Review: 2011 BMW X3

Posted on 22. Jul, 2011 by in Auto News

With the 2004 X3 BMW offered a compact SUV half a decade before another German car manufacturer. So not long after Audi and Mercedes have introduced their first car BMW X3 has an all-new second generation. The first-generation X3 had its strengths, but his weaknesses rather than weigh them, especially in the U.S. market. The larger X5 has sold like on this side of the Atlantic many times, despite the higher price. BMW has learned enough in the last seven years to fix these weaknesses and keep ahead of the new competition?

Although the U.S. launch is delayed, a more compact X1 is already available in Europe. To make room, and the void created when the X5 was expanded three years ago to fill the new X3 three inches long and one inch gained by rel (but unlike other newly designed BMWs, less than 50 pounds ). The new X3 exterior design is very similar to the original, but essential and refined surfaces help, it seems more up-to-date, fixed, and more worthy of a high Monroney. The folds in the wheel openings seem strange, but at least they are subtle. The body goes deeper than the wheels, for a car-like attitude, perhaps because BMW found that few (if any) cars X3 owners were away from the road, or even wanted to look like they could. (According to the information, there is actually a half-inch more ground clearance, so that the mechanical bits must be tucked in close.), The X5 continues to appear more muscular, thanks to muscular fenders. The Audi Q5 is nice, while the Mercedes-Benz GLK seems robust, but the X3 looks the sportiest of the three when. With suitable wheels

The original X3 was roundly slammed for its cut-rate cabin. A mid-cycle refresh updated materials and the 2011 is another step up. The new interior looks and feels considerably. In contrast to 2004, it is on par with that of a contemporary 3-Series. There are more curves than in most other current BMWs, even a bit of the driver-orientation for the brand, the instrument panels to be used is known, but there is still much less style for the sake of style, than you will find elsewhere . And yet the controls are too unconventional and too complicated to give any awards for functionality. Even the gear lever, the monostatic sort BMW was putting in all, feels strange and requires more conscious attention as a lever should.

Within the larger, lower ride body, there are more than an inch more headroom, 1.5 inches more front shoulder room and an inch more legroom in the rear (unless you are very large, you are fit). These differences do not sound much, but the feeling is much different from the driver's seat. The new X3 seem more spacious, but more than this it seems a larger, more substantial vehicle. And a bit more car-like as well (if it is significantly less so than the Audi). Credit flanked higher waistline and a less upright, more distant by thicker windshield pillars. The driver's seat is standard BMW fare so very supportive and comfortable, but not comfortably. Unlike in the new 5-series with the optional sport seats are electrically adjustable side bolsters, so there is no need to compromise lateral support for many of us, to include enough space for XXL driver.

The figures indicate from freight volume of 71.0 cubic feet to 63.3. But BMW's literature claims that it actually percent by 15. Obviously, the method is used to change to measure the cargo volume. Cases like this are why I never had much confidence in the freight volume data-there are too many variables and no set standards, even within a given manufacturer. My eyes say that the new X3 competitive in this area.

The BMW X3 was first offered with a 2.5-liter and a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder, but the former was dropped years ago. For 2011, loses retuned six 20 hp, for a total of 240, but also in the form of 300 hp turbo. The unboosted six offers decent performance, but does not feel as strong or sound as sonorous as a 265-horsepower V6 in the Audi Q5. The turbo easily beats both, with an audible hiss. As in other BMWs, this engine feels much stronger than his official 300-horsepower rating. In this segment, only the 325-hp turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine will be available in 2012, the Volvo XC60 R-Spec hope to keep up. My suspicion: The Volvo is not as fast because of the gearing, but will his six sound better. The BMW six does not sound bad, but the Volvo's voice is beautiful.

A manual transmission is no longer available in the X3. The automatic is an eight-speed unit that can busy a bit with it, especially with the base engine. If your foot is spent deep in the throttle a little time in the first two gears. Thanks to the additional indicators, electric power steering force generating device, and clutched alternator fuel consumption is up from 17/24 to 19/25 for the xDrive28i and 19/26 for the xDrive35i (yes, the more powerful engine actually as good bit of the city and a better) on the highway.

With its reduced ride rel and almost exactly 50:50 weight distribution, feels has worked new X3 balance and poise through corners than the top-heavy, damped less dense Audi Q5, second best in the segment chassis dynamics (except Volvo wonders with the 2012 XC60 R- Spec). Be fair to (un), provided one Q5 BMW adjustable without the optional "Drive Select" steering and adaptive shock absorbers. Typical of the brand, the BMW very accurate and rarely surprises are placed. They will go quickly soon much more intuitive than the iDrive control system can ever hope to be.

Both tested X3S with the $ 1400 Dynamic Handling package were provided, while also "variable sport steering wheel", "Performance Control" adaptive shock absorbers and a button to these bits vary. The gas and the transfer between three settings "Performance Control" modulates the brakes to provide a touch of oversteer in bends. It can not be turned off, both had X3S 2011 I drove it, so I can not confirm how much difference it makes. "Variable sport steering wheel" is not the same as the active steering. Instead. Able to continuously vary the ratio, at any time, the ratio of speeds simply as the wheel approaches the lock This system is simple and predictable, but not dramatically vary the ratio at the center of the way Active Steering can. The selectable modes affect the strength of the steering, but more at highway speeds than under 40 No matter what the setting, the steering, the X3 feels more artificial and less nuanced provides feedback as the outstanding conventional system in the Audi Q5.

Ride quality was the second glaring weakness in the original X3, and probably the main reason people are interested first in the small SUV does not end up buying one. The 2011 rides smoother much, at least when combined with the adaptive shocks (and probably without even) equipped. The different modes make little difference here, in "Sport +" effects are a little sharper, but the ride is comfortable. In "Normal", the ride feels a touch on some roads underdamped, "Sport" proposes a nice compromise. The downside to the improved ride: combine the amenable suspension with the artificial steering and less intimate driving position, and the new X3 feels larger, less agile and less directly than the original. There is less wind and road noise than the Audi, but that says more about the Q5 as the X3.

The 2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i starts at $ 37,625, $ 2,100 less than in 2010. According to the True Delta