Now on its final model update before the all-new X3 is released next year with a much more challenging price tag to support the extensive upgrades, we test the current perennial BMW consumer premium compact crossover workhorse in Carbon Black combined with M-Sport packaging. This is the last chance, by the way, to buy the outgoing X3 at an attainable price with the broadest list of desirable standard equipment.
Though the X3 xDrive20d shares the same basic engine and 8-speed transmission as on the slightly smaller new X1, the orientation of the engine is longitudinal instead of transverse. In layman’s terms, that means that the X3 still retains the classic primarily rear-wheel driven format that delivers the quintessential BMW behavior that we all love. The X1 is now front-wheel driven until slippage or the intelligent onboard computer determines it necessary to engage the rear wheels to support safe forward traction. Admirably, BMW was able to infuse most of its celebrated dynamic behavior in the X1 that most drivers may not even notice the difference. What you do get in the X3, though, because of the configuration, is the opportunity to further enhance aesthetics and outright performance with an aggressive staggered alloy setup, 19-inch M light alloy wheels, double-spoke style 622M (front: 8.5 J x 19 / rear: 9.5 J x 19) wrapped with 245/45R19 98Y front and 275/40R19 101Y rear Michelin Primacy 3 ZP Green X Grand Touring Summer tires.
Along with this uniquely setup variant are some of the best bits in the BMW parts bin from adaptive LED headlights, LED fog lights, Dynamic braking lights, Surround view cameras, comfort access, automatic operation of tailgate, abundant BMW Individual cosmetic features, M Aerodynamic package, finely brushed real aluminum interior trim, Nevada leather upholstery, the awesome M steering wheel, supportive powered sport seats, and solid HiFi audio system. However, the BMW iDrive system does not have navigation, which is a bummer, nor does it have a HUD system.
What you do get over the X1 for the substantially higher price are: a larger more spacious cabin that actually seats 5 adults instead of 4, a more robust xDrive system, a taller ground clearance, a bigger trunk, and a larger fuel tank for a bit more range. All of this goodness has a weight penalty, so given that the powerplant, however potent and brilliant, is the same as in the X1 xDrive20d, the X3 is a touch slower and a bit more labored when performing the same daily exercises. Keep in mind, though, that the X3 does handle better, has better off-road ability, and has more overall cabin capacity. So it is really about what is more important to you.
Specification – 2017 BMW X3 xDrive20d M-Sport
Engine: Inline-4, 1995 cc, dohc 16V, Direct Injection Intercooled Turbodiesel, 8-speed AT
Max power: 188 bhp @ 4000 rpm
Max torque: 295 lb ft @ 1750-2500 rpm
0-100 km/h (0-62mph): 8.1 sec.
Top Speed: 210 km/h (131 mph) Governed
Fuel Mileage: 4.9 liters/100 kilometers overall
Price as tested: PhP 4,400,000.00
C! RATING 9/10
+Still a very dynamic and desirable premium compact crossover, nicely equipped, versatile, primarily rear-wheel driven.
-The end of the current model cycle.