, then BMW’s mission was successful as one is held quite nicely by the two front seats. The door cards are accented with wood and brushed steel, complimenting the sleek, black leather wrapping them. The thick, leather steering wheel feels good and fits in with the front dash and controls, which has a beautiful wood finish on the shifter lever area. Visibility through the windshield is good, and its double sunroof is also a nice addition for those who love the feel of an open space above them. Music is vibrant and rich as well through the BMWs entertainment system in its well-insulated cabin.
While driving the X3 in traffic, the oodles of torque makes its presence felt. It is most responsive in the sport mode, negotiating through traffic with power-on tap responding well to driver input. Its gearing and engine shine in city driving or traffic conditions, pushing the SUV quickly through tight traffic conditions, giving the driver moves, that knowing the torque from the twin-power system is there when needed through its eight speed automatic transmission.
While putting the X3 through the rounds, it was interesting to see that the fuel needle barely moved despite being put under a heavy foot. Maximum fuel efficiency would be achieved in the eco pro mode but should be fine in comfort mode in between both extremes. The ride, in comparison to the sedan version, is far less bumpy with the SUV suspension configuration and is much better at absorbing the stress from potholes in the road. The four-wheel-drive system aids in stability while driving and helps navigating through rough or loose terrain.
The X3 compact SUV platform makes driving and tackling the every driving grind a little easier with a greater ride height and heavier duty suspension than similar-sized compact sedans. Its smaller size and torquey diesel engine makes it easier to zip through traffic than larger-sized SUVs and should be suitable for young professionals and small families who require the luxury, quality, and style BMW is known for.
Model tested: 2017 BMW X3 Xdrive 20d
Size Class : Compact Luxury Crossover SUV
Drivetrain: 8-speed automatic AWD
Engine Info: 2 litre 4 cylinder Twin Power Turbo Diesel
Power Output: 184hp/295 ft/lbs torque (claimed)
Price as Tested: J$10,000,000
Fuel Consumption: 42mpg combined (claimed)
Available at: ATL Autobahn, 5 Orchard Road, Kingston 5, Jamaica. Tel: (876) 906-1554
Fax: (876) 908-2191
Email: [email protected]