$36,800 – $36,800 MSRP
$33,670 – $33,670 Invoice
17 / 25 MPG City/Hwy
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BMW has updated the appearance of its X3 Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV) for 2006 with body-colored (rather than black) front and rear bumpers, vertical chrome grille slats, new wheels, body-colored sills, and a new steering wheel design for X3s equipped with the optional Sport package.
The X3 was introduced as a 2004 model and as BMW's second Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV). The X3 is what BMW calls "trimmer" as well as lighter than the X5. But while the X3 is slightly smaller on the outside, and weighs more than 600 pounds less than its sibling, X3 interior design provides 71 cu. ft. of cargo room (with the rear seats folded down), two more cubic feet than the larger X5.
For 2006, the X3 is available in only one version, the 3.0i. The former entry-level version, the 2.5i, has been discontinued after accounting for only about 20 percent of sales volume, an indication that BMW buyers prefer the more powerful and better appointed upscale version. Power comes from BMW's 225-hp, 3.0L inline six-cylinder engine, mated to either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. As in the X5, power from the engine flows through BMW's xDrive electronic all-wheel drive system that apportions engine power to the wheels with the most traction. The system is engineered to automatically adjust front/rear torque distribution according to road and driving conditions in order to optimize vehicle traction and handling without driver intervention.
The X3 rides on suspension much like what is beneath BMW's acclaimed 3 Series sedans and wagons, though it is uniquely designed for use on the SAV platform. The X3 uses 12.8-in. front and 12.6-in. rear disc brakes and rides on 17-inch wheels, with larger wheels available as an option or as part of a Sport package. The X3 comes standard with leatherette upholstery and dark Maple Sycamore wood trim, as well as eight-way power front seats with memory, and a tilt/telescoping steering column. The X3 cargo hold comes standard with a retractable cover, velour carpeting and side trim, left- and right-side lights (as well as one in the tailgate), and an accessory electrical power outlet; longitudinal rails can be used to secure accessories such as the available two-bicycle rack. Concealed storage is provided in the cargo area's right side, and an available cargo net can be positioned in different ways to separate cargo and seating areas. Side-curtain air bags also are standard equipment.
The X3 competes in the Compact Premium Crossover Utility Vehicle segment, a category that includes only two vehicles, the BMW X3 and the Land Rover Freelander.
According to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM the BMW X3 dominates this segment, selling 30,769 units in calendar year 2005 compared to 2,141 for the Land Rover Freelander.