Unveiled back in June after originally leaking online, the third generation X3, known internally as G01, will ride on the same CLAR platform as the 5 and 7-series, which BMW claims has resulted in a 55 kg drop in overall weight compared to the outgoing F25.
As well as incorporating the marque's latest styling language, the G01 is also longer, wider and taller than the F25 and will also feature a range of semi-autonomous and new in-car tech such as Active Cruise Control, Parking Assist, Driving Assist and Driving Assist Plus, Adaptive LED headlights, 10.25-inch Navigation Professional system with Gesture Control, full colour Heads-Up Display and digital instrument cluster.
Initially to be imported from BMW's Spartanburg, South Carolina plant before local assembly commences, the X3 will go on sale with a choice of two turbo-petrol and turbodiesel engines, all connected to a ZF-sourced eight-speed Steptronic gearbox with xDrive all-wheel drive as standard. In addition to the standard model, a choice of three trim packages; xLine, Luxury Line and M Sport, with specific exterior and interior detailing, will also be offered.
Starting the range off, and in terms of petrol power, the X3 will for now forego the entry-level 20i model for the still 2.0-litre engine 30i, which takes power and torque from 135 kW / 290 Nm, to 185 kW / 350 Nm. Top speed is a claimed 240 km/h with 0-100 km/h taking 6.3 seconds. Fuel consumption is a claimed 7.6 L/100 km/h and the taxable emissions at 174 g/km.
Until the arrival of the X3 M, the most powerful petrol engine X3 also serves as the range topper in the form of the M40i, whose 3.0-litre straight-six churns out 265 kW and 500 Nm of torque. According to BMW, this means a limited top speed of 250 km/h and 0-100 km/h in 4.8 seconds, while sipping unleaded at 8.9 L/100 km with emissions of 204 g/km.
Although an option on lesser models bar the entry-level derivative, the M40i comes fitted as standard with a sports optimised version of the eight-speed 'box.
On the diesel front, the 20d serves as base model and indeed oil burning option, with the 2.0-litre mill producing 140 kW and 400 Nm of torque. Able to complete the 0-100 km/h dash in eight seconds, BMW claims a top speed of 213 km/h and fuel consumption figure of 5.7 L/100 km with emissions at 149 g/km.
Completing the line-up, the familiar 30d puts out 195 kW and 620 Nm of torque from its 3.0-litre straight-six unit, with a top speed of 240 km/h and 0-100 km/h in 5.8 seconds. Fuel consumption is a claimed 6.2 L/100 km and emissions at 162 g/km.
A five year / 100 000 km Motorplan is standard across the range.
|X3 xDrive 20d Steptronic||R684 200|
|X3 xDrive 30d Steptronic||R868 300|
|X3 xDrive 30i Steptronic||R739 800|
|X3 M40i Steptronic||R991 100|