BMW X3 National Launch & First impressions

This week we attended the National BMW X3 3rd generation G01 model range launch. And wow, what a versatile, exciting and dynamic car all round.

The BMW X3 which was first launched in 2003 in its first generation E83 model Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) crossover, which has since been refreshed in its 2nd generation F25 model in 2010 and now with the bold 3rd generation G01, which just takes the cherry on top.  This new generation, is available in a much simpler model range of 2 petrol and 2 diesel variants, namely xDrive30i, M40i, xDrive20d and xDrive30d respectively. This helps to narrow down and simplify the choices, as previously there were 9 different models and engines sizes to choose from, making it rather complicated. Table taken from:

Petrol engines
Model Years Type/code Power, torque@rpm
xDrive30i 2018– 1,997 cc (121.9 cu in) I4 twin scroll turbo 252 PS (185 kW; 249 hp)@5200, 350 N·m (258 lb·ft)@1520–4800
M40i 2018– 2,998 cc (182.9 cu in) I6 twin scroll turbo 360 PS (265 kW; 355 hp)@5500–6500, 500 N·m (369 lb·ft)@1450–4800
Diesel engines
Model Years Type/code Power, torque@rpm
xDrive20d 2018– 1,995 cc (121.7 cu in) I4 turbo 190 PS (140 kW; 187 hp)@4000, 400 N·m (295 lb·ft)@1750–2500
xDrive30d 2018– 2,993 cc (182.6 cu in) I6 turbo 265 PS (195 kW; 261 hp)@4000, 620 N·m (457 lb·ft)@2000–2500

We were tasked with driving through a very carefully planned trip through the scenic garden route from George to Knysna through all the back roads and mountain passes to test both the on-road and the off-road capabilities of the new X3. We drove blissfully for hours around twisting, bending roads, while putting the vehicle through its paces and stretching its legs. One thing for certain, the X3 was always sure-footed, planted and controlled. The steering was light, yet responsive, provided sufficient feedback, but not putting you under any strain. I could’ve driven for days and didn’t want the road to end. The SAV really came to life when it was playing in the dirt and taking it off-road truly showed off it’s versatility, making your ride comfortable and enjoyable over every pot hole and stone chip the road tried to throw our way. The BMW X3 never faltered or complained, it motored on with the backing track of rolling thunder when driving the M40i in sport+ mode. With the three-way climate control the cabin was cool and refreshing, whilst the sun beat down outside in the country side.

The vehicle will be available in South Africa from November 2017 and to be built here, locally at the Rosslyn plant from the first half of 2018, after receiving another R160 million from BMW Group South Africa in addition to the R6 billion announced in 2015 for the preparation of the BMW Rosslyn plant to produce the X3. The Rosslyn plant will also continue to build the 3 series until early next year. This upgrade will:

  • Increases maximum production capacity by almost 10% from 71 000 units to 76 000 units.
  • Continuing positive global sales trend for BMW X-models strengthens future prospects for Plant Rosslyn.
  • Proudly South African new BMW X3 will be produced for the local market, and for export to Europe.

Read more here about Rosslyn plant:

Also launched with the BMW X3 was the limited-run special edition SPECIALIZED for BMW Turbo Levo FSR 6Fattie electric-powered trail bike, with its state-of-the-art technologies which provides endless riding pleasure thanks to its 250W electric motor providing powerful pedal assistance. It comes with a 504Wh battery pack, which can be charged conveniently through the 12V socket outlet in the boot of the BMW X3. We took these bikes out for an early morning ride at sunrise and found them to offer effortless enjoyment, even with the most challenging steep inclines. Retail price: R79,914 (includes 14% VAT).

More info on the SPECIALZED for BMW bike here:

We ended off our first day’s trip at the Conrad Pezula resort in Knysna, where we were briefed with a press conference and then enjoyed a relaxing dinner. Our batteries were recharged, thanks to a peaceful sleep away from the buzz of the city and we woke up early the next day to tackle the next challenge set out for us to put the new X3 through more vigorous road testing. The morning was spent driving through more mountain passes up the Phantom pass road, through the country side of Rheenendal, the Seven passes road through Karatara and into George and finally headed back to the Redberry farm where our journey began. All in a day’s work and I would do it again in a heart beat in that beautiful car. What an experience and thanks to BMW SA for the opportunity to drive an amazing vehicle at launch. Do yourself a favour and put my experience to the test by booking a test drive at your local dealer Lynn Schroeder Motors – BMW dealership in George

For more specifications download this file: The_new_BMW_X3_Specifications

For full price listing download this brochure: Price_List_The_all_new_BMW_X3

For full press release article download this link: Press_release_The_all_new_BMW_X3_20_November_2017