The 2003 BMW X3 | Part Three

The New BMW X3


The new xDrive all-wheel-drive system The all-new, intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive system setting a new standard in the agility of all-wheel-drive vehicles is a particular highlight of the BMW X3: xDrive allows infinite, fully variable distribution of drive forces between the front and rear axle, the system immediately recognising the need for a change in power distribution and responding extremely quickly to such a change, in usual road-going situations generally before the wheel even loses its grip. This enables xDrive to transmit optimum drive power to the respective axle at all times even when taking a bend at speed, significantly reducing over- and understeer in the process.

On the road xDrive offers a significant improvement of agility, driving pleasure and safety all in one. Suspension control systems such as DSC are not required until a much later point in time than on a conventional all-wheel-drive vehicle, and xDrive guarantees better traction and driving conditions on rough or slippery terrain, since engine power is transferred almost instantaneously to the wheels with more grip as soon as a wheel is about to spin, thus reliably interrupting the flow of traction.

Excellent driving experience thanks to the commanding seating position

In its versatility the new X3 is an outstanding performer not only on all kinds of terrain, where it consistently demonstrates its agile and dynamic character. Rather, the sophisticated interior and the wide range of equipment make the X3 the ideal BMW for the active and versatile individualist in every other respect, too. Sitting in their commanding position so characteristic of a BMW Sports Activity, the occupants not only see the world around them from a very clear, pleasant perspective, but also enjoy a very modern and spacious interior: The X3 combines elegance and an aesthetic look appropriate for a vehicle of this character with a sporting ambience and a wide range of practical details. Able to choose from a great many classical as well as sporting and modern materials and colours, the customer has numerous options in personalising the interior of his - or her - X3.

Within the cockpit the two circular instruments are grouped in typical BMW style within an elegant pinnacle, the middle of the dashboard is dominated by the optional 16:9 colour monitor of the navigation system moving up automatically when in use.

Lots of space and superior functions

The X3 offers truly ample space behind the tailgate opening up to a steep angle for easy access, allowing convenient accommodation of all kinds of luggage and sports equipment such as several mountain bikes. Depending on the arrangement of the seats, luggage space is up to 1,560 litres or almost 55 cubic feet.

Numerous additional storage compartments and boxes round off the superior functionality of the X3 with a service load, depending on the engine, of up to 500 kilos (1,100 lb). Unladen weight is between 1,740 kg/3,837 lb (X3 2.5i) and 1,850 kg/4,079 lb (X3 3.0d). And if you wish to take along even heavier and bulkier sports equipment or any other kind of trailer, the optional towing hook on the X3 2.5 is homologated for trailers weighing up to 1,800 kg (3,969 lb), the two three-litre models even being able to tow 2,000 kg (4,410 lb) on a trailer equipped with brakes.

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

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