By Veeno Dewan
The 2022 BMW X3 SUV continues the sporty tradition of all Beemers offering superb driving fun with its excellently balanced chassis, steering and handling, Buyers gain a choice of engines with either a four- or six-cylinder engine —with upgraded power. The newer versions arrive with more technology, including two digital dashboard displays as well as a bevy of driver-assistance features.
The exterior changes are subtle with slimmer headlights and a larger kidney grille, giving the X3 a front profile a look like its bigger X5 and X7 siblings. There is updated front and rear bumpers, new wheel designs, and revamped exhaust tips. The M Sports models and the full-on X3 M as tested also receives the same updates with a mesh grille and a more aggressive front bumper with larger ducts, air curtain slits and M specific rear bumpers. M40i package as tested adds M Sport brakes, adaptive M suspension, variable sport steering and performance control It also comes with leatherette trim on the dash the larger wheels wheel package. LED adaptive headlights with auto high-beams, and it the special M leather steering wheel.
Under the hood there is a base 2.0L four-cylinder which puts out 248 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque. There is also a plug-in hybrid xDrive30e model with a providing around 29 km of electric only driving range and a combined output of 288 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. The 3.0i X3 starts at $52,990.The plug-in xDrive30e model costs $54,990.
Moving up – there is also a turbocharged 3.0L six-cylinder M40i version as tested with a power assisting 48-volt electrical system – it produces 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. The X3 M also uses a 3.0L turbocharged inline-six, tuned to 473 horsepower, and 457 lb-ft torque. The topflight Competition models offers 479 lb-ft. All X3 models use an eight-speed automatic transmission connected to BMW’s rear-biased xDrive all-wheel-drive system. The M 40i models start at $66,990 and the X3 M starts at $91,000.
The X3 interior cabin also has a slew of updates with a neater more modern dash. There is the 12.3-inch touchscreen and redesigned centre console that’s neater, logical, and more ergonomic in terms of layout. The X3’s interior comes well equipped with 10-way power-adjustable front seats, which include adjustable side bolsters. Premium materials, high class fit and finish all round is set off by raised stitching on the faux-leather dash and door panels. Matt metal and nickel-finish metal trim also highlight the interior. M branded steering wheel, gear lever, sill plates and exterior M badging set this variant apart visually. along with the larger wheels.
BMW’s iDrive interface provides the ultimate in infotainment with a 10.3-inch display as standard, (A larger 12.3-inch infotainment display is optional) with navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Bluetooth phone connectivity is present along with a Wi-Fi hotspot and USB ports. Also optional is a wireless smartphone charging pad.
Rear-seat occupants have an equally stylish cabin with comfortable seats and reclining seatbacks. Cargo capacity measures in at 450 litres behind the rear seats, which expands to 1,500 litres with those rear 40/20/40 seats folded.
On the road, the well-engineered chassis and powerful brakes also contribute to the overall performance of the vehicle. The result is eager acceleration and lots of usable torque. It is a pleasant, carefree CUV to drive with nimble handling and quick reflexes thanks to solid engineering. The Sport-tuned steering is precise, responsive with a good lock and return to center action. The engine and transmission are thoroughly engineered to perform in fault free style. Transmission shifts are glitch free and well matched to deliver precise linear acceleration
The suspension and chassis also offer a mild, comfortable ride. No undue over firmness here. The xDrive all-wheel-drive system provided tremendous levels of grip. Nothing much to complain about.
In terms of safety BMW does offer a few drivers assists and safety features such as: Lane-keeping, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring .A new option is Back-Up Assistant, which can automatically retrace the vehicle’s path in reverse, in the case you hit a dead end somewhere. Another cool offering is the dash cam inspired BMW Drive Recorder feature. It’s designed to record the last 20 seconds before an accident and continue recording for an additional 20 seconds afterwards.
To sum up the BMW X3 is a compelling purchase if you are looking for a premium SUV. The M versions add a certain cache and stellar performance chops. With its vice- free road manners, creamy smooth engine, transmission, and agile handling It is superbly refined. Overall, there are great features, quality, and value for the price. It’s solid, quality built and just plain fun to drive. Highly recommended.
2022 BMW X3 M 40i – Priced from $66,990 plus options and destination charge
More info at www.bms.ca