BMW launches X3 in India with prices starting at Rs. 41.2 lakh

BMW India launched the X3 SUV today. The base xDrive 20d is priced at Rs. 41.20 lakh and will be available September onwards while the top-end xDrive 30d is priced at Rs. 47.90 lakh and will be available only October this year.

The BMW X3 will be imported in CKD (Completely Knocked Down) form and will then be assembled at the company’s Chennai plant. So what’s new with the 2011 BMW X3? We find out.

new BMW X3
Photo: Dr.Andreas Schaaf President, BMW India with the new BMW X3

Exterior

The new X3 has a powerful-looking front with the trademark BMW kidney grille and headlights. The headlights have corona rings as daytime running lights, a design that is typical to BMW crossover/SUV models. The new X3 has grown by 83 mm in length, 28 mm in width and has also grown taller by 12 mm compared to the outgoing X3. Also read: X3 launch preview

The hood has six contour lines giving the SUV a bold appearance. The brawny wheel arches coupled with the short overhangs at the front and the rear, emphasize the X3‘s robust characteristics. The rear of the new X3 gets attractive LED tail lights.

The dynamic lines on the rear of the X3 accentuate the SUVs width and boast of its ability to take on challenges both on-road and off-road. The rear windscreen of the X3 is steeply raked and makes it look muscular. Also read:X3 Photo gallery

The new BMW X3 will be available in a range of eight colors to choose from including Alpine White (non-metallic), Titanium Silver, Black Sapphire, Mineral Silver, Space Grey, Deep Sea Blue, Vermillion Red and Sparkling Bronze.

Leather Nevada is the standard upholstery for the new BMW X3 and is available in the following colors: Beige, Black, Red Brown/Black, Havana/Black and Oyster/Black.

Interior

The refreshed interiors of the new X3 have a well-contoured central console with an elegant central display that features BMW’s iDrive system. The front seats are positioned higher than they were on the older model, which makes for easy egress and ingress.

Engines

The X3 is only available in diesel engine variants as the company feels the segment demands diesel vehicles than petrol.

The base variant, X3 xDrive20d is powered by a turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel engine that makes 184 bhp of maximum power and 380Nm of maximum torque.

The top-end variant, xDrive 30d is powered by a 6-cylinder diesel engine that generates 258 bhp and 560 Nm of maximum torque. Both the engines are mated to eight-speed, automatic transmissions.

The new xDrive 20d accelerates to 100 kmph in 8.5 seconds with a top speed of 210 kmph (electronically limited). The xDrive 30d can accelerate from 0 to 100 kmph in 8.5 seconds while achieving a top speed of 210 kmph (electronically limited).

Features

Some of the highlights of the new X3 include entertainment and communication functions with the on-board iDrive which is a 6.5-inch high resolution head-up display screen on the xDrive20d and an 8.8-inch high resolution display screen on the top-end variant (xDrive30d). It also has bi-xenon headlights with LED light rings. While the base variant features 17-inch light alloys, the top-end variant is shod with 18-inch light alloys.

Safety

In terms of safety features the new X3 will include Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Automatic Differential Brake (ADB-X) and Hill Descent Control. The X3 also has a ‘run flat’ tyre system that can safely let the car drive at limited speed even after a puncture.

Like all BMW SUV’s the new X3 comes with xDrive technology that features variable distribution of torque between front and rear axles. The xDrive functions along with the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) and electronic power steering (EPS) and hence, expect the new X3 to have superior road manners.

With regard to suspension settings, you can choose Normal, Sports and Sports+ mode based on the road and driving conditions.

BMW X3 vs. competition

BMW X3 competes with Audi Q5 and the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLK. Audi India launched the Q5 Business edition at a slightly cheaper price of Rs. 35.13 lakh (ex-showroom, Maharashtra), thus having an edge over the new X3.

Other rivals of X3 include Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Volvo XC60, Toyota Land cruiser Prado and the Mitsubishi Montero. Just like the X1, BMW hopes the X3 will also help them grab a significant market share in the luxury SUV segment in India.