14 years and 1.5 million X3s later, BMW just announced the third generation of its high-selling compact SUV — and it’s not just a few chassis tweaks and a facelift.
For 2018, the X3’s wheelbase grows two inches, which allows for significant proportion changes throughout the entire design. A longer hood, larger grille, now with active aerodynamic shutters, and headlights pushed to the far reaches of the fenders give the X3 a more prominent appearance compared to other compact SUVs. All-wheel drive is also standard across the lineup. The biggest news, however, is in the engine department. The base xDrive30i model comes equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-lter inline-four good for 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, but for the first time, the X3 gets an M badge with the X3 M40i. The top tier X3 M40i will hit the road with 355 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, which for the X3, should shake its reputation for landing on the more sedated side of the compact SUV spectrum. Launch control and flared fenders should also help it stand out from the standard X3. Modern driving assists, such as adaptive cruise control, a blind-spot monitor, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist can also be optioned.
Expect pricing to be announced closer to the November release date, but with all the additional performance, standard AWD and new tech, the pricing is likely to eclipse the current X3’s tag of $41,000.
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