BMW's compact X3 crossover gets big changes for 2018. The X3 was one of the first in the luxury-crossover segment when it first launched in 2003, and there is an all-new model this year, replacing the second-generation trucklet that launched in 2010.
At first glance, you'd be mistaken for thinking the X3 wasn't that much different on the outside but put the two together and the 2018 X3 is clearly a more modern design. From BMW's new larger kidney grille and angry headlights to the more deeply sculpted doors.
The new model grows around 50 mm between the wheels, but overall length is the same. That means more passenger and cargo room inside. The dashboard gets BMW's latest 10.3-inch infotainment screen, sitting alongside a more driver-focused dash. The ventilation and radio controls, though, will be familiar to modern BMW buyers. The interior of the old X3 looked and felt cheap, but the new model has upgraded materials and a better colour palette. It remains more spacious than the Infiniti Q50 or Audi Q5 and is a better drive than competitors like the Volvo XC60.
The new X3 is available in two versions, the xDrive30i and the M40i. The 30i uses a 2.0L turbo four that makes 248 hp and 258 lb-ft. The more powerful M40i's twin-turbo 3.0L inline six makes 355 hp and 369 lb-ft. Both have all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic.
The list of equipment on the X3 is long, but the options list might be even longer. There is an advanced driver assistance pack that combines lane control assist with parking assist and a surround-view camera. The executive interior package adds leather to the dashboard. An M-Sport Plus pack adds variable ratio steering, upgraded brakes, and adaptive dampers. The Premium Package Essential bundles a panoramic roof, ambient lighting, a CD player, navigation, and Apple CarPlay. Premium pack Enhanced adds an upgraded instrument display, side window shades, heated seats at all four corners, and lumbar adjustment for the front, as well as a head-up display. Or, get the Ultimate Package and get all of the upgrades in the above packs with the exception of the M features. On top of those, it has adjustable rear seats and dynamic headlights.
The M40i model has the same available add-on packages but has the M-Sport pieces included, as well as an M-Sport exhaust.
Fuel economy info for the X3 isn't yet available.