2018 BMW X3
A popular crossover becomes a more convincing BMW.

Buyers’ wild-eyed enthusiasm for compact-luxury SUVs has put the BMW X3 on a trajectory to overtake the X5 and ultimately the 3-series as the brand’s best seller. The model has undergone a redesign for 2018, which sees it get slightly larger—not surprising given that the X1 is on hand, soon to be joined by the new X2, for buyers seeking something smaller. The X3 also becomes a more full-fledged member of the BMW family with its upgraded interior. And at a time when some of the brand’s passenger-car offerings have strayed from BMW’s historically strong dynamics, the new X3 makes an encouraging showing there as well.

Highs
Chassis tuning like BMWs of old, improved interior, plenty of passenger and cargo space.
Lows
Imprecise variable-ratio steering, goofy electronic shifter, the entry-level four pales next to the six-cylinder.

Tighten Up
As before, the X3 is offered with four or six cylinders under the hood, both engines bolstered by a turbocharger. Their configuration and displacement are the same, but both engines are new to the model. Although the 30i designation suggests that BMW’s 3.0-liter inline-six is present, it actually has a 2.0-liter inline-four. (The 28i was the previous four-cylinder X3). The six-cylinder version has been elevated to M Performance status and is now badged X3 M40i. Both models come with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive.

The new 2.0-liter sees horsepower increase from 240 to 248, while the torque peak falls slightly, from 260 lb-ft to 258. The B46 powerplant’s output is nothing extraordinary, but the twin-scroll turbo effectively masks any signs of lag, making for precise and predictable throttle response. This engine punches above its weight in other applications (330i, 530i), but here it feels a tad overmatched. There’s nothing to criticize in the nature of its power delivery or its pairing with the eight-speed, but it’s a far cry from the M40i’s silken and muscular inline-six, which boasts 355 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. BMW’s turbo six is an engine from the gods, and the M40i feels as quick as a Porsche Macan GTS.

With either engine, the eight-speed automatic, unfortunately, is controlled via BMW’s annoying and unintuitive electronic shifter that is spreading throughout the lineup. We can’t fault the transmission’s behavior, though, which is smooth and responsive. Plus, standard paddle shifters are on hand should the driver want to take control. The X3 30i earns EPA fuel-economy ratings of 22 mpg city and 29 highway, both increases of 1 mpg over the outgoing X3 28i. The city number falls between those of the Audi Q5 (23 mpg) and the all-wheel-drive Mercedes-Benz GLC300 (21 mpg), while the BMW’s highway figure tops both competitors’. The six-cylinder X3 M40i also manages increases of 1 mpg over its predecessor in both EPA measures, with ratings of 20/27 mpg city/highway.

More encouragingly, the X3 chassis suffers none of the float or sloppiness that plagues much of the recent BMW lineup. The 30i we drove was fitted with the Dynamic Handling package ($1400), which brought adaptive dampers, Variable Sport Steering, M Sport brakes, and a fourth driving mode—Adaptive—in addition to Eco Pro, Sport, and the default Comfort. Even Comfort mode doesn’t have the wallow we’ve seen in BMWs of late; the X3 is plenty capable in corners. Sport tightens the reins noticeably, which is fine where the roads are glass smooth but might be too much when they’re not. The M40i starts out with a firmer suspension, and our example added the adaptive dampers (a stand-alone option that’s $1000 on the 30i and $700 on the M40i). The net result is that this is a rare modern BMW that doesn’t require you to switch it out of Comfort mode and into Sport the minute you turn it on. The M40i’s body control is exemplary, and even its standard Variable Sport Steering is not overboosted. The variable steering is optional on the X3 30i, however, and there we’d be inclined to skip it. In the lower-spec model, it fails to build effort as you wind on more lock, instead seeming to increase assist; switching to Sport mode increases overall effort, masking this behavior.
Luxury and Practicality

The X3’s starting price has increased by $2400, mostly because there’s no rear-drive version anymore. (Compared with the previous all-wheel-drive model, the new X3’s price sees a $400 increase.) The X3 30i opens at $43,445—versus $42,475 for the Q5 and $43,045 for the GLC 4Matic, its two most obvious competitors—whereas the X3 M40i starts at $55,295. The new X3 is a well-rounded performer, particularly the M40i, and it also is now a better ambassador for its brand. That’s a good thing, given its increasingly visible role
www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2018-bmw-x3-first-drive-reviewRead More


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Comments

    • Gaku hako yama
      Gaku hako yama

      かっこいい!欲しい!

      about 4 days ago
    • Scott K
      Scott K

      nah... not yet worth the upgrade from the gen-2

      about 3 months ago
    • Panos Zozonis
      Panos Zozonis

      It's a small x5... Wow fantastic beauty

      about 7 months ago
    • ปราณี กันทาฟัง
      ปราณี กันทาฟัง

      😍😍😍😍😍

      about 8 months ago
    • Gheorghi Cretu
      Gheorghi Cretu

      Bmw.x3 😘😘🤔

      about 8 months ago
    • Benjamin Mathew
      Benjamin Mathew

      Guys make sure to check out the new Porsche cayenne, you'll love it more than the x5 after you check it out online and at the dealership, and for folks who are looking at the new x3,check out the Porsche macan online and at the dealership, you'll love that better than the x3, I had a x3 and x5 with the m sport package, and I also drove the cayenne s and macan s,and in my opinion Porsche is more fun than BMW.

      about 11 months ago
    • Davide Selvi
      Davide Selvi In reply to Benjamin Mathew

      X5 is better

      about 3 months ago
    • Tom N
      Tom N

      Rav 4 2019 looks better. BMW X3 looks old

      about 1 year ago
    • Jegadeesh JJ
      Jegadeesh JJ

      BMW best car

      about 1 year ago
    • BBoyy15
      BBoyy15

      Nicely done video..I loved the backgrounds, where was this recorded?

      about 1 year ago
    • COXCO ROA
      COXCO ROA

      hola un auto que es una locura, es el sueño del pibe. el pibe soy.

      about 1 year ago
    • BaahBen
      BaahBen

      Beautiful car, but not worth $7,000 more than the Mercedes GLC300

      about 1 year ago
    • Midster Wu
      Midster Wu

      the look of the x3 is far too old! a face lift doesnt help obviously!

      about 1 year ago
    • V.S JAIN
      V.S JAIN

      How much top model cost with all features included X3 in India.

      about 1 year ago
    • Davide Selvi
      Davide Selvi In reply to V.S JAIN

      The indian brand Tata Motors owns Jaguar Land Rover

      about 3 months ago
    • WeKKY. TEcHY. Pd
      WeKKY. TEcHY. Pd

      Hello good BMW looking powerful, Friends support and SUBSCRIBe our channel also now ok bye 🙂👍

      about 1 year ago
    • 이상동
      이상동

      고객이 뭘 원하는지 아직도 모르는 BMW

      about 1 year ago
    • ExcellenT CaR tV
      ExcellenT CaR tV

      BEST CAR FROM BMW I LOVE IT

      about 1 year ago
    • Grahame Stroud
      Grahame Stroud

      German rubbish... buy british... range rovers are the best cars in the world ... had a bmw once but never again ... its range rover for me always

      about 1 year ago
    • Davide Selvi
      Davide Selvi In reply to Grahame Stroud

      +Grahame Stroud Matter of fact, Range Rover cars for the european market are manufactured in the UK

      about 3 months ago
    • Davide Selvi
      Davide Selvi In reply to Grahame Stroud

      +Kushisaaan Jaguar Land Rover was bought by Tata in 2008 because Tata could afford to buy it and decided to do so!! It doesn't have to do with reliability!! Shut the hell up......

      about 3 months ago
    • Michael Lee
      Michael Lee In reply to Grahame Stroud

      European car sucks when operate in hot weather. The most reliable cars are Japanese (made in Japan). They are all weathered cars. Worth every cent.

      about 9 months ago
    • PIJUS MAGNIFICUS
      PIJUS MAGNIFICUS In reply to Grahame Stroud

      Old Range Rovers were beasts...

      about 9 months ago
    • Michael Lee
      Michael Lee In reply to Grahame Stroud

      Goran, there is no need for such vulgarity. It's individual taste and preference dude. You got something against British cars? Or are u a God damn racist?

      about 10 months ago
    • R A
      R A

      With the new X-1/2/3 the X5 looks a bit old.
      Hope to see an facelift of that soon.
      Overall the X3 looks alot better but isn’t as good looking as the new xc60. Too much buttons inside and makes it look a bit old.

      about 1 year ago
    • Bahtman
      Bahtman In reply to R A

      BMW comes with an all new X5 this summer

      about 1 year ago
    • Ali Shahnawaz
      Ali Shahnawaz

      Audi already built digital speedometer...what's new here?

      about 1 year ago
    • 222radon
      222radon

      Niere 🤪

      about 1 year ago
    • dslanparty
      dslanparty

      Just me or is the side and front exterior better looking on the 2nd gen?

      about 1 year ago
    • brajpal gurjar
      brajpal gurjar In reply to dslanparty

      dslanparty wkdmdif ldnkudvn

      about 1 year ago
    • brajpal gurjar
      brajpal gurjar In reply to dslanparty

      dslanparty 9rkdndic💄

      about 1 year ago
    • Brother- Perry
      Brother- Perry

      2nd generation is ok for me ......the only thing i need ....." money "

      about 1 year ago
    • nultianeks
      nultianeks

      It is funny how nowadays manufacturers have to tell us what the diffrences are when a 'new' model comes ;)

      about 1 year ago
    • SPMNDK89
      SPMNDK89 In reply to nultianeks

      You are absolutely retarded. Spartanburg, South Carolina my friend.

      about 10 months ago
    • Ric B.
      Ric B. In reply to nultianeks

      its china made my friend

      about 1 year ago
    • Moussa Bakayoko
      Moussa Bakayoko

      Great job #BMW ///MOTORSPORT :)

      about 1 year ago
    • Jediah Matthew
      Jediah Matthew

      Nothing new

      about 1 year ago
    • Fadi Dan
      Fadi Dan

      Beautiful automobiles, I wanna be surrounded by such beauty!

      about 1 year ago
    • Julius Hoffmann
      Julius Hoffmann

      Beat faculty readily assure rare attack general temperature his often.

      about 1 year ago
    • Funny Primitive Kh
      Funny Primitive Kh

      Wow! Amazing Car

      about 1 year ago
    • Skynet
      Skynet

      Bmw is best

      about 1 year ago
    • Benjamin Mathew
      Benjamin Mathew In reply to Skynet

      Skynet how you ever been in a Porsche, it's so much more attractive,a lot more fun to drive than the x5, more advanced technology than Mercedes ,Audi and BMW, has alot more features than the other three like ventilated and messaging seats in the back, check out the new cayenne, you'll like it the most after you check it out online and at a Porsche dealership.

      about 11 months ago
    • myslecinaczej
      myslecinaczej In reply to Skynet

      there is simply no the best car nowadays! Mentioned here are all great yet with some pluses and limitations. You can select per your preference and..wallet thickness.
      There also another competitors, with less lux badges but surprisingly well performing in many areas!
      Premium seem obsolete ...many high quality cars from non-premium brands, with the same level of equipment (o yes possibly you will not be able to change interior lighting color from blue to red like in the BMW ...but who cares!)

      about 1 year ago
    • thejoseandresshow
      thejoseandresshow

      The front is so ugly!!

      about 1 year ago