This week we take a look at the 2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i. That’s a complicated way to say this vehicle has the 4-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive.
You get three engine choices with X3, a 4-cylinder, 6-cylinder, and there is also a diesel available. All engines come with a shiftable 8-speed automatic transmission.
This X3 has the 2-liter 4-cylinder with twin turbos that is putting out 240-horses and 260 pound-feet of torque.
2017 is the last year before the body style of the X3 is being redone, it has remained largely unchanged for 7 years.
The exterior is attractive, and I like that it doesn’t look like many of the rounded crossovers that have become popular in the luxury crossover segment. The split front grill and distinctive lines let you know at a glance it is a BMW. Even for me, it’s hard to tell quickly whether you are looking at an X3 or X5, its bigger brother.
As you enter the cockpit, you see a well laid out interior with all soft-touch materials and comfortable seats. Burl Walnut Wood accents the dash, the console and the door panels. The gauges are easy to read, and if you push the end of the blinker, you can scroll through driver info at the bottom of the dash.
The center console houses the switches for the drive modes, the electronic gear shifter, and the iDrive controller. The controller operates the large Command Center screen. From there, you can scroll through the radio options, Bluetooth, Navigation system, Connected Drive which are your apps with real-time info and remote services, vehicle settings, and notifications.
Although the iDrive system has a reputation for being cumbersome, it has improved greatly through the years, and today it’s pretty simple. You can even use the top of the controller to enter numbers and letters.
X3 comes with a good amount of standard features, but like BMW tends to do, there are a lot of optional equipment and package choices. My tester has over $12,000 in options including a $700 charge for the Mineral Silver paint.
This one has the $950 Cold Weather package, which is a heated steering wheel and heated seats. The Driver Assistance package is the rear view camera and parking sensors and also costs $950. Xenon headlights add $900.
The Premium package is $3200 and includes keyless entry, panoramic moonroof, and lumbar support.
The Technology Package is $2750 and gets you the nav system, a head-up display, the online apps, advanced real-time traffic, and the remote services, which allows you to lock and unlock your vehicle, honk the horn and flash the lights, and turn on the air conditioning or heater, all from your smartphone.
This X3 also has the X-line package which gives you the leather multi-function steering wheel, 19” alloy wheels, and the wood on the interior that sets you back $1500. Stand-alone options include the $500 Parking Assistant which parallel parks the X3 for you, there is a $300 charge for Apple CarPlay, and $400 for wireless charging in the center console.
The X3 has a surprising amount of headroom, backseat legroom, and good cargo area. Waive your foot under the rear bumper to activate the power liftgate, and pull levers make it easy to fold down the second-row seats for additional cargo.
Like all BMWs, X3 has superb handling and cornering. You can choose from three drive modes, Eco Pro, normal, and Sport. In Sport, everything changes including the steering, the way the transmission shifts, and the suspension. Acceleration is good in Sport Mode, but a little lacking in Eco Pro.
One thing I love is the Auto Hold button, which allows you to take your foot off the brake when you stop. When you touch the accelerator, it releases. One thing I hate is the start/stop system, which shuts the engine off when you stop, which is particularly annoying on this vehicle. Luckily, you can disengage it from a switch by the pushbutton start.
Fuel economy is pretty good at 21 city, 28 highway, and 24 combined. BMW also pays for all maintenance for 3 years or 36,000 miles.
All-in-all, the X3 is enjoyable to drive, it’s very quiet on the inside, and it looks good inside and out.
Let’s talk price because this is where everything falls apart for me. MSRP, as equipped, is $54,395 and I just can’t justify it, especially when you consider it is a compact SUV and doesn’t have blind spot monitoring or lane departure warning. I like this SUV, but there are a lot of better choices for almost $55,000.
Tags: 2017 BMW reviews suv test drive x3