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New BMW X3

The new BMW X3 promises to be the lowest-emission four-wheel drive model in the sector.

Interestingly, the automatic version has lower emissions than the manual version. Both transmissions will also come with Auto Start-Stop technology. This will be the first BMW model in the UK to team Auto Start-Stop technology with the optional eight-speed automatic transmission.

Powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine with aluminium crankcase and common rail direct injection, it delivers a maximum power output of 184 hp at 4,000 rpm and peak torque of 380 Nm between 1,750 and 2,750 rpm. This results in a zero-62 mph time of 8.5 seconds, reaching top speed of 130mph, yet CO2 emissions for this four-wheel drive vehicle are only 149 g/km, with average fuel consumption of 50.4 mpg.

Other engines will be launched at a later date, but in the UK the BMW X3 xDrive20d will account for approximately 80 per cent of all sales when all other engines have been introduced.

The new BMW X3 xDrive20d with automatic transmission achieves identical acceleration, top speed and fuel consumption, with a CO2 emission level of 147g/km. This reduction in emissions is thanks to the X3 being the first BMW model in the UK to team Auto Start-Stop technology with the optional eight-speed automatic transmission. The Auto Start Stop function also features as standard on the manual transmission.

Although the appearance of the new X3 doesn’t appear to be much progressed from the outgoing model, this second generation X3 does have updated features such as new suspension technology, electronically controlled driver assistance and advanced four-wheel drive.

For drivers who want to personalise the feel of their BMW X3, Variable Damper Control is available for the first time on this model. The electronically controlled dampers adapt to road surface conditions and the style of driving, while the driver is able to influence the action of the dampers by means of the Drive Dynamic Control system.

This function enables the driver to choose between Normal, Sport and Sport+ modes using a button on the centre console. As well as damping behaviour, it can adjust the character of the accelerator, engine response, power steering weight, DSC response thresholds and – depending on desired options – the shifting dynamics of the automatic transmission.

Electric Power Steering is incorporated in the BMW X3 for the first time, allowing precise handling and increased efficiency. Variable sports steering is also available for the first time as an option, and reduces the degree of steering movement necessary to turn the front wheels in various conditions including parking, cornering and swerving manoeuvres.

As standard, the new BMW X3 comes with xDrive permanent four-wheel drive technology, an electronically controlled system that ensures variable distribution of drive to the front and rear axles. Linked to DSC, Dynamic Stability Control, xDrive can counteract oversteer or understeer at an extremely early stage, and help to control the car through bends by sending increased drive to the rear wheels while, if needed, braking the inside rear wheel to increase the car’s mid-bend agility and traction.

The new X3 also features completely redeveloped suspension technology with a double-joint spring-strut axle at the front and a multi-link rear axle.

The new BMW X3 xDrive20d SE, at £30,490, is actually £115 less than the outgoing model, yet is equipped as standard with Nevada leather upholstery, two-zone air conditioning, iDrive controller and colour display.

The new X3 can be specified with a range of innovative features. The choice of options range from a panoramic sunroof, high-end audio equipment and the Professional Multimedia package with hard-disk storage, to automatic boot lid operation and a tow coupling with electronically pivoting ball head.

The choice of systems offered under the BMW ConnectedDrive driver assistance banner include Head-up Display, Adaptive Headlights, High-beam Assistant and reversing camera including Top View, giving a 360 degree panoramic view for the driver.

Following research of buying habits of previous BMW X3 buyers, the new generation model can be specified with several packages that bring together the most popular options at cost-effective prices.

These packages include the Business Advanced Media package, which provides Business navigation, Bluetooth telephone preparation with USB interface, voice control and telematics, and BMW Assist, for £2,165; and the Professional Multimedia Media package – Professional navigation, Bluetooth telephone preparation with USB interface, voice control and telematics, and BMW Assist – for £2,465.

Keywords: New BMW X3