After showcasing it at the 2018 Auto Expo, BMW has finally launched the third-generation X3 in India at Rs 49.99 lakh (ex-showroom, India). At launch, the Mercedes GLC and Audi Q5 rival is available in two trims – xDrive 20d Expedition and xDrive 20d Luxury Line (Rs 56.70 lakh) – and a single diesel engine option.
On the outside, the new X3 retains the previous version’s silhouette but features changes such as the larger kidney grille, headlamps mounted further apart and differently designed L-shaped tail-lamps. Due to the new platform underpinning the model, the chassis is said to be significantly stiffer; the weight is also said to be reduced by 55kg. While the overall dimensions are quite similar to the outgoing model, the wheelbase on the new X3 is longer, which should aid in increasing interior room.
For now, BMW has introduced the new X3 with the same 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine as the previous model. Mated to an eight-speed automatic sending power to all four wheels, the motor in the xDrive 20d makes 190hp and 400Nm of peak torque. A 248hp, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-petrol in the xDrive30i; a 265hp, 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel in the xDrive30d; and a 360hp, 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol motor in the M40i are expected to arrive in India at a later date. The eight-speed automatic and BMW’s xDrive 4WD system will also feature as standard on these models.
Compared to the second-gen X3, the new SUV’s interiors and tech have been significantly updated as well. The in-cabin tech is shared with the BMW 5-series, which includes the touch-and-gesture-controlled iDrive infotainment system, a head-up display and 360-degree cameras.
The German carmaker had slowly phased out the various trims of the outgoing model. Just before the launch of the third-gen X3, the previous one was sold in a single top-spec M Sport trim, priced at Rs 54 lakh. With a price difference of Rs 2 lakh for the higher-spec Luxury Line trim, the new X3 seems to be on-par with rivals like the Audi Q5 (Rs 53.25-57.60 lakh) and diesel versions of the Mercedes-Benz GLC (Rs 49.94-53.69 lakh).
(All prices ex-showroom, India)
New 2018 BMW X3 India review, test drive
In conversation with Vikram Pawah, president, BMW Group India