As we said a bit ago on our Facebook, we spent a week with a 2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i in and around our home in Hill Country Texas learning what it could do – or we do – with what BMW calls their ultimate drive Sports Activity Vehicle. We found the premium performance on roads and highways is without question. What we discovered is that X3 also does dirt well.
Our test BMW X3 xDrive 30i delivered on the road and highway with its 2.0L Twin Power Turbo I4 delivering 248 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque mated to an 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission and shift paddles, and running an improved version of xDrive Intelligent all-wheel drive with Driving Dynamics Control w/5 modes (ECO PRO, COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+), 19-inch light allow wheels w/all-season tires, Dynamic Handling Package w/variable steering, M-Sport brakes and Performance Control.
Other performance features included Dynamic Damper Control on the suspension, Dynamic Stability Control w/Brake Fade Compensation, 4-wheel Ventilated Disc Brakes with Dynamic Brake Control and Brake Drying and Dynamic Traction Control.
Already a road capable performance vehicle, we found it ready and able to deliver on the ranch terrain too. Our X3 featured an 8-inch ground clearance and with approach/departure angles of 23.1/21.4 degrees and breakover of 17.4 degrees, the capability to ford up to 19.6-inches of water in creeks and streams, Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control.
Other BMW premium (standard or optional) features included a Panoramic Moonroof, Surround View Camera, Leather Interior with Dark Oak wood accents, Navigation Professional with Advanced Real Time Traffic Information and iDrive 6.0 Controller with new ‘Gesture Control’ and includes a 10.25-inch touchscreen with 7 programmable memory buttons, a heads-up display, LED/Halogen lights, wireless charging, WiFi Hotspot for up to 10 devices, Harman Kardon Surround Audio, 3-zone Climate Control and lots more.
2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i as tested
The base MSRP for our test BMW X3 xDrive30i was $42,450. With its rich Dark Olive Metallic exterior coupled with a very luxurious Canberra Beige Vernasca Leather interior – it priced at $44,700 before packages and options.
In addition to features already mentioned, our X3 came standard with LED Fog Lights, Power Folding and Heated Side Mirrors, Power Tailgate, variable speed Rain-sensing Windshield Wipers, Satin Aluminum Roof Rails and Satin Aluminum exterior accents. Inside were a 10-way Power Front Sport Seats and 40/20/40 folding rear seats, 3-spoke Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel with mounted controls, Anthracite Headliner and Ambient Lighting.
The packages and options on our X3 added features like Keyless Entry and Push-button Start, Variable Sport Steering, Active Park Distance Control with Parking Assistance Plus, Heated Steering Wheel, Front and Rear Heated Seats, SiriusXM and HD radio and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
With all packages and options plus delivery – ready to go – our 2018 BMW X3 XDrive30i priced at $57,470.
So ‘how did it drive?’, you ask. This BMW X3 clearly presents all of the expected excitement and capability of a premium BMW ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ around town and on the highway. Where it (sort of) surprised us, was how well it challenged and conquered the back roads and of the ranch country trails and rough terrain in Hill Country, Texas.
Reluctant at first – not wanting to get this beautiful machine dirty – we quickly overcame that concern and let her rip. You need to try it for yourself. Be ready for some fun.