Introduced to the United States in 2003 as a 2004 model, the BMW X3 Sports Activity Vehicle is based on the Bavarian manufacturer’s 3 Series line of sports sedans, This effectively brings that model’s agility, smoothness, and overall driving pleasure to the small SUV segment of the marketplace.
The second generation of the X3 bowed in 2010 as a 2011 model. At that point, BMW redesigned the X3 from the ground up. The second generation of the Baby Bimmer SAV was endowed with a larger body, more powerful engines, and a more comfortable ride. In fact, it was so much larger; it was nearly the size of the original version of its X5 sibling.
Two engines were offered at launch, a 240-horsepower/221 ft.-lb. 3.0-liter normally aspirated inline six, and a 300-horsepower/300 ft.-lb., turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six. A turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 240 horsepower and 260 ft-lbs of torque has since replaced the normally aspirated six.
What hasn’t changed is the remarkably smooth way the X3 goes down the road. One of the primary complaints about the first generation BMW X3 was how stiffly it rode. The BMW’s handling was universally praised, but it was accomplished at the expense of ride quality. This concern was addressed with the second-generation X3—along with the adoption of more spacious and comfortable interior.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves…