This is where the new X3 has really surprised me. Without driving the more powerful 300 horsepower X3, I felt that the xDrive28i has adequate power for a vehicle that weighs around 4,110 lbs. The compact SAV was quick, agile and eager to dominate the road. I pushed the car quite a bit a few times and the 3.0 liter naturally aspirated engine aided by the 8-speed transmission did a superb job sprinting or changing lanes without letting me feel the need for more horsepower. Sure, on straightline or even on the track, the xDrive35i is a much faster vehicle, but for the congested Miami roads, or any other large urban areas, the X3 tested handled itself quite well. The ZF transmission is really making the X3 a better vehicle.
The ride quality has improved as well. Remember I am coming from a previous generation X3 that delivered a somewhat of a harsh ride. The 2011 X3 has been upgraded with an all-new five-link rear axle assembly that delivers a considerably better ride. The suspension engineers have managed to eliminate that loud thud we sometimes see on other BMWs equipped with runflats. No complaints on the electromechanical steering either, but maybe on a longer drive we will have a chance to properly test the X3′s receptiveness to the steering input.
In some of the corners I managed to find as exiting the highway, the X3 provided stability and improved handling, all together bringing my level of confidence in the car at a higher level. The third generation xDrive system found on the new X3 has been revised and the changes are obvious even to an inexperienced driver. Hopefully soon, I will have the opportunity to experience off-road aboard the new X3, so more impressions will be shared.
Based on the carís onboard computer, fuel consumption was rated at around 24 mpg, but for a more accurate reading in the future, we will have to drive the X3 extensively.