2018 BMW X3 Launched In India; Rivals Audi Q5, Mercedes GLC
The third-gen X3 is lighter in weight and more aerodynamic than the previous generation
BMW has launched the third-gen X3 in India. It’s based on BMW’s latest CLAR (cluster architecture) platform which also underpins the latest 7 Series sedan. The new platform, along with other weight-reducing measures, has helped BMW cut down the X3’s weight by 55kg. The X3 has been launched in two variants: xDrive 20d Expedition and xDrive 20d Luxury Line, which are priced at Rs 49.99 lakh and Rs 56.70 lakh (ex-showroom), respectively.
On the outside, the third-gen X3’s dimensions remain largely unchanged compared to the previous generation; however, it sees a nearly 50mm increase in wheelbase which should result in more space inside. BMW offers 18-inch wheels as standard on the X3, up from 17-inch wheels on the second-gen model. The wheel size on the new X3 goes up to 19-inch on the top-spec Luxury Line variant.
The X3’s exterior design is an evolution over the previous model, with subtle yet noticeable changes both at the front and the back. Among the most striking changes up front is the bigger kidney grille and the new fog lamp units. The second-gen X3 had round fog lamps placed unusually between the conventional fog lamp housing and headlamp unit. In the new model, the LED fog lamps are still positioned very upright but aren’t separated from the housing. Headlamps are also LED units now and the front windscreen gets acoustic glass for better noise insulation inside the cabin.
The tail lamp design at the rear is new, with the inner half of the split tail lamp unit extending more towards the licence plate now than before. The new X3 gets twin tailpipes and an automatic tailgate. Look at it from the side and the new X3 appears more streamlined than the previous model, with the roof sloping more towards the rear than before. BMW claims that the drag coefficient has improved and that means the design is more aerodynamic now. The new X3 is available in four colour options: white, grey, black and blue.
Like on the outside, the interior is also an evolution and not dramatically different from the outgoing model. Immediately noticeable is the new three-spoke steering wheel and the floating-type 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system instead of the earlier unit that used to sit inside the dashboard cavity in the middle. Other features on offer include a 600W Harman Kardon surround sound system, 3-zone climate control, panoramic sunroof and 8 airbags.
The X3 is on offer with the 2.0-litre diesel engine only. It is a 4-cylinder, twin-turbocharged engine that delivers 190PS of maximum power and 400Nm of peak torque. The engine is mated to an 8-speed Steptronic transmission sending power to all the four wheels. however, BMW has confirmed that the petrol X3 will also be launched later this year.
On the price chart, the new BMW X3 competes with SUVs like the Audi Q5 (price starts from Rs 55.27 lakh), Mercedes-Benz GLC (price starts from Rs 51.73 lakh), Volvo XC60 (launch price in Dec 2017 was Rs 55.9 lakh), Lexus NX (price starts from Rs 53.18 lakh), Land Rover Evoque (price starts from Rs 51.83 lakh) and Jaguar F-Pace (price starts from Rs 61.91 lakh).
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