The 2003 BMW X3 | Part Two

The New BMW X3

 

A new dimension in the BMW model range The basic facts and figures alone clearly show that this is an all-new, absolutely unique model series: Measuring 4,565 millimetres (197.7´´) in length, the X3 is 87 millimetres (3.4´´) longer than the 3 Series Touring, but almost 30 centimetres (11.8´´) shorter than the new 5 Series Saloon. And measuring 4,667 mm (183.7´´) from bumper to bumper, the X5, in turn, is clearly the X3's bigger brother.

We find the same relative figures when considering the wheelbase of the X3 measuring 2,795 millimetres (110.0´´), versus 2,725 millimetres (107.3´´) on the 3 Series Touring and 2,820 millimetres (111.0´´) on the X5. In terms of height, on the other hand, the X3, measuring 1,674 millimetres (65.9´´), is clearly higher than both the 3 Series Touring (1429 mm/ 56.3´´) and the 5 Series Saloon (1,468 mm/57.8´´), only the X5 leaving an even longer shadow with its height of 1,715 mm (67.5´´). And with only the driver sitting at the wheel, ground clearance of the X3 measuring exactly 201 millimetres (7.91´´) is absolutely sufficient even on rough terrain.

Muscular straight-six power units for sporting performance

BMW's straight-six gasoline and diesel engines famous for their supreme refinement and performance ensure dynamic motoring wherever you go. Developing maximum output of 170 kW (231 bhp), the agile X3 3.0i reaches a top speed in standard trim of 210 km/h (130 mph), the optional high-speed set-up available with the Sports Package allowing an even higher top speed of 224 km/h (139 mph). The power unit featured in the X3 2.5i, in turn, develops maximum output of 141 kW (192 bhp).

Revving smoothly even up to high speeds, the 3.0-litre six-cylinder also allows the driver to accelerate quickly and dynamically from 0-100 km/h in just 7.8 seconds. And despite this performance the ultra-modern 3.0-litre gasoline engine outperforming even the strict EU 4 emission standard consumes just 11.4 litres (100 kilometres), equal to 24.8 mpg Imp.

The aficionado of supreme torque will be thrilled in particular by the X3 3.0d, the straight-six turbodiesel with second-generation common rail direct fuel injection only recently upgraded developing maximum output of 150 kW (204 bhp) in the X3, and giving this superior Sports Activity no less than 410 Nm (302 lb-ft) maximum torque. This also provides a top speed of 210 km/h (130 mph) increased even further to 218 km/h (135 mph) with BMW's high-speed set-up. And when it comes to acceleration, the diesel is also an outstanding performer, booming from 0-100 km/h in just 7.9 seconds. Fuel consumption in the process remains very modest, however, the X3 3.0d requiring just 8.4 litres of diesel for 100 kilometres, equal to 33.6 mpg Imp.

All three engine variants come as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox and are available as an option with five-speed automatic transmission.

2003 BMW X3 | Part Three
Published 25 October 2003 Melanie Carter

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