BY H. THROTTLE
BMW has an excellent reputation and a long list of satisfied, loyal customers. “Beamers” have been loved and relished for decades. I had the pleasure of driving the 2018 BMW X3/Drive30i recently and it lived up to all expectations.
This model is lengthy, sleek, and with “dark olive metallic” paint. The interior has Canberra beige vernasca leather upholstery.
The vehicle has final assembly in Spartanburg, S.C., with parts from Austria and Germany. The manufacturer’s suggested list price is $42,450 but there were some desirable options that pushed the price up to $57,820 on the test vehicle.
The four-cylinder 2.L in-line engine is twin-turbo powered and provides excellent acceleration and fuel economy achieving 29 mpg highway mileage that is exceptional for a larger SUV.
The eight-speed variable transmission offers four driving modes of eco-pro, comfort, and two sports modes complimented by steering wheel paddle shifters.
The steering is precise and enhanced with performance control and variable sports steering. There is a parking package for $1,300 that could be eliminated from the overall package for those who can park by themselves.
Great for Colorado winters, the X3 has a premium package of heated features including front and rear seats and steering wheel. The vehicle speed is reflected on the windshield along with any speed limit warnings, a nice feature to avoid inadvertent speed levels.
BMW uses a center console unit to control the sound system and the onboard computer that handles all functions for technology and memory functions.
The sport seats are luxurious, and the sculptured hood and large windshield give a great view of the Colorado mountains with the sliding glass moonroof.
Driving feels powerful, comfortable, and safe with restraining safety belts and airbags. The four-wheel ventilated braking system has anti-lock and dynamic break controls systems. The vehicle is so new that it is not yet rated by the Highway Safety Commission.
BMW offers an ultimate care maintenance package that includes complimentary engine service, including oil changes for three years and/or 36,000 miles. The overall limited warranty is for 50,000 miles and four-years, whichever comes first.
This is a fine “ultimate driving” machine.
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