Photos: Rahin Sadman Islam
WHAT IS IT?
The X3 is BMW's contender in the same class of luxury crossovers such as the Audi Q5, Porsche Macan, Jaguar F-Pace and Mercedes GLC. All of these you will see on Bangladeshi streets on a good, traffic-free day.
WHERE IT BEGAN
The first gen X3 popped onto the automotive scene like an unnoticed blister back in 2003. It was a big hit despite looking like several blindfolded designers were put to crafting the shape. The body lines simply refused to connect and flow together, much like Ali G-Star's rap lyrics. The oddly surprised looking face of the first X3 did not stop people from buying it. It provided agile handling in an SUV, something that drivers secretly wanted but no manufacturer provided.
The current 2018 model is the third generation of the series and it looks superb. The grills are larger and the headlights are squintier, while the curves are fluid and sharply creased at the edges. And it looks like the others in the series. So how do you tell it apart? It's just slightly smaller than an X5 and quite a bit bigger than an X1. The X3 differs in how it looks closer to a raised station wagon than an SUV. Or you could use a ruler. A quick help is the tail lights together in an X3 feature a notch much like iPhone X's. The X1 and X5 (available here now) offer traditional trapezoidal shapes.
HOW DOES IT DRIVE?
The 4WD XDrive system prefers giving more torque to the rear at most times giving it that distinct push from the back each time you exit quickly from a turn. Remember, this is 'just' a 2.0 turbo charged engine. You can't really expect much from it considering the weight and the raised ride height. Yet, this thing will haul when you demand it. Triple digits happen far too quick and without any drama, fast enough that some cool fast car owners will be disappointed to see this SUV stuck on their tails without much fuss. There isn't any loud snorting, just a whoosh and it does what boy racers in their loud spoilered Hondas do while waking up the neighbourhood. I love how this thing delivers the power without screaming. 252 HP and 258lb-ft of torque consistently give 100kmph runs in just about 6 seconds. And most of that torque is available from around 1500 RPM, making it very easy to sprint ahead.
HOW DOES IT RIDE?
The interior is very well appointed because, well, it is a BMW. Interior is light and airy, letting you see out without much obstruction like in modern, thick pillared cars. The rear seat is almost a bench which offers a surprising amount of comfort without being unnecessarily stiff. Our M Sport packaged X3 did ride a little stiff over the numerous potholes. But that stiffness pays off brilliantly on roundabouts and while changing lanes. This is not a sportscar but the chassis is so well balanced, you will not stop smiling.
Mileage figures average to a little over 10kmpl in combined city and highway driving. But our pedal to the floor driving saw that dip just a little bit below. It is also roughly about 55kg lighter than the older model despite having more tech and a lot more 'go'.
DOES IT DO OFF-ROAD?
It will competently manage more rough terrain than you will ever put it through. A roughly 8-inch ground clearance will tackle most of our off road needs. That means we will happily overcome all the ridiculously high speed breakers on our roads and navigate most of the waterlogging that accompanies the rainy season in Dhaka.
If you must have one car that gives you daily driving abilities but also provides a hint of sporty aspiration, then this is it. Consider it more of a grown-up'ssophisticated wagon that can also hustle when asked.
Engine: 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder petrol, 252 HP and 258lb-ft.
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, 4WD.
Safety and mobility: 6 airbags, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, ESP, Traction Control, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, first aid kit, park assist, rear view camera.
Features: BMW display key with keyless entry, power seats, leather, three-zone automatic air conditioning, multi-function steering wheel, panoramic roof, daytime running lights with LED front lighting, BMW i-Drive infotainment system with USB, AUX, Bluetooth, CD and DVD.
Price: Starting from TK 1,35,00,000.
Contact Executive Motors Ltd for further details.