DALLAS, May 15, 2011 – For those of you who like class and comfort, the 2011 BMW X3 is an excellent choice in this small-size crossover SUV sports sedan option. A turbocharged engine meets a great interior cabin, and whether sitting in the back or front seats, you’ll find the ride comfortable all around.
It has been brought to the attention that this BMW is priced a bit higher than the competition, like the Infiniti EX35, the Mercedes-Benz GLK350, the Audi Q5, and the Volvo XC60. Each with a number of pros and cons, most BMW drivers have found this one to be higher in the performance options category.
This year’s five-passenger BMW X3 also saw a major overhaul in design since its introduction seven years ago, and now offers a turbocharged engine, a cleaner exterior look, and updated suspension tuning.
With just two trim levels, the xDrive28i replaces the xDrive30i, and is a little less expensive this year. The xDrive35i is the turbocharged option with the 300-horsepower, and both offer the eight-speed transmission.
The additional standard features on the 28i are 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, eight-way power front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, premium vinyl interior upholstery, and all the iDrive electronics interface perks.
The 35i has 18-inch alloy wheels, and adaptive xenon headlights in addition to the 28i standard features. There are several option packages, and a few features you can opt for separately, such as the 19-inch wheels, a rearview camera, sunroof, keyless entry, or power lift gate.
The Sport Activity package comes with 18-inch wheels, sport front seats, roof rails, a sport transmission, and the Premium package adds not only leather upholstery, but also a sunroof and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
For the Technology package, it’s a rearview camera with top view, front and rear parking sensors, and a hard-drive-based navigation system.
The Dynamic Handling package offers adaptive suspension dampers, and the Cold Weather package will give you heated front and rear seats, and a heated steering wheel.
The 3.0-liter inline-6 engine is equipped in both trim levels with the xDrive28i, giving you 240 horsepower with 221 pound-feet of torque. The xDrive35i with the turbo power offers 300 horsepower, and 300 pound-feet of torque.
The safety equipment offered on the BMW X3 includes antilock disc brakes, automatic brake drying, front, front-seat side and full-length side curtain airbags, front-seat head restraints, stability control, and there is also a hill descent control.
Inside, it’s a luxurious ride with about an inch more added in the redesign. Long distance trips are comfortable for front and back seat passengers, with plenty of legroom in the backseat for your long legged friends. Console controls and knobs are well placed. The knobs took a little getting used to, but otherwise, the console is easy to navigate and move around.
Note that the control knob for the navigation and entertainment system is well-placed near the gearshift.
An easy cruiser to drive and enjoy, this BMW will make taking a road trip or going to the grocery store a worthwhile and fun experience, as you look for excuses to take a drive.
Miles Per Gallon: With 19 miles per gallon in the city and 25 miles per gallon on the highway, estimated fuel cost annually comes in at $2,285.
Cost: Prices vary depending on packages and the trim level you choose, but the 2011 BMX X3 xDrive28i that I took for the week came in at $43,875.
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Rita Cook is a writer/editor with has over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 13-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a radio show in Los Angeles called Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings. Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association, writes for the Dallas Morning News Green Living Section as well as artist profiles and spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books. Her latest release this April is about Fredericksburg, Texas published by Channel Lakes Publishing.
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