When we examination a car, we mostly find ourselves at the forgiveness of the elements. In the case of the 2018 BMW X3, that incited out to be a good thing. A fast duration of sour cold, surprising regard (for Chicago), rain, ice, snow, and then some-more sour cold over a duration of 7 days taught me that the X3 is an glorious cold-weather car. The interior warms up very fast for a automobile of its distance (with a exhilarated steering circle that becomes prohibited to the touch), the doing in sleet and ice is exemplary, and it’s a good automobile if you need to give someone a burst start. But that’s just partial of the picture for the X3.
The 2018 indication year marks the commencement of the third era for BMW’s mid-sized crossover-slash-SUV. And the X3, with its high pushing position, really feels like some-more of an SUV than a crossover.
On the outside, there are not many differences between the 2017 and 2018 X3. The 2018 indication is a couple of inches longer and a half-inch wider. The combined length appears to be between the axles, as the wheelbase is 2.2in (5.6cm) longer this time around. The indication we tested, the X3 xDrive30i, sports a 2.0L 248hp (185KW) turbocharged, inline four-cylinder engine able of 258lb-ft (350Nm) of torque. If the four-banger isn’t adequate for you, you can upgrade to the M40i, which offers up a 3.0L, six-cylinder engine with 355hp (265KW) and 369lb-ft (500Nm) of torque. There’s an eight-speed delivery that responds differently depending on pushing mode—and paddle shifters if you wish to go the primer route.
The 2018 X3 starts at $42,450, but to make the automobile engaging and fun to drive, you’ll need to raise on some extras. Our tester enclosed the $2,850 Convenience Package (keyless entry, breathtaking moonroof), $1,300 Parking Package, an $800 Driving Assistance and $1,400 Dynamic Handling Package (which still left me but adaptive journey control or lane-keep assist), and the $3,300 Premium Package (heated steering wheel, exhilarated seats, satnav, and heads-up display). Pile on some some-more things (CarPlay compatibility, wireless charging for a Qi-enabled smartphone, and a Harmon Kardon approximate sound), and the plaque cost is $57,620. And that’s without the full driver-assistance package.
In my review of the Audi Q5, we justly held some flack from readers for not commenting on how Audi charges a flattering penny for its driver-assistance tech. You’ve got to spend $8,000 for the Prestige package just so you can compensate another $1,800 for the Driver Assistance package. BMW isn’t utterly as steep, as you can get adaptive journey control and lane-keep-assist for $2,700 on top of the bottom model.
That said, it would be good if oppulance automakers would act a little some-more like the Toyotas of the universe and make this things standard. Unfortunately, the xDrive30i we gathering did not embody the Driver Assistance Plus package, so we was incompetent to see how BMW’s tech compares with that of Audi and Alfa Romeo. (However, Jonathan Gitlin does plead it a bit in the new examination of the BMW 530e.)
I drive iDrive
The many important alleviation to the X3 from the 2017 indication year is iDrive, BMW’s infotainment tech. The X3 comes customary with a 6.5-inch display, which sticks out from the top front of the dashboard above the core console. The Premium package ups the display to 10.3 inches (and adds the aforementioned heads-up display).
iDrive offers 3 ways to correlate with it. we used the rotary dial and buttons on the core console, just to the right of the rigging change lever, the most. The dial lets you pierce by the menus and menu options; dire down is the homogeneous of a mouse-click. For things like residence entry, you can snippet letters on top of the dial with your finger—a good touch. There are also buttons above and next the dial that act as shortcuts, including satnav and media. You can also make selections on the touchscreen display if you’re not wearing gloves, but we found it easier to use the dial and buttons, in partial given the display was just out of strech from my healthy sitting position.
Lastly, iDrive has a flattering able voice assistant, pleasantness of Nuance. You can call on it for directions, traffic incidents, and to make a phone call. If you have CarPlay capability (and it’s a $300 extra; no Android Auto support), the voice partner will spin you over to Siri for calls.
I recently rented a 2017 X3 for an overnight highway trip, and BMW has done some poignant improvements to iDrive from last year’s model. The screen itself is much nicer, and the graphics are crisper. Although you’ll have to infrequently navigate by 3 or 4 levels of the UI to get to certain settings, the discerning design makes it simple. iDrive defaults into a split-screen blueprint with radio, phone, and navigation tiles when you spin the automobile on. You can customize the screen as you see fit and can have the GPS map—or anything else—take over the whole display with the pull of a button.
BMW’s $300 wireless CarPlay support is going to turn even some-more costly. The company plans to charge an annual price for CarPlay support commencement with the 2019 indication year, which means you’ll be renting partial of the automobile you differently own. If you have an Android smartphone, you’re out of luck, as it’s not upheld by BMW. (And given we’re on the theme of smartphones, BMW offers an $800 wireless charging option, which uses the Qi standard.)
I’m not sole on BMW’s instrument panel. It’s an peculiar multiple of earthy and virtual, as you can see in the picture above. The row doesn’t offer much that an old-school analog row would, aside from the bottom bit, which can show a compass, simple outing info, and fuel consumption. Audi’s proceed of going all-in with an HD display is a better use of the space. The rest of the X3′s dashboard looks sharp, generally with the timber trim.
Listing picture by Eric Bangeman