It’s no secret that the sales of 2010 model X3 have not made anyone at BMW happy. After the numbers peaked at lowly six thousand or so units last year, the big brass at the Bavarian automakers concluded that the public just isn’t feeling the X3, and send it back to the drawing board for a long, hard look. The designers spent a lot of time and effort with it, and in effect completely redefined everything we know about the X3. The all new BMW X3 that came out in 2011 aims to give the public everything it’s predecessor failed to do. It’s got an improved handling, an new engine with plenty more horsepower, and is even more fuel efficient than the previous, weaker model. It also looks much better, thanks to its longer and wider body.
BMW feels confident that all those changes should be more enough fort the X3 to be able to take the rivals in the luxury SUV class head on. This market segment doesn’t lack in competition, being inhabited by such heavyweights as are the Mercedes GLK 350, the Lexus RX 350 and the Nissan EX35. Even so, the new BMW X3 seems to be a success. In the first quarter of 2011, BMW has sold over four times more X3 units than in the same period of the previous year. The sales have been so good that the reports state that BMW sold more X3s in the first three months upon it’s release than the previous version sold in the whole year in the US market.
The 2011 BMW X3 is powered by the naturally aspirated three liter, two hundred and forty horsepower in line six cylinder engine that’s built with both power and fuel efficiency in mind. If the base model is too tame for you, you can also opt for the sporty BMW xDrive 35i, with it’s high performance three liter, three hundred horsepower turbocharged six cylinder beast. The xDrive 35i puts more horsepower out of it’s engine than any other car in the luxury SUV segment, making it a clear choice for those drivers that are looking for the ultimate in performance.
Both options of X3 come standard with an all wheel drive and a modern, eight speed automatic transmission with a manual shift option. Even though its longer and more powerful than it’s predecessor, the new 2011 X3 is rated at 20 miles per gallon in city driving conditions, and an very good 26 miles per gallon on the highway, making it truly the most fuel efficient BMW SUV yet.
Apart from the engine, the most impressive new features of the 2011 BMW X3 is the all-new, completely redesigned suspension system. The claims from BMW state that the new electronically powered, computer controlled damping system is so responsive that it’s able to adjust to bumps and potholes that the front wheels hit before the rear wheels hit it, resulting in a smooth, but still sporty ride.