A small, sporty crossover SUV, BMW's X3 continues to evolve from its introduction six years ago, particularly as to its drivetrain, suspension, and interior. For 2011, the X3 has been given a complete makeover that includes an optional new engine, upgraded transmission and suspension, and many other changes.
The 2011 BMW X3 comes in two trim levels: the xDrive28i and the xDrive35i. The base model features 17-inch alloy wheels, leatherette upholstery, automatic climate control, cruise control, power accessories including 8-way front seats, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 12-speaker sound system. The xDrive35i upgrades to 18-inch wheels and adds adaptive Xenon headlights. Option packages include Sport Activity (roof rails, sport front seats, sport transmission); Premium (leather upholstery, auto-dimming mirrors, panoramic sunroof); Cold Weather (heated front and rear seats); and Technology (added safety features and a navigation system). Nineteen-inch alloy wheels are available, as are higher-performance tires. Other options include premium audio, navigation system, heated seats and steering wheel, keyless entry and ignition, and a rearview camera. The X3 can tow 3500 pounds, and has a total of 63.3 cubic feet of cargo space, according to BMW.
All-wheel drive is standard on the 2011 BMW X3, as is a new 8-speed automatic transmission with manual shifters. The standard engine is a 240-horsepower, 3.0-liter, aluminum/magnesium, inline 6-cylinder unit that produces 221 lb.-ft. of torque. Optional is a turbocharged, 300-horsepower version of that engine, which produces 300 lb.-ft. of torque. For both engines, EPA fuel-economy estimates are 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
Standard safety features on the 2011 BMW X3 include anti-lock disc brakes, stability control and hill-descent control, front side air bags, side curtain air bags, and active front head restraints.
The 2011 BMW X3 had a starting MSRP of around $36,750.