Viewed : 28,493 times

29 Jan 2018

What We Dislike
Not everyone will appreciate its upsized proportions

The BMW X3 is an oversized mid-sized SUV that is spacious and dynamic for drivers who prefer the urban jungle.

The first thing that comes to mind when you see the third generation BMW X3 is how much bigger it actually is compared to its predecessor. In fact, at 4,708m x 1,891mm x 1,676mm (L x W x H), the X3 could be easily mistaken as a full-sized Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) like a BMW X5 to a casual observer.

You would be hard-pressed to differentiate this car with its predecessor but the meticulous changes have been clearly executed with a healthy dose of confidence. And therein lies the solution to what the previous two generations of X3 were lacking. With the current X3, everything seems... more.

550 litres of boot space may not be class-leading, but it is more than enough for your trip up North

What does that even mean?

With its increased dimensions, the car inevitably offers more space - head, leg and shoulders - all around for three passengers at the back and two up front.

But more than just the obvious, the X3 also offers drivers the kind of advanced technology and a richer mix of materials that are on par with the BMW 5 Series and the BMW 7 Series flagship. And understandingly, the car even comes with Parking Assistant Plus that will help make parking and moving around tight spaces easier.

Thanks to a high seating position and relatively thin A-pillars that don't block your turning view, seeing out of the sizeable car is also easy, even for a pint-sized storyteller like this one here.

Cabin is made out of rich materials that will not disappoint even the most demanding critic

And there's the performance. While the car here sports a '30i' moniker, it has a 2.0-litre four-pot powerplant residing underneath its curvy bonnet. The bigger and badder 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine is now only found in the top-of-the-line X3 M40i.

But that doesn't mean the car you see here is a slouch. With 252bhp and 350Nm of twisting force sent to all four wheels through the calling of your right foot, the X3 will easily hurtle from nought to the 100km/h mark in just 6.3 seconds. The equivalent-engined Porsche Macan, on the other hand, will finish the same feat in a slightly longer 6.9 seconds.

2.0-litre engine is a gem of a unit that's powerful and smooth

Couple all that power and torque with the accurate and smooth-shifting eight-speed transmission, overtaking slower-moving pesky cars on the highway is done so in a manner that's very effortless and seamless.
Not just a locomotive but also an automotive

Still, it doesn't mean the X3 is all about the kick down without having the easy-going disposition. Around town, the Bimmer is every bit as civilised and well-behaved as a Rolls-Royce.

While the suspension is firm, the car manages to soak up bumps and ruts in its stride and it's never to a point of being uncomfortable. The only minor 'discomfort' we experienced was the extensive size of the car around smaller lanes in town.

The car has ample presence even when viewed from the back

That aside, it's away from the highways when we realise just how much stares of envy the X3 was getting at the lights, where passers-by would naturally point at the car, give a thumbs-up and whoop out their phones to start snapping away.

Well, that's because it looks good, no?

It's more like a love-it-or-hate-it design. We love the car's sizeable proportions, to be quite honest. While it feels every bit as immense as a great white shark around town at slower speeds, the car shrinks around you as you start man-handling it like a hooligan.

The oversized kidney grille, however, is where we start scratching our heads. Of course, if you were to take a step back and look at the bigger picture (something the lads at sgCarMart love doing), such a serious tone of design from BMW is rather logical, more so knowing that the X3 goes up against strong and good-looking competitors like the Audi Q5, the Jaguar F-PACE, the Porsche Macan and the Range Rover Velar.

Sleekly-designed 20-inch wheels complete the stylish look of the BMW X3

Decisions... decisions...

As of $258,888 (as of 19 January 2018), the BMW X3 is attractively priced compared to the F-PACE, the Macan and the Velar. The Q5 could be the one to get, but it wouldn't be as playful and communicative as the Bimmer.

Thus, as an all-in-one family car, there's really quite a lot to boast about the BMW X3. It's dynamic, comfortable and most certainly spacious. In fact, it's big and spacious enough to make you think twice whether you even need a bigger car like the X5, which will set you back roughly $100,000 more.

And I wouldn't worry too much if you reckon this car is too big for you. The smaller and arguably more handsome BMW X2 will be arriving sometime in the second quarter of this year. When that comes, we say worry less...

Car Information

This model is no longer being sold by local distributors


: -

Engine Type


4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap





185kW (248 bhp) / 6500 rpm



350 Nm / 4800 rpm



8-speed (A) Steptronic Sport

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption



You may also like

1-10 of 20