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2013 BMW X3

2013 BMW X3 Review

(0 Stars)  BMW’s well-regarded compact SUV is no longer its smallest.

Reviewed by Automobile Magazine on

New For 2013
Originally launched in 2004, the X3 underwent its first major redesign two years ago. The X3 is now larger and looks more like an X5 inside and out. For 2013, the base 28i model traded its normally aspirated 240-hp six for an equally potent, but more economical, 2.0-liter turbo four; the 35i retains its 300-hp turbo six. Both models use an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Overview
If you previously passed on the X3 because of its cut-rate interior or its punishing ride, you should check out the newest version, which has addressed both shortcomings. The new, high-quality interior looks and feels much like that in any other BMW. As for ride quality, it has improved and can be fine-tuned with the optional Driving Dynamics Control selector and Electronic Damping Control. The Driving Dynamics Control system also varies steering effort, accelerator responsiveness, transmission shift mapping, and stability control programming. We’ve found that either of the sport modes makes for hyperaggressive throttle response and frenetic shifts from the eight-speed automatic; the normal mode is fine. There’s certainly no need to amp up the energy level of the X3’s powertrain. The six-cylinder turbo engine is potent enough to launch the X3 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds; even the new four-cylinder turbo can reach 60 mph in 6.6 seconds. Both versions are more economical than the old X3. The four-cylinder in the 28i improves fuel economy by 2 mpg in the city and on the highway compared with the previous six-cylinder. It also beats the current 35i by 2 mpg. Either model can quickly get pricey when loaded with items from BMW’s seemingly mile-long list of options. In fact, it’s not hard to push the price of the X3 into X5 territory.

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