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BMW X3
2004-2005 BMW X3 3.0i (US)
Production 2004-present
Body style(s) four-door SUV
Layout FR layout
Platform BMW E83
BMW F25

The BMW X3 is a compact crossover SUV marketed by the German automaker BMW, based on the BMW 3-Series E46 automobile platform, and now in its first generation. BMW designed the X3 in conjunction with Magna Steyr of Graz, Austria — who manufactures all X3s under contract to BMW.

Following the X5, the X3 was the second vehicle marketed by BMW as a Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV).

Contents

History and development

BMW presented the precursor to the X3 as a concept vehicle unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in 2003. Dubbed the xActivity, BMW previewed a SAV based on the 3 Series platform, without windows and a vestigial roof.[citation needed]

As BMW used parts from the E39 5 Series in making the X5, likewise BMW engineers employed 3 Series parts with the X3, e.g., the rear suspension from the E46 330xi.[citation needed]

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xDrive

When the BMW X3 premiered in late 2003, BMW announced that it would employ a new 4 wheel drive system to power it and the X5, a system marketed as xDrive that would intervene transparently to the driver before the driver was aware of instability.[citation needed]

E83, First generation (2004-2010)

BMW 83 EX3
2006-2008 BMW X3 3.0si (US)
Manufacturer Magna Steyr
Production 2003–2010
Assembly Graz, Austria
Class Compact crossover SUV
Body style(s) 4-door SUV
Platform BMW E83
Related BMW 3-Series

The BMW X3 was initially criticized for its harsh ride, an austere, minimalist interior that relied heavily on obviously plastic components, and limited off-road usage, through its heavily road-biased chassis set-up. Critics also felt the car was overpriced; a basic 2.5i, which lacked cruise control or automatic headlights and had vinyl upholstery, exceeded $30,000 in the U.S. (Vinyl has never been offered in other markets). BMW sought to rectify these complaints in 2005, with various upgrades. The X3 also disappointed some BMW purists by not being assembled at a BMW factory; instead, the car's production was outsourced to Magna Steyr, based in Graz, Austria. However, Magna Steyr has won numerous awards for quality and has been the highest rated car assembly factory in Europe.

The automotive press has provided mixed views of the X3. Jeremy Clarkson even said that the X3 was for people who are clinically insane after his road test of it. He also criticized it for its harsh ride, and pointed to the poor off-road ability. He got stuck multiple times because of deep mud and used summer tires. Automotive press generally liked xDrive capability, safe bottom for rough terrain and hill-descent control, but pointed to its only real down side against typical off-road cars: missing gear reduction which allows a vehicle to drive very slowly on rough terrain without using the clutch (on manual gearbox) or warming up the gearbox (automatic gearbox).

The X3 3.0i won the Canadian Car of the Year Best New Sport Utility Vehicle award for 2005.

In 2007, BMW did a significant mid cycle refresh of the X3. Multiple upgrades included update body bumpers, engine, interiors, and suspension.

F25, Second generation (2011)

The F25 platform is the second generation of BMW X3 being released in 2011. For this generation production will move from Austria to BMW's US factory in Spartanburg, SC which currently produces the X5 and X6.[1]

X3 Cross Country

X3 CC in the 2007 Dakar Rally

The X3 Cross Country, also known as the X3 CC is an X3 prepared for rally raid competition.[2][3] It features a 2.9 liter inline-6(debore and destroked M57TU2D30 engine from 3.0 litre to 2.9 litre), twin turbocharged diesel engine.[4]

Notes

The E83 BMW X3 was the first BMW produced that has been cosmetically changed for every model year in production. For example the 2005 and 2006 BMW X5 models are identical, as opposed to the X3 which is visibly different for 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

References

External links


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