BMW unveiled the second technology of its X3 small SUV in 2010, and given its product cycles, the 2017 X3 is the final of this technology, because the 2018 X3, the third technology, is already changing into out there.

    So I used to be shocked after I obtained within the 2017 BMW X3 to seek out, as an alternative of seven-year-old cabin know-how, an up-to-date interface for navigation, stereo and related automobile options.

    BMW managed to unravel the issue bedeviling automakers since shopper electronics entered the dashboard, updating software program options outdoors of conventional automobile product cycles. Quite than a dated, clunky interface on this X3, circa 2010, I might use fast on-line vacation spot search and third-party apps, and a full colour head-up show.

    The X3’s sheet steel, particularly beneath the contour strains, exhibits a liquid smoothness.

    Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

    BMW’s smallish SUV, the 2017 X3 slots in between the X1 and X5, naturally, providing fairly snug seating for 5 and 27.6 cubic ft of cargo area. Drop the rear seats and that area expands to 63.Three cubic ft. The passenger compartment feels roomy, particularly with the non-obligatory panoramic sunroof, which comes with BMW’s $Three,200 Premium bundle.

    It is a handsome little SUV, with BMW’s signature kidney grille up entrance and liquid-smooth sheet steel down the edges. The Mineral Silver Metallic paint on my instance actually enhanced its curves.

    BMW sells the 2017 X3 with 4 drivelines, denoted sDrive28i, xDrive28i, xDrive35i and the diesel xDrive28d. The “s” mannequin means rear-wheel-drive, whereas the “x” fashions include all-wheel-drive. “28” signifies a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and “35” is a Three-liter turbocharged inline six cylinder.

    I drove the X3 xDrive28i loaded up with the Premium bundle, and the $2,750 Expertise bundle, including navigation, head-up show and an built-in knowledge connection, amongst different issues.

    In BMWs from a number of years again, the dashboard LCD confirmed a line-item menu display screen for the corporate’s iDrive infotainment system. Right here, the 2017 X3 handled me to a row of six icons overlaying navigation, media, automobile settings and communications, all accessible utilizing a dial and button pod on the console.

    2017 BMW X32017 BMW X3

    BMW updates its software program for the X3, right here exhibiting an icon-based primary interface as an alternative of the earlier line-item menu.

    Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

    The X3’s navigation system used properly detailed maps with 3D rendered buildings. Making vacation spot entry simple, the system affords a Fast Search choice, which let me enter enterprise names or addresses in a single field, slightly than a tortured search by way of classes in a points-of-interest database.

    For route steerage, I might look to the middle LCD or the X3’s head-up show, exhibiting which lanes I wanted to be in for complicated street junctions.

    The X3 helps Apple CarPlay over a Bluetooth connection.

    Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

    Extra impressively, the X3’s system contains BMW’s newest innovation, wi-fi Apple CarPlay. As with regular CarPlay, the automobile mirrored a few of my iPhone’s ($699.00 at Apple) features, comparable to podcasts and navigation, on its LCD. However in contrast to different CarPlay implementations, it labored over the cellphone’s Bluetooth connection, so I did not have to plug into the only USB port each time I wished to make use of it. Sorry, Android cellphone customers, BMW nonetheless does not assist Android Auto.

    BMW’s implementation of Yelp and apps for climate, information and native sights within the X3 are simply icing on the cake.

    The one problem with the X3’s dashboard electronics I discovered was that the processor energy does not fairly sustain with the brand new software program. Most operations labored simply high quality, however I noticed delays when zooming the navigation system’s map. I anticipate the new-generation X3 will repair that problem with a sooner processor.

    The X3’s navigation system and CarPlay integration served me effectively on a jaunt from San Francisco to the Los Angeles Auto Show and again, serving to me discover a handy In-n-Out Burger for lunch, get out on the sand at Pismo Seashore, and negotiate Los Angeles’ infamous visitors.

    For my analysis of the X3, I set it to Sport mode with the rocker swap on the console and felt this small SUV’s throttle grow to be too delicate for every day use. Setting it to Eco Professional, the instrument cluster rewarded me with a readout of what number of further miles its environment friendly driving managed, however the weak throttle response felt disappointing.

    To finish this Goldilocks story, the automobile’s Consolation mode hit the precise stability for 99 % of my time behind the wheel. Past that, the X3 defaults to Consolation at ignition, which means that 99 % of drivers will simply go away it in that mode for all their journeys.

    2017 BMW X32017 BMW X3

    Though you’ll be able to choose from three drive modes, the X3 is principally a get-in-and-go form of automobile.

    Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

    In my greater than 800 miles with the X3, I used to be content material to drive like a traditional individual, in Consolation mode.

    The X3’s 2-liter turbocharged engine, turning all 4 wheels by way of an eight-speed automated transmission, manages 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Its idle-stop function shut down the engine at cease lights, saving some fuel within the metropolis, and restarted rapidly sufficient for all however probably the most impatient drivers.

    That engine gave the X3 sufficient increase for me to get a bounce on visitors when the lights turned inexperienced. Over a whole lot of miles on the freeway, it comfortably maintained ample velocity, whereas providing sufficient energy overhead for me to zip round slower drivers and attempt to maintain forward of the tractor-trailer rigs earlier than one tried to move one other.

    I used to be dissatisfied to solely clock a mean gas economic system of 23.5 mpg, particularly after all of the freeway driving. Nevertheless, the X3 charges 21 mpg metropolis and 28 mpg freeway in EPA testing, so I got here in about common for its vary.

    On the freeway, the X3 rode comfortably, its well-tuned steering feeling responsive with out being twitchy. Nevertheless, at low speeds I might really feel the electrical motor increase on the steering, giving it a barely tough edge, which might have been higher masked.

    Taking a cloverleaf at velocity, I might really feel the X3’s glorious stability, an indicator of BMW vehicles for a few years.

    And whereas the suspension proved pliant over the lengthy haul, letting me spend hours within the seat with out a whole lot of muscle ache, the Goodyear Eagle rubber on the 19-inch rims delivered a jarring crunch going over a pothole. A wider sidewall would assist right here, however BMW leans in direction of a extra sport-oriented tire.

    I am unable to say I felt the all-wheel-drive system at work after I rolled out onto the seashore for a surf-side picture session, however the X3 dealt with the tender stuff effectively sufficient, its vast tires making for good traction. BMW does not embody any guide differential locking or different management over its all-wheel-drive system, so I simply needed to belief it was doing its factor.

    2017 BMW X32017 BMW X3

    Because the 2017 X3 marks the tip of the mannequin’s second technology, anticipate offers as showroooms make means for the 2018 X3.

    Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

    At this level, you will not discover the 2017 X3 talked about on BMW’s web site as the corporate begins selling the 2018 mannequin. At supplier heaps and within the used market, nevertheless, the mannequin changeover may imply good offers on the 2017 X3. Given the up to date cabin electronics, this X3 conceals its age effectively.

    As a small SUV, it serves fairly effectively. I want to see higher gas economic system, however I do not anticipate that to vary a lot for the brand new technology.

    The bottom worth of $41,250 for the 2017 X3 is on par with different small, premium SUVs, just like the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC, with the Lexus NX undercutting the Germans by a pair grand. The BMW X3 and Audi Q5 particularly run neck-and-neck in terms of content material, applied sciences and driving character, making it a troublesome alternative between the 2.

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