Now enthusiast and journalist alike lamented the day BMW stop making really good sport wagons or at least importing them to United States, but after spending some time with the BMW X3, I'm convinced that maybe they pulled a fast one on us because this SUV has a lot more in common with the wagon than you might think.
I'm Antoine Goodwin.
Let's take a look at this 2013 BMW X3 xDrive 28i.
Now our example is equipped with two different performance packages.
The first being the M Performance package which amongst other things they have this cool little M badges all over the vehicle.
But mostly, it gives us 19-inch wheels and adaptive suspension M-BMW version of the Torque Vectoring System.
You'll also get really nice sport seats on the inside.
They're gonna grip you in the corners.
The second part is the Dynamic Handling package which adds adaptive sports gearing.
So when you go between your different drive modes, the steering
feel actually changes also.
Now you'll actually control all of those sort of adaptive performance bits with this rocker switch right here.
It gives you the access to four different drive modes.
The first and default drive mode is comfort, that's the one that you'll get when you get in the car and crank it up.
You can also rocket forward for sport, which is going to give you a little bit more responsiveness on the pedals.
It's gonna liven up the
adaptive steering just a little bit and also firm up the adaptive suspension for better responsiveness all over.
If you rock forward one more time to liven things up just a little bit more and to loosen up the traction control just a hair.
There's also a traction control button here if you wanna turn it completely off, but I'm not sure why you ever actually wanna do that in an all-wheel drive vehicle-- plenty of breadth.
Then you can also rock back to the Eco Pro mode.
This in my fingers is probably one of the most interesting modes in this vehicle,
'cause it's not really a performance car, it's kind of a get from point A to point B vehicle.
So, Eco Pro will let you do that in the most fuel efficient way possible.
In addition to resetting the steering and suspension to their most comfortable settings, it also does that eco mode trick that we've seen in a lot of vehicles where sort of dulls your pedal inputs and kind of tempers your lead foot.
So it takes a little bit more pedal to get the vehicle going, but the upside of that is that you
use less fuel.
In the Eco Pro menu you also get a couple of options that will allow you to further increase the fuel economy.
The first thing is you can turn on what's called Eco Pro climate controls, which sets the air-conditioning and heating system to their most efficient settings so that you save more fuel.
You can also set a speed limit warning, so that when you exceed a certain speed, you get a warning.
We all know that the faster you drive the more fuel you use, so you can set like a gentle reminder for yourself to keep it under a certain limit.
also an interesting Eco Pro potential meter right here that will let you know how much fuel that you're gonna be saving by for example if you reduce the Eco Pro speed limit to 60, you'll see that number jump up, and if you turn climate controls off of the eco, you'll see it drop down.
Dashboard technology is pretty much what we've seen in about maybe 4 or 5 different BMW vehicles of this generation before.
If you wanna get a really deep-- in depth look in, you know Brian Cooley has to say about that.
You can check out
maybe the BMW X1 review.
It's probably the most similarly equipped vehicle to this one.
In short, the standard packaging is gonna include a full array of digital audio sources including HD radio and Bluetooth.
You've got technology package equipped here which is going to add navigation and a rear view and a round view camera technology.
And then we've also got a premium audio package that's gonna add satellite radio and a really nice sounding stereo.
Now when you lift the hood, you'll notice first that there's actually a lot of empty space here in the engine bay.
I don't wanna get my hand caught in any moving parts there, but that's because the X3 makes space for BMWs V6 engine, but this 328 example is actually powered by a twin-turbo, 2-liter, 4-cylinder engine.
So it's a much shorter engine pushed back towards the rear of the vehicle.
Now when I say twin-turbo, what I actually
mean is twin-scroll.
There's one turbocharger there with two scrolls, it spins up a little bit faster than a one large turbo would, so you get less lag.
At the end of the day, what you're left with is a 240 horsepower and 260-pound feet of torque which is a pretty good amount of power for a vehicle of this size, that's gonna go through all four-wheels via the xDrive all-wheel drive system and an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Fuel economy is about 24 miles per gallon, if
combined which breaks down to 21 in the city and 28 on the highway.
Maybe it's me, but it seemed like the X3's gotten smaller.
The right height is not much higher than your average large Sedan.
I go down the road, I look over, I'm almost eye level with [unk] drivers and the handling is just-- it's very natural, it's not very truckish.
But then what do you expect, the thing is built
on a slightly elevated car platform.
Now in the Sport mode, the engine's actually very responsive.
The turbo charging, it is not very much lagging and I've got pretty good grunt.
It's not really what I would consider a performance car though.
Don't let all those M badges fool you.
Now the interesting thing is the Eco Pro mode as I said earlier, it does kind of dulled the acceleration a bit, but I get the feeling that people who are interested in the X3 particularly the 28i, are
not gonna be interested in all-out acceleration.
The car still has pretty good pick-up.
The acceleration is acceptable.
It's-- handles about like you would expect to a large Sedan.
I've been driving smoothly and efficiently and as a result, I've squeezed at this point 4.4 more miles out of a tank, than I would have without the Eco Pro climate controls and speed warnings and the benefits of that softer accelerator pedal.
A part of me is still kind of leaning towards the X1 it's because I've-- you know, personally, I like smaller vehicles, small hatch backs that's just my personal taste.
And my heart of course will always belong to the BMW 3 Series Touring which we can't get here in the United States anymore.
Now one of the most common comments that I read on our BMW X1 review was, why would you buy small car when for a couple thousand more you can get this big BMW X3.
Now, not exactly an apples to apples comparison because the 38-5, that will get you out of the door on this X3, is actually the starting point.
It does include about $895 in destination fees, $3,000 for the M Sport package, $1,300 for the adaptive steering and we haven't even started on the tech.
All in, to get it as equipped as we have in CNET style today, $54,095.
Now that's a pretty penny but it's actually not bad for a vehicle that's as well equipped as this one.
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