So, what’s ‘new’ about BMW Philippines’ all-new X3?

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BMW X3

There’s an all-new X3. It’s now on sale in the Philippines starting this month, sold through local dealers of SMC Asia Car Distributors Corporation (SMCACDC), and is said to have an “even more striking, dynamic design language” and “power yet also efficient driver systems.” But before you go out and buy one, we wanted to point out what’s ‘new’ about the all-new BMW X3.

Compared to the model it replaces, BMW’s new ‘Sports Activity Vehicle’ (SAV) is both longer and taller by around 40-ish mm. Its wheelbase is also stretched by another 54 mm, adding to overall passenger legroom. Despite the extra bulk, the all-new X3 is said to be 55 kg lighter with the use of composites and aluminum components while achieving a perfect 50:50 weight distribution.

Smart.

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Although it wasn’t too obvious to us at first, side-by-side comparisons of the ’15 and ’18 models paints a clearer picture how much work was put into the new premium SAV. The trademark kidney grilles are a lot bigger and are no longer connected to the headlights. And instead of circular fog lamps, the new X3 gets trendier LED units.

We also noticed how much curvier the all-new model got. There are more prominent creases running its entire length, its roofline now tapers to the back, and the beltline rises at a steeper angle behind the c-pillar. This with help from better underbody cladding, grille shutters, and a restyled roof spoiler has dropped the drag coefficient from 0.36 to a class-leading 0.29.

Changes at the back, however, are a bit more subtle yet effective with the LED light clusters taking most of the credit.

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As with all BMWs before it, the all-new X3 was designed to have a driver-focused cockpit. The latest iDrive system is fitted as standard, while the 10.2-inch central display is both touch sensitive and work with gesture controls. They also made the steering wheel spokes leaner and the dashboard less bulky, making the cabin feel a bit more spacious.

Front sport seats have power-adjustable bolsters and the third row fold with a 40/20/40 split. And yes, it comes with Parking Assistant where it can automatically park the all-new X3 in both parallel and perpendicular orientations.

There are 2 versions available: an X3 xDrive20d xLine listed at P4.39-million and the X3 xDrive20d M Sport at P4.59-million.

To tell them apart, the X3 xDrive20d xLine has an aluminum grille and exterior details and specifically designed 19-inch alloy wheels. It’s also fitted with Vernasca leather sports seats, décor stitching, black high-gloss interior strips, and Pearl Chrome trim. The X3 xDrive20d M Sport, on the other hand, gets a different set of bumpers and a new paint shade called Phytonic Blue. It has an M Sport leather steering wheel, sports seats, anthracite-colored headliner, and Aluminium Rhombicle trim.

Both are powered by a 2.0L BMW TwinPower Turbo diesel engine with 190 hp and 400 Nm of torque. The 8-speed Steptronic transmission with shift paddles and BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system are standard equipment.

Sadly, the Luxury Line and M40i are not part of the local lineup.

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