2011 BMW X3 XDrive35i: A Rote SUV—But Still a BMW | Rumble Seat by Dan Neil – WSJ.com

6 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2011 BMW X3 XDrive35i: A Rote SUV—But Still a BMW | Rumble Seat by Dan Neil – WSJ.com


(See Corrections item below .)

I wish I be dismissive of BMW’s second-generation X3. all, I have zero for this kind of automobile, takes the virtues of an athletic sedan and pointlessly jacks up in the air a half-foot, so Missy or Kelly can see the better. I kind of dread the commodification of the BMW brand, the loss of and exclusivity.

I find it slightly that, in order to court enhanced U.S. customers, BMW has obliged to make its compact longer, wider, taller. Why not put in an elastic waistband?

But I have to the Farrelly Brothers crack me up. BMW’s resources are so deep and that even the company’s rote segment entry—and what the X3 is—feels absolutely

Here’s the situation: The big three luxury-car companies are in a pitched over profitability. BMW, the biggest luxury car maker, less profit per vehicle either Mercedes-Benz or Audi. enjoys the cost-sharing advantage of part of the mighty VW Group. is a special case, being to charge a premium for the three-pointed

The executive leadership of BMW has decreed the company needs to sell a lot cars, more profitably, and so is busy coloring in any white in global markets with new Enter the redesigned X3. Built in S.C. the new X3 is 4 inches longer and 1 inch wider than the model. The bigger X3 thus room for BMW’s genuinely crossover, the X1, also due in American early next year. score?

BMW will soon the X1, X3, and X5, as well as the X6 sport-activity coupe, and the Gran Turismo, with to come.

In the roulette of the premium-crossover BMW is covering the table.

As far as the part-sharing, all car makers do it, some obviously than others. The is big savings (profit) in design, tooling, assembly. Done part-sharing creates a physical, cognate to the brand.

If you’ve felt the piano-string tension of a 911 suspension, you know what a is supposed to feel like.

The to parts commonality is a decline of of distinctiveness, the reek of amortization. the line mass-market luxury car must walk.

BMW X3 XDrive35i

price: $41,925

Price as . $50,000 (est.)

Powertrain direct-injection 3.0-liter DOHC six with variable valve eight-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive with center differential and electronically slip on rear differential.

110.6 inches

0-60 5.5 seconds

EPA fuel economy: 19/26 city/highway

Cargo capacity: cubic feet, second row


For BMW, so far, so good, and mainly because of the quality of the binnage. In the case of the X3 XDrive35i, the is a masterpiece: a 3.0-liter, twin-scroll direct-injection in-line six cylinder N55), a petrol-burning chronograph of an that—between the swarming turbo and the range of variability in the valve even need conventional (the engine has a throttle for starting).

Spooling out 300 horsepower and 300 of torque between 1,300 and rpm, the N55 can hum quietly in city or, with the right buttons gears engaged and the gas pedal beyond the downshift detent, haul …. BMW estimates the mph time as 5.5 seconds, which is sprightly for a leggy crossover 4,222 pounds. This could cure acne.

Downstream of the engine is the ZF-sourced automatic transmission. In principle, gears mean better economy (closer matching of speed and load, taller for highway driving). It helps the eight-gear unit weighs what the previous six-speeder

Our test car was rated at 19/26 per gallon, city/highway, which is decent, considering. However, in my model, with the gear in D, the transmission short-shifted insistently, up through the seemingly innumerable constantly seeking better economy—and not all that smoothly, Is that a frayed edge I

I expect some final of the transmission programming before the hits U.S. showrooms.

The car a lot happier with the gear-selector in mode—allowing the use of the steering-wheel paddles—and the Electronic Damping Control set on The ride-and-handling gets pretty in this configuration; it also Performance Control mode. You get ominous message on the information of driving stability limited, but it out you want that.

The torque-vectoring program will the inside rear brake and squeeze the e-throttle, helping to the car and nulling out the AWD-inherent understeer, and if really gassing it on country the thing slides around a proper sport sedan, as driven from a bar stool. The is right there, precise and The pitch and roll of the body is nicely controlled.

The brakes are If you’re in the mood, this can get downright ornery.

Drive it and it does the trick, too. The saddlework is pleasing. The instrumentation and is hefty and handy.

The bigger dimensions translate to appreciable in head- and legroom. Sight are excellent.

I still don’t the X3 xDrive35i (BMW’s nomenclature needs a good beating, by the The exterior styling is better before—with a crisp accent peeling up the fuselage from the wheel openings—but that’s praise. It still looks and unbalanced in the front, with a front-axle-to-dash ratio; and even 18-inch wheels, the …-cat in the wheel wells look they could really a … cat.

Everything that’s good the car from a driving dynamics of view would be better a half-foot less Z-axis. Can I you in an awesome 3-series?

I admit it: a hostile witness.

But this is BMW coin, a fast, techy, machine, worthy of the badge. anything but routine.


The BMW X3 xDrive35i has a twin-scroll turbo An earlier version of this incorrectly said the car has a twin-turbo

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