Chennai is hot. Though rains are a big welcome, they are few and far. And when it rains, the traffic goes bazinga with inching cars, zip zapping bikers and flooded roads. As I sit in the BMW X3, observing the rain and the traffic, I wondered how this car has handled pressure from the rivals and still kept it going. The X3, when launched new in 2011, had huge work cut out before it as Audi’s Q5 was making all the right moves. Now, as BMW is all set to launch the new BMW X3 facelift, we take the current car for one last ride and to tell what we can expect of the new car.
BMW X3 is a looker but without the extremities. The X3 is muscular and has a good road presence, looking like a downsized X5. Head on, the X3 looks strong with the sculpted lines flow down meeting with the grille. To the side, the waist line runs deep through the length of the car starting from the front wheel arch and finishing with the tail lamps. X3’s rear looks a lot more like its bigger brother and that isn’t a bad thing. The convexed tail gate offers some emotion along with the dual coloured rear bumper.
Like all the bimmers now, the X3 also gets a driver focused interiors with the all black dashboard leaning slightly towards the driver. The four pod instrument cluster is typical BMW design and the dashboard gets the some wood highlights in the centre console and the materials used are top notch.
The new BMW X3 facelift will get a new exterior thanks to new bigger twin-circular headlamps with a more prominent kidney grille, revised front and rear bumpers, new tail lamps and new alloy wheel design.
The new X3 will also get small teaks in the interiors with new upholstery options. Though the overall dimensions of the new car will remain the same, the X3 will look much sharper.
The engine options will remain the same as the current one - xDrive20d and xDrive30d. The X3 xDrive20d will be powered by a 2.0-litre, 1995cc engine which produces power of 184 bhp and 380 Nm of torque. And for those who want a more powerful version, the X3 xDrive30d gets a 3.0-litre, 2993 cc engine that pumps a maximum power of 258 bhp and peak torque of 560 Nm.
We drove the xDrive20d and the engine proved to be quite a good one. The engine has great low range response and the driving modes offer the perfect combination of power and performance accordingly. While the eco pro mode will be the most useful in city driving modes, the sport and sport+ modes are the order for highway driving. The sport modes make everything stiffer from the steering wheel to the suspension. The throttle response is also immediate making overtakes on highway speeds easier while the 8-speed transmission is fantastic with the gearshifts.
The new X3 may get better fuel efficiencies but will remain mechanically unchanged.
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