We like to give our readers different perspectives when reviewing cars here at DriveRSA. Yes, of course – the practical stuff, like fuel consumption, prices and 0-100 times are important at the end of the day, and will ultimately influence your purchasing decision.
But it’s also important to stop for a while and savour the way a car makes you feel. After all, when you’re behind the wheel, it’s the driving experience that matters – whether you feel good in the driver’s seat and whether your fellow road users think you look good in the driver’s seat.
For now, just discard those comments you’ve heard before, doubting the X3’s capabilities on the rough stuff. As a driving machine on-road, the X3 will certainly bring you joy.
And you’ll also probably derive a bit of joy from the fact that your fellow road users know it’s a BMW: the X3 doesn’t hide it, showing-off its prominent kidney grilles, guaranteed to make the guy in-front of you move over.
It’s a competent cruiser, traversing roads seamlessly with its xDrive four-wheel drive system and 2-litre diesel engine, providing a healthy surge of power when you need it. You could also have the xDrive35i, which has got that hallowed twin-turbo mill featured in beasts like the 135i and 335i.
Then there’s the elevated driving position. Perfect for when you’re on an ego-trip, and you’re trying to dazzle the pretty lady in the car alongside you – looking at her as if to say “I’m in a Beemer, baybeh”. Being in something bearing the blue-and-white propeller seems to have that effect on one, I’m ashamed to admit.
There’s as much to excite on the inside, too. You get keyless-go – simply press the Start button to the left of the steering wheel and you’re ready to roll. So that you don’t look like an idiot, smacking something while trying to manoeuvre the large X3 into a tight parking spot, there’s the very handy park distance control. It is a peculiar thing to say – and you might consider voicing your suspicion that I could be on drugs, to the editor, but there’s such a wonderful quality to the “beep” emitted through the car’s sound system, warning of your approach to an obstacle.
Bragging rights come in the form of the Efficient Dynamics programme – you can tell your friends that you’re doing your bit for Mother Nature, by simply driving your Beemer. The idea is simple: little tricks here and there to help boost economy. Like the start-stop feature, for example. It kicks in – or rather, off, when you’ve got your foot on the brake pedal at a set of traffic lights, so the engine doesn’t run and squander fuel unnecessarily. The X3 starts itself up once you want to move again.
It’s a great experience, driving BMW’s newest X3. The part that might bring a sour expression to your face is when the salesman gives you the figures on your monthly instalment. But what the heck – who needs that Retirement Annuity when you can have some sheer driving pleasure now?
While you’re at it, go for broke and deck it out in some AC Schnitzer kit.
Check out Miles’ review of the BMW X3 here.