Most car manufacturers are very calculated about the changes they make to their models from year to year. It’s a tricky balancing act. On one hand, if you stick with the same formula time and time again, new and old customers alike are bound to lose interest. At the same time, you can’t realistically change everything about each model all at once.
In the case of BMW’s X3, introducing the third generation in 2018 was an easy choice. With the previous generation-spanning seven years since 2010, the time for a major upgrade was long overdue. The only major challenge BMW faced with the redesign was retaining the great characteristics people loved about this compact luxury crossover while breathing new life into the design.
Did it work? You better believe it.
The 2018 BMW X3 has the perfect mix of new and old, same and different from the slight exterior redesign to different features under the hood and in the interior. If it has been a while since you bought a new vehicle or just want to see what the X3 may have to offer, this is a good time to learn all about the new tricks it has.
A Slightly Different Look
Common with many new generations, the latest generation of the X3 doesn’t offer a drastic new style or look. In fact, it is common for manufacturers to make the same amount of tweaks and changes to the design of a new generation as a mid-cycle refresh. This provides some sense of consistency by delivering just enough change to satisfy most customers.
The overall look is very similar to other SUVs in the same category. With streamlined curves around the front and roof, the exterior is just large enough to provide plenty of leg and headroom, along with some cargo space, on the inside. The chassis provides a good platform for a combination of off-road adventures and the daily commute around town.
Changes from the previous generation to the design include a new kidney grille with a more refined look. The headlights and fog lamps now have a more geometrical profile that still provides enough illumination at night or in bad weather. In the rear, a new molded spoiler extends from the roof to improve aerodynamic consistency and visual appeal. Overall, the profile of the X3 is also longer by 2.2 inches.
Changes Under the Hood
Due to the success of BMW’s “M-Performance” platform, the X3 is starting to borrow more and more features and specs from other models boasting this technology. In fact, a new “M” variant is set to join the X3 trim lineup sometime in mid-2018 and will offer even more performance and capability. Until that time, BMW has settled with including some M-variant suspension and braking components to the new M40i trim along with more general advancements to the engine and drivetrain options.
The engine options of the 2018 BMW X3 have a little mix of new and old. The base model comes with a 2.0L twin turbo inline four engine capable of producing up to 240 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque. Higher trim lines feature a 3.0L twin turbo inline six engine with 355 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque. The second engine option marks a drastic improvement over the top-tier performing powerplant from the previous generation. Both of these engines are gasoline only with no credible announcements of a diesel option in the future.
For the drivetrain, the X3 comes standard with all-wheel drive and intelligent traction control. At higher speeds, the drive will emphasize rear traction to maximize performance and fuel efficiency. Off-road, the traction control will transfer torque to whichever set of wheels has better grip at any given moment. This drivetrain pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
New Convenience and Safety Features
The bulk of the next-generation advancements in the 2018 X3 lies with the plethora of standard and optional features BMW offers this year. Some of these features have made the switch from optional to standard while others are new additions altogether.
For standard features, all the trim lines now include a three-zone automatic climate control for separate temperatures along the front driver, front passenger, and rear row seating. All seats are now fully adjustable, as well, so each occupant can personally tailor the position and feel to their comfort. As before, the X3 continues to offer a number of connectivity systems such as Bluetooth and USB outlets for smart device control and charging.
On the optional side of the features, the X3 sees many advancements in the convenience department. A new ambient lighting system, fully controllable using the built-in infotainment system, floods the interior space with mood lighting. For driver safety, the optional heads-up display is now larger to improve visibility in all driving conditions. This display ties into the new gesture control system so the driver can change various settings like audio levels without pressing buttons.
Finally, BMW chose to introduce two new trim levels to the lineup for 2018. The xDrive30i provides a basic package featuring the four-cylinder engine and interior features. The M40i upgrades the engine to the inline six option with other performance components such as M-sport brakes, exhaust, and suspension for better handling and safety.
Bringing in the New Year
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of seeing a new model generation for the first time. One can only imagine the excitement buzzing through BMW as the latest X3 roles into production for the first time. One thing, however, is for sure: the new X.3 is here to stay.
As one of BMW’s most popular models, this new generation will help solidify the model’s status for many years to come. Anyone in the market for a new SUV should consider this option if upgraded performance, safety features, and comfort are all high on the priority list.
Come down to the BMW Cincinnati dealership to see what kind of 2018 X3 we can build for you.