On Monday, BMW unveiled the all-new 2018 X3 SUV at its plant in
Spartanburg, South Carolina. Since its introduction in 2003, the
X3 has developed into one of BMW’s most important models.
Now, BMW has rearmed with an all-new third generation X3.
Once upon a time, success for a German luxury brand required a
world-class compact sedan. Fortunately for BMW, the 3-Series has
been the gold standard in a category for the better part of four
These days, things have changed. The entry point into German
luxury for most buyers is no longer through sedans, but rather
through compact SUVs. This is reflected in the fact sales of the
3 Series has been in persistent decline for years while the X3
has experienced double-digit growth even though the
second-generation model has been around for the better part of a
Hence the importance of having an adequate rival to Audi’s new
Q5, Mercedes’ GLC, and Porsche’s Macan.
So what’s new with the X3?
First, the third generation model gets all new sheet metal with
same design language as the smaller X1 and larger X5. At the same
time, BMW has improved the X3’s aerodynamic properties with
better-regulated air flow around the car using active grille
shudders, underbody cladding, and a rear spoiler. Underneath its
skin, the X3’s chassis has been re-engineered to reduce unsprung
mass and its wheelbase extended to reach perfect 50-50 weight
Power for the base X3 will come from a 248 horsepower, 2.0 liter
TwinPower turbocharged inline-four-cylinder engine. Mated to
an eight-speed automatic transmission, BMW claims the X3 can make
the sprint to 60mph from a standstill in 6.0 seconds and reach a
top speed of 130.
Higher grade X3s can opt for a 3.0 liter, 335 horsepower
turbocharged inline-six-cylinder unit. In performance “M” spec,
BMW says the new X3 can make the 0-60 mph run in just 4.6 seconds
and hit a top speed of 155 mph.
Inside, the cabin, the X3 gets the latest goodies from BMW’s
high-tech bag of tricks. This includes a larger, full-color
head-up display as well as a 10.25-inch touchscreen running
the latest version of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system. In
addition, the X3 gets BMW’s gesture control technology that will
allow passengers to answer phone calls and adjust the volume of
the radio with a wave of the hand or a twirl of
The new X3 will also receive BMW’s latest driver’s assistance and
crash prevention technology. This includes adaptive cruise
control, lane-keep assist, cross traffic alert, and frontal
Official pricing for the 2018 BMW X3 will be announced at a later
date. The third generation is expected to hit US
showrooms in November.