No, not the classified portal that goes by the name Craigs
list, this new BMW X3 surely makes it to our Crags list. Crag, by the way,
means steep rugged rocky mass. This one’s a true off-roader by all means,
that’s what I am trying to convey! So, what can we say about the new BMW X3
that hasn’t already been said? It’s a crossover from the Germans for people who
don’t necessarily go off-roading, but like the look of a bulky rough and tumble
SUV, packaged in a small compact size. A high driving position in a compressed
small sized SUV is the exact choice of the average Indian consumer.
The X3 gets an updated styling and especially with the xLine
trim, the SUV looks more “today” than “last season”. The headlamps have been
updated, the front and rear bumpers both get new styling. With the xLine trim,
the X3 is blingged up with an aluminium signature kidney grille, embellished in
front and rear bumpers finished in aluminium and side door sills with a shiny
chrome finish. What you also get in the xLine trim are panoramic glass sunroof
and roof rails. The tail lamps are also new and the door mirrors are now
re-shaped for better visibility. On the inside, standard fitment includes dual
zone climate control with vents for the rear, electronically adjustable front
seats, and a centre armrest for the rear. On the xLine, you also get some more
chromey aluminium bits inside like the door sills and on the key. Furthermore
as standard is the BMW ConnectedDrive system which can be used with a clever
knob and a couple of buttons. It only takes a few minutes to understand but a
few bits of the system are annoying like when you want to drive slow off-road
and you activate the xDrive status display to see the roll and pitch of the
vehicle, if anything that comes close to the body, it changes to the parking
sensor even if you turn it off and you have to go through the menus to get it
back. Other than that, there is nothing to complain about really. There is
enough storage everywhere also if you want to connect your iPhone under the
front armrest, the iPhone 4 easily slots in like a glove and you can use it
with BMW ConnectedDrive. But if you have an iPhone 5 or 6 we’re doubtful they
would fit in the slot. Any other phone is a longshot.
The previous X3 wasn’t exactly what it was meant to be. The old
one didn’t look as good, didn’t ride very well on the road and wasn’t
commendable off-road either. With the new one though, BMW has addressed all
those issues. For starters, the X3 will be powered by an all-new 2 litre 4
cylinder xDrive20d Twinpower turbo diesel engine that produces 190bhp. Mated to
an 8-speed automatic transmission the 400 Nm torque is delivered smoothly and
gear changes are so seamless, we can actually feel nothing but the needle on
the rev counter move. On a well paved road, even in EcoPro mode, the X3 is just
so comfortable that you won’t need the comfort setting, but when the conditions
worsen, which they will being in India, comfort mode will help you breeze
through without even feeling a bump and with the high ground clearance, nothing
comes close to the underbody no matter how bad conditions get. If you want to
have some fun, put it in Sport or Sport+ and the engine forgets about polar
bears and charges through. Put the transmission in sport and you can go even
faster. At full sport set up, the X3 can do 0-100kmph in 8.1 seconds which is
exceptional for a car of its size and dynamics. Yes if you’re spoilt by the
sequential gearboxes of other cars, the sequential “Steptronic” in this will
take a while to get used to because to change up to pull it close to you and to
change down, you push it away.
When you eventually get bored of rush hour traffic and you
want to take it off road the X3 is perfect for the crags. Weather its loose
soil, sand or wet mud, the X3 can cope with it all effortlessly. If only it had
a manual handbrake, in the wet but smooth soil, getting the tail out would have
been easier, but it isn’t that difficult if you know how to do it with the
throttle. We just couldn’t find a place where the X3 just couldn’t handle. No
matter what we threw at it, the X3 just kept going with a “Bring it on”
attitude. At the end of the day, we got tired and went home.
Sitting on the couch you think with a smile on your face
that the X3 is brilliant car and perfect for Indian conditions, but when you
get to the dealership and find out the starting price for the X3 is Rs.52,90,000/-
that smile turns into a confused expression. Forty nine lakh for a crossover is
slightly steep when you think about it. When we got into the car we expected it
to cost with starting prices of around Rs 40 lakhs, but given the technology
and the improvements to the engine and the car itself, it has sort of won us
over, you just don’t have any bargaining chips left. You pay what you’re asked
for it. It’s a true member of our Crags list…if we had such a thing.
2.0L 4 cylinder xDrive20d Twinpower
8-speed automatic with
steptronic, including automatic hold function
190 @ 4000rpm
400 @ 1750-2500rpm
Top speed (Kmph)
Dynamic Damper Control with
infinite and independent damping
Disc with ABS and brake
assist and CBC
Runflat with reinforced
sidewalls 245/50 R18
Kerb Weight (Kgs)
Price (ex-showroom Delhi)
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