DRIVEN: BMW X3 xDrive20d

Launched late 2017 we were lucky to attend the media launch of the all-new BMW X3. We were lucky to drive the most powerful petrol and diesel on offer which is the M40i and xDrive30d. We were quite impressed with both powertrains and was hoping the xDrive20d would make it to Durban to get on test, which we did.

You know when they say third time’s the charm? I think they were speaking about the design of the new third-generation BMW X3. It’s just bigger and better looking than the last two models it replaces. From its new front fascia with that dominant kidney grille, new adaptive LED headlights, to the new rear LED taillights, it just looks the business. Available in three trims, xLine, Luxury Line and M Sport our test was in xLine trim. Not as flashy as the M Sport trim, its fitted with 19-inch Y-Spoke style wheels and finished in Mineral White Metallic one of our favourite colours from BMW. The xLine trim is rather fitting if you consider taking the road less travelled for some adventure. 

On the inside is rather a classy affair. The options list on the X3 is quite extensive. Leather ‘Vernasca’ Mocha seats with decorative stitching, heads-up display, Harmon/kardon surround sound system, and ambient interior lighting just a mention a few that were on our test unit. There’s lots of soft-touch material, leather and high-quality plastics. BMW has done a pretty good job with the interior. The layout is pretty good and could be mistaken for a 5 or 7 Series. It’s nothing short of premium. In the centre of the dashboard, we find a beautiful wide touchscreen with BMW’s latest iDrive infotainment system. Being almost the same size as the first generation X5 the new X3 offers plenty of rear legroom and headroom. Boot space comes in at a decent 550 litres which is on par with its competitors.

Being the xDrive20d its powered by a  2.0litre turbodiesel, which produces 140kW and 400Nm. This has to be the pick of the bunch from all the engines. Power is delivered smoothly through its 8-speed gearbox (which comes standard on all X3 models). Our test achieved a 7.7 L/100km with highway and city driving, BMW claims 5.5 L/100. When wanting to tackle the beaten path, the X3 is up to the challenge. with 204mm ground clearance, 500mm fording depth, 25.7 and 22.6-degree approach and departure angles coupled with its xDrive all-wheel-drive system to help you get out of rocky or muddy situations.

The BMW faces competition from the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLC and Audi Q5. The BMW X3 ticks of many boxes, yes the options list is quite long and might be hard to leave out certain things to save a few bucks. Found it a bit hard to fault this car. Its practical looks good and offers brilliant driving dynamics. If you’re looking for a good SAV, look no further. And if you fancy a bit more power and torque, there’s still the M40i and xDrive30d on the cards.

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Engine: 2.0 litre 4 cyl diesel
Power: 140kW @ 4000rpm
Torque: 400 N.m @ 1750-2500rpm
rpmTransmission: 8-Speed Automatic
Acceleration: 0 – 100 km/h 8 seconds
Top Speed: 213 km/h km/h
Fuel Consumption: 5.5 L/100km (claimed)
Price: R 713, 189

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