2018 BMW X3 Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Jun 27, 2017
  • Redesigned compact luxury SUV
  • xDrive30i and M40i model series
  • Turbocharged 4-cylinder or 6-cylinder engine
  • Standard xDrive all-wheel drive
  • Up to 62.7 cu. ft. of cargo space
  • Next-generation convenience, safety, and infotainment technologies
  • Built in South Carolina alongside the X4, X5, and X6 premium SUVs
  • On sale November 2017


The 2018 BMW X3 might look familiar, but this compact luxury SUV is completely redesigned. When it goes on sale in November 2017 it will be offered as the xDrive30i and the M40i, the latter a new performance-tuned version.

Exterior Features

BMW reports that the 2018 X3’s exterior dimensions are about the same as before, and that the SUV sits on a wheelbase stretched 2.2 ins. compared with the previous model. For maximum balance and handling, the new X3 boasts a 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution.

Improved aerodynamics result from a standard BMW Active Kidney Grille design, the company’s Air Curtains system, new underbody panels, and a roof spoiler. The result, says BMW, is better fuel economy.

Standard equipment includes BMW’s xLine design treatment with rugged styling cues rendered in satin aluminum and silver matte finishes. A set of 18-in. wheels is included, featuring a Y-spoke design.

Interior Features

BMW promises “exceptional material quality, fit, and finish” for the new 2018 X3’s interior materials.

Front sport seats are standard, complete with power-adjustable side bolsters, while the rear seats recline and offer a 40/20/40 split-folding design. Standard equipment includes an Anthracite headliner and triple-zone automatic climate control.


Optional Features

2018 BMW X3 interior photo BMW also paid close attention to providing more cabin storage space than before. Cargo volume measures 28.7 cu. ft. behind the rear seats to a maximum of 62.7 cu. ft. with them folded down.BMW will offer a Luxury package for the new X3 xDrive30i, which adds upscale trim and detailing.

An M Sport package is also available for the X3 xDrive30i. It includes an M Aerodynamic Kit, Shadowline trim, 19-in. double-spoke wheels, M Sport steering wheel, M doorsill finishers, and simulated leather on the dashboard. This treatment is standard for the X3 M40i, but with unique details and larger wheels.

For the first time, BMW offers a 2-in., factory-installed trailer hitch for the X3, mainly to accommodate a wide range of dealer-installed accessories designed to accommodate active lifestyles. Additional options include adaptive LED headlights, larger wheels, performance tires, panoramic sunroof, and extended ambient cabin lighting with six color tones from which to choose. Notably, ventilated front seats are a new option for 2018.

Under the Hood

The X3 xDrive30i is equipped with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine making 248 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque, the latter available from 1,450 rpm to 4,800 rpm. An 8-speed sports automatic transmission with paddle shifters transfers power to all four of the X3’s wheels, and 60 mph arrives in a claimed 6 seconds, according to BMW.

The standard xDrive all-wheel-drive system gets a lighter rear differential and a modified transfer case this year, with BMW saying it results in more efficient operation and improved fuel economy. It is networked to the Dynamic Stability Control system for maximum driving enjoyment. Additionally, the new X3 is equipped with Cornering Brake Control, Dynamic Brake Control, Performance Control, hill-descent control, and a variety of other traction systems.

A Driving Dynamics Control system provides the driver with a choice between Eco Pro, Comfort, and Sport driving modes. When equipped with the Dynamic Damper Control suspension this system also supplies an Adaptive mode. Variable sport steering is also optional for the X3 xDrive30i.

Greater use of aluminum for the strut front and 5-link rear suspension reduces unsprung weight. BMW says this enhances handling, stability, and electric steering feel without reducing ride comfort. The X3 provides 8 ins. of ground clearance and a water-fording depth of 19.6 ins.

The M40i model marks the first time the X3 is offered in an M-badged variant. A turbocharged, 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine delivers 355 horsepower from 5,500 rpm to 6,500 rpm, and 369 lb.-ft. torque from 1,520 rpm to 4,800 rpm. BMW claims the X3 M40i accelerates to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds on its way to a 155-mph top speed.

In this version of the X3, the transmission gains Launch Control, Sport+ driving mode, and more pronounced rear-wheel power delivery bias. M Sport exterior detailing is standard, and this version receives an M Sport exhaust system with black outlets, M Sport brakes with blue-painted 4-piston front calipers, firmer M Sport suspension, and standard variable sport steering. As an option, the M40i is offered with an M Adaptive Sport suspension.


An Active Protection pre-collision accident-detection system is standard. If a front or rear collision is imminent, it snugs the seat belts, closes the windows and sunroof, and brings the vehicle to a halt as soon as is possible after impact. The new X3 also offers an Intelligent Emergency Call system with automatic location and accident-severity reporting.

Two optional safety packages equip the new X3 with the latest driver-assistance and collision-avoidance technologies. Highlights include forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, active blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and active lane-keeping assist with side-collision avoidance, and front and rear cross-traffic alert.



2018 BMW X3 rear quarter right photo An active cruise control system with stop-and-go capability and a traffic jam assistant is also available for the 2018 X3, along with an Evasion Aid steering-assistance system that is designed to bring stability to sudden evasive maneuvers.BMW equips the new X3 with an iDrive infotainment system that includes Apple CarPlay smartphone-projection technology. Upgraded versions with navigation add a 10.25-in. touch-screen display, gesture-control technology, natural Intelligent Voice Control, and a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 10 connected devices.

BMW X3 owners will benefit from a BMW Connected app compatible with smartphones, smartwatches, and smart home devices like Amazon’s Echo. Owners can also access a Remote 3D View function that allows for a 360-degree view of the car’s immediate vicinity via their smartphone.

BMW Connected also utilizes machine learning to learn your routines and recommend departure times based on traffic conditions, and with the optional navigation system it optimizes your travel route. The new X3 also has car-to-car communication technology, transferring information about road conditions to other BMWs within the vicinity.

To simplify parking, a new ParkNow service helps the X3’s driver to locate and book open parking spaces, and even pay for parking. Also, an On-Street Parking Information system helps X3 owners to find available street parking. Both features are available in select cities.

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