2018 BMW X3
BMW has always had a unique take on the premium utility market… and the redesigned 2018 BMW X3 Sports Activity Vehicle is proof. When it was introduced in 2003, the X3 was the first compact crossover from a luxury brand known mostly for its performance sedans.
Now in its third generation, the wheel base grows 2-point-2 inches but most exterior dimensions only see minor changes. The alpha numeric naming changes with the 30i replacing the 28i with its turbo charged 2-liter 4-cylinder; while the 3-liter turbo 6 moves to a new M performance model. 248 horsepower in the 4-banger and 355 coming out of the straight 6 both use an 8 speed automatic that’s ultra-smooth and handles its duties like a pro. xDrive now seems even more rear bias for handling purposes. Dynamic damper control is available on both models while our M40i came with the adaptive M suspension.
GREG CARLOSS: “The thing I really like about the new X3 is that it has this lightweight and nimble feel that I don’t quite remember getting in the previous X3. It’s actually a lot closer to the X1 and I say that with some confidence since we do have a long term X1 and I like the way it drives it does have a stiff suspension, but it drives closer to a car and I think that’s what BMW has been able to put into this X3 but you still have the feeling of security and the feeling of solidity in a bigger SUV.”
JOHN DAVIS: As you would expect, interior material quality is excellent throughout, and all of the controls are driver-oriented. Technology also improves. The head-up display grows by 75-percent in size, the touch screen stretches to 10.25 inches, and BMW Gesture Control is an option.
So the BMW faithful who crave both more throttle response and utility should find this an appealing option. At dealers now, pricing for the 2018 BMW X3 starts under $43,000; the M40i for about $55,000.
Price: Starts under $43,000