By Sala Masindane
Continuous improvement and evolution of products can sometimes end up being so good that it may cause a stir within the wrong circles and those are the internal circles within the BMW stable. The latest X3 can easily be mistaken by many for being an X5, especially in its stature. This is good news for the consumers who are in the market for a luxury SUV but might not require the extra space the X5 offers. We spent some time with the recently facelifted BMW X3 20d M Sport to see how the refresh stirred things up in the segment.
The new model features a larger, restyled kidney grille flanked by headlights. The front also features vertical air intakes arranged in a triangular interpretation frame the front bumper. Noticeable changes at the rear include a black border which gives the full LED rear lights a more precise appearance.
The cabin is welcoming and spacious. It features the standard free-standing 10.25-inch central infotainment touchscreen, the standard BMW sound system, three USB ports and the physical dial buttons for all the major functions on the dashboard. The space was sufficient for five adults during most of our travels. There’s also the benefit of the MyBMWApp which allows you to regulate the temperature, lock the SUV, locate your nearest dealership and more at the click of a button.
Powering our refreshed BMW X3 test SUV was a turbodiesel engine with outputs of 140kW and 400Nm.We explored the country and fell in love with the luxury SUV. The regional roads were unforgiving, but the higher ride position assisted with a perceived safety of sitting high during this travel. As mentioned, our month-long review featured a mix of city, highway, and gravel roads. This resulted on a fuel consumption of 6.8L/100km from the claimed 5.5l/100km.
Overall, the car is a step up from the pre-facelifted model particularly where refinement and build quality are concerned. The BMW X3 has cemented its place in its segment, one that will worry the competition and even get buyers thinking whether they really need an X5. It is an all-rounder of note which offers comfortability and is rewarding when driving it.
Leave a comment