2007 X3 New Car Test Drive
The BMW X3 enters its fourth year of production flush with success, but there's more competition than ever among the smaller, more fuel-efficient SUVs. BMW's response is a stronger engine, revised styling, and more safety features, standard equipment and options.
The 2007 BMW X3 is available only with the new engine, a 3.0-liter six-cylinder. It also offers more torque and better acceleration than last year's engine of the same size yet at no cost to fuel economy. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a new six-speed automatic is a no-cost option and replaces last year's five-speed automatic.
The X3's drivetrain is equipped with BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system, Dynamic Stability Control and Hill Descent Control, revised for 2007 to give it even better grip and control in less than favorable conditions.
The X3 is quick and fast, and almost as fun to drive as any of BMW's passenger cars. 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.
For 2007, the BMW X3 comes in one model, the new 3.0si. Replacing last year's 225-hp 3.0-liter inline-6 is a totally new 260-hp 3.0-liter inline-6.
A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a new six-speed automatic with Steptronic is a no-charge option.
The 2007 X3 3.0si ($38,000) is stuffed with standard equipment. Cockpit amenities include automatic climate control with micro-filter and air recirculation; Sensatec leatherette upholstery; eight-way power adjustable front seats with two-way manual headrests and driver seat and mirror memory; a new three-spoke leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel with fingertip cruise control; front center console armrest; storage nets on front seatbacks, in front passenger footwell and cargo compartment; two aluminum fastening rails and slip-proof reversible flooring in cargo compartment; split 60/40 fold-down rear seats; vehicle and key memory; remote entry, including two-step unlocking and remote tailgate release; Panorama glass moonroof with fully automatic, two-piece glass panels, power slide and lift control, wind deflector and power interior sunshade; tilt/telescopic steering wheel column; rain-sensing windshield wipers with automatic headlight control; automatic-dimming rearview mirror; power front windows with one-touch up/down and power rear windows with one-touch down; front-rear map-reading, footwell and visor-mirror lights; locking glovebox with rechargeable take-out flashlight; dual cupholders in front and rear; AM/FM/CD audio with eight speakers, wired for portable music players; a new auxiliary input jack on the back of the center console; Service Interval Indicator with miles-to-service readout; flat tire warning system; a four-function on-board computer; pre-wiring for cellular phone, garage-door opener, 6CD changer and auxiliary input.
The 3.0si Premium package ($2,450) adds Nevada leather upholstery, four-way power lumbar support for both front seats, automatic dimming inside rearview mirror, and BMW Assist (with four years of service) with Bluetooth integrated wireless communication system. For 2007, it's augmented by a compass in the rearview mirror, a universal garage door opener and power-folding auto-dimming exterior mirrors. The Premium Package Seat upgrade ($700) substitutes comfort seats with lumbar support.
The Sport Package ($2,200) includes an 8x18-inch wheel upgrade; a full body-color aerodynamic kit with body-color side skirts; a sports suspension with stiffer springs and anti-roll bars; 235/50R18 all-season tires; Shadowline exterior trim; a sport steering wheel; and eight-way power adjustable front sport seats with two-way manual thigh support. Big 19-inch wheels ($950) with mixed-size performance tires replace the 18s in the package.
The Cold Weather Package ($1,000) includes a headlight washer system; a ski bag; heated front seats and, new for 2007, heated rear seats. Other options include Servotronic steering ($250), xenon adaptive headlights with auto-leveling ($800), front and rear Park Distance Control ($700), 18-inch double-spoke alloy wheels ($300); 18-inch Star Spoke alloys ($500); heated front seats ($500); heated steering wheel ($150); cargo net ($150); navigation system ($1,800); BMW Assist with Bluetooth technology ($750); privacy glass ($350); premium sound system ($675); and comfort seats with lumbar support ($1,000).
Dealer-installed accessories include a trailer-hitch kit; skid plates; running boards; roof-rack systems; aerodynamic body components; Sirius satellite radio; 6-disc CD changer; special shift knobs and handbrake grips; cargo organizer; cargo-area floor net; cargo-area carrier for two bicycles; alarm system; and interface for an iPod.
Safety features include ABS, two-stage frontal airbags, front door-mounted side-impact airbags and curtain airbags for front- and rear-seat head protection, front safety belts with automatic tensioners and force limiters. The upgraded braking system now i.