2005 X3 New Car Test Drive
The BMW X3 enters its second year of production flush with success. In its first year, the X3 sold almost as well as the larger X5, doubling BMW's impact on the SUV market. The 2005 BMW X3 gets a number of refinements and upgrades despite minimal increases in base prices.
The X3's drivetrain is equipped with BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system, Dynamic Stability Control and Hill Descent Control, all designed to give it tenacious grip and secure control in less than favorable conditions. BMW's near-luxury sport-utility is available with two versions of the company's proven six-cylinder engine.
The X3 is quick and fast, considering its heft. The xDrive puts it at the head of the class when weather or road goes north. It's roomy, both for passengers and cargo. And just as important, it's replete with safety features, both active and passive.
Two models are available. The X3 2.5i is powered by a 184-horsepower 2.5-liter inline six-cylinder engine. The X3 3.0i sports a 225-horsepower 3.0-liter inline-6. Both are equipped with BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system.
Both come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. A five-speed automatic Steptronic is optional for the 2.5i ($1,275) and 3.0i (no charge).
The X3 2.5i ($30,300) is nicely trimmed with standard features, including the usual power-assisted/memory functions; a four-way adjustable steering wheel; six-way manually adjustable front seats; a competent, 10-speaker audio system; faux leather (vinyl) upholstery; and micro-filtered climate control system. The 2005 X3 2.5i also comes standard with a dash-top storage compartment and MP3 capability for the audio system.
Options can add considerably to the bottom line. The 2.5i Premium Package ($3,700) adds automatic climate control, power front seats with memory, a dual-panel, two-way power moonroof, cruise control, foglights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic headlight control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, Maple Sycamore Dark interior trim, storage nets in the front passenger's footwell and the front seats' backrests, upgraded interior lighting, a storage net, attachment rails and a reversible, slip-proof mat for the cargo area, and BMW Assist. All these features are standard on the 3.0i.
The Cold Weather Package ($750) adds heated front seats, headlight washers and ski bag to either model.
The Sport Package ($1,500) for both models includes a sports suspension, 18-inch wheels, 235/50HR18 all-season radials, Shadowline (black) exterior trim, sport front seats and a sport steering wheel. Each model gets unique wheels.
The 2005 X3 3.0i ($36,300) comes standard with the dual-panel Panorama moonroof, MP3-formatted audio, rain-sensing windshield wipers; cruise control; a leather-wrapped steering wheel hosting cruise and audio controls; automatic climate control; six-way power-adjustable front seats; an on-board computer, tilt-down right-hand outside mirror, fog lights, front and rear reading lights, front footwell lights, visor vanity mirror lighting and front center arm rest and storage compartment.
The 3.0 Premium package ($1,800) includes everything on the 2.5i Premium list plus leather upholstery, four-way power lumbar support for both front seats, auto-dimming mirror and BMW Assist.
Options are numerous and include Servotronic steering ($250), cruise control and leather-wrapped steering wheel with multi-function controls, Xenon adaptive headlights with auto-leveling, front foglights, Park Distance Control, unique 18-inch wheels and high performance tires, and much more.
Safety features include two-stage frontal airbags, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags and curtain airbags for front and rear seat head protection, all standard. Adaptive brake lights signal the urgency with which the driver has pressed the brake pedal. Optional: rear door-mounted side-impact airbags ($385). The X3 comes with good seat belts. Wear them. They're your first line of defense in an accident.