Loading indicator
News & Reviews
Last 7 Days

by Tim Beissmann

The all-new 2011 BMW X3 range has been launched in Australia offering more powerful and fuel-efficient engines, fresh exterior and interior designs and a larger overall package.

Two models will be available from launch: the entry-level xDrive20d and the mid-spec xDrive28i.

The xDrive20d is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine with 135kW of power and 380Nm of torque (from 1750-2750rpm) – up 5kW/30Nm from the old model.

Combined cycle fuel consumption is a small car-rivalling 5.6 litres/100km – leading to a driving range of more than 1000km per tank – and CO2 emissions average just 147g/km. Acceleration from 0-100km/h is a respectable 8.5 seconds.

The xDrive28i is powered by a 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder petrol engine with 190kW and 310Nm of torque (down slightly from the old xDrive30i which had 200kW and 315Nm).

Along with the reduced power, combined cycle fuel consumption is down from 9.7 to 9.0 litres/100km. Acceleration from 0-100km/h is six-tenths quicker than the old model, down to 6.9 seconds.

Joining the line-up later in 2011 will be the range-topping xDrive30d. Its 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder diesel engine produces 190kW of power and an impressive 560Nm of torque (from 2000-2750rpm) – an increase of 30kW and 60Nm over the old xDrive30d.

Acceleration from 0-100km/h is slashed from 7.9 seconds to 6.2 seconds, while fuel economy has improved 22 percent, down from 7.7 to 6.0 litres/100km.

The efficiency of all models is enhanced through the comprehensive implementation of BMW EfficientDynamics technologies, including the eight-speed automatic transmission from the X5, Auto Start Stop function and Brake Energy Regeneration.

Electric power steering, lightweight construction, optimised aerodynamics and reduced rolling resistance tyres on the xDrive20d also contribute to the tidy consumption and emissions figures.

Compared with the old model, the 2011 X3 is 83mm longer (4648mm), 28mm wider (1881mm) and 12mm taller (1661mm). Luggage space is 550 litres with the 40:20:40 rear seats upright and expands to 1600 litres with the seats folded down (up from 480/1560 litres).

Heated side mirrors, automatic climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel and engine start button are fitted standard, while options include auto-dimming mirrors, navigation systems with hard disk storage, panoramic sunroof and automatic tailgate operation (standard on xDrive30d).

Standard BMW ConnectedDrive features include full iPhone and smartphone Bluetooth connectivity, internet access, and driver assistance systems like emergency calling, vehicle information services and travel/leisure time planning.

The Bluetooth/USB with Voice Control allows owners to view contact photos through the display screen, view call lists made inside and out of the vehicle, view album covers, as well as stream audio wirelessly and pair two mobile phones and one media player at the same time.

All models feature a 6.5-inch colour screen, while an 8.8-inch high-resolution display is fitted when the Navigation System Professional option is ticked.

Front, side and curtain airbags are standard across the range, as well as a reversing camera. Optional features include Head-Up Display windscreen information projection, Top View bird’s-eye view vehicle monitoring, Bi-Xenon headlights and High-Beam Assist, which alters the high beams based on traffic conditions.

A range of acronyms complete a comprehensive safety package: dynamic stability control (DSC), dynamic traction control (DTC), dynamic brake control (DBC), cornering brake control (CBC), automatic differential brake (ADB-X) and hill descent control. Dynamic Damper Control (allowing the choice between Normal, Sport and Sport+ driving modes) is available as an option for the first time.

A range of 10 exterior colours is available, with four colours new to the X3. Interior options are even more diverse, with light and dark materials, wood and aluminium highlights and cloth and leather trims filling the order form.

The optional M Sport package includes aero tweaks, chrome-tipped exhaust pipes, high-gloss Shadow Line finish on the roof rails and side window surrounds, sports suspension, 18-inch lightweight M alloys, Performance Control for the xDrive system, sports seats, multi-function M steering wheel, subtle interior highlights and M badging on the exterior.

Australian pricing for the all-new 2011 BMW X3:

  • xDrive20d – $62,200
  • xDrive28i – $71,900
  • xDrive30d – $74,900 (available later in 2011)

Optional M Sport package (available from June):

  • xDrive20d – $4800
  • xDrive28i – $4100
  • xDrive30d – $3000 (available later in 2011)