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What's New for 2017
The X3 received a mid-generation update in 2015, so the 2017 BMW X3 is fundamentally very similar to the previous two years’ iterations of the model. New for 2017 are a number of technology options, including a wireless charging station and a built-in wi-fi hotspot, both of which are available as options. BMW’s iDrive infotainment system also gets an upgrade, making it more responsive and easier to use.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2017 BMW X3 – The Pros
1. Strong BMW Powertrains
Auto enthusiasts sometimes joke that BMW is an engine company that also happens to build nice cars to put them in. The 2017 BMW X3 gives you a choice between a turbocharged four cylinder with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive that is rated at 240 horsepower or an exclusively all-wheel drive 300-horsepower inline six-cylinder. With zero-to-sixty times ranging between 5.3 and 6.2 seconds, both engines make this a high-performing vehicle worthy of any driving enthusiast.
2. Responsive Handling
The 2017 BMW X3 is not just fast, but also nimble. The steering is quick and nicely weighed even in the base models, while the optional Variable Sports Steering provides an even more engaging driving experience. The suspension, as well as the engine and transmission timings are adjustable through the Driving Dynamics Control, letting you both cruise with your family on Normal and tear up the asphalt on Sport+ with its tighter suspension and aggressive throttle response.
3. Spacious Cabin
The X3 is one of the most spacious and comfortable cars in its class. There is 27.6 cubic feet of storage in the rear that expands to 63.3 cubic feet when the rear seats are down. The seats themselves are comfortable and offer lots of head room and large footwells that can accommodate adults comfortably in the back row. This utility makes the X3 a great multi-purpose vehicle for families, sports enthusiasts and many others.
4. High Material Quality
All the surfaces inside the 2017 X3 are carefully chosen and expertly installed. Every contact surface is soft to the touch and the colors and materials are nicely matched everywhere. Even the vinyl seating surfaces standard on the base model blend in nicely to give the entire interior an elegant ambiance that will certainly be appreciated by any driver or passenger.
5. Quiet and Comfortable Ride
Despite its impressive performance credentials, the 2017 BMW X3 still delivers a very comfortable passenger experience. The suspension does a good job of absorbing road imperfections and the cabin noise insulation does a good job of keeping the sounds of the road away from the occupants’ ears.
6. Comfort and Entertainment Options
The list of optional features for the BMW X3 is an impressive one. Among the items on the menu are a panoramic moonroof that gives the car a very bright and open feel, superb 16-speaker Harman/Kardon audio and a cold-weather package with both front and rear seat heating. There are tons of desirable features to add to your X3, though the car can get rather pricey once you start adding on packages.
7. iDrive Infotainment
Last year’s upgrade to BMW’s iDrive system was a substantial one, giving the 2017 BMW X3 a very intuitive, powerful and responsive system to work with. In addition to the usual infotainment controls, it also features a rotary selection with a touch pad that can be used to write letters or numbers to both give the car commands and enter data, making it very easy to use the contacts or navigation functions. The new upgrade also improved voice command recognition, making it easy to control the car that way.
8. Latest Safety Technology
The 2017 BMW X3 has one of the most comprehensive safety suites available. Including collision detection for both cars and pedestrians, lane change and lane keep assistance, automatic emergency braking and pretty much every other modern safety features, it has been given the top rating of ‘Superior’ by the Insurance Institute for Highway safety. However, while the safety features are comprehensive, few of them are standard, unlike on some competitors.
9. Top Crash Test Scores
In addition to being well-equipped to avoid crashes, the 2017 BMW X3 is very durable even in the unlikely event of a crash. It got the full five stars from the government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the IIHS has given it the top mark on every test it has run.
10. Good Reliability
Luxury vehicles can be expensive to repair, which makes the 2017 X3 a wise investment based on its good reliability scores. JD Power and Associates have given the car an ‘above average’ rating for reliability and it outscores many of the competing cars in this regard. Less time spent at the garage is always a positive.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2017 BMW X3 – The Cons
1. Limited Standard Equipment
While many rivals are offering more and more features on their base models, the BMW X3 is still missing key features from their standard equipment. Without buying any optional packages, the X3 is missing both a leather interior and a rearview camera, which can be found as standard features even on some mass-market models.
2. Unremarkable Mileage
The 2017 BMW X3 falls right around the middle of the segment with its fuel economy. However, it falls behind when compared to the diesel or hybrid options offered by other luxury SUVs. It is equipped with an engine start-stop system to avoid idling the engine, but it can feel really obtrusive during driving, leading many drivers to turn it off.
3. Aging Design
This generation of the X3 is entering its seventh year of production and it shows through in the styling and the general design. The X3 is due for an upgrade soon, so it may be wise to delay a purchase at this time.
4. Poor Rough-Terrain Performance
Many luxury SUVs do a good job of balancing on-road comfort with off-road maneuverability, but the 2017 BMW X3 is not one of them. Buyers who want an SUV to go down unpaved country roads or on wooded trails may want to pass on the X3.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
The 2017 BMW X3 manages to stand out among other compact luxury crossovers by offering great performance, luxury and utility together, while other vehicles find themselves lacking in one area or another. The Audi Q5 is a worthy competitor to the X3 when it comes to performance, but lacks the BMW’s cargo and passenger space. The Mercedes-Benz GLC, on the other hand, is more luxurious and well-equipped, but doesn’t handle nearly as well and also has less cargo capacity. The Jaguar F-Pace may end up topping the X3, as it has a more powerful engine, slightly more cargo space and more standard features, but it is an untested model this year with uncertain reliability.
The 2017 BMW X3 is a great all-around compact crossover SUV that manages to do well in all of the important areas. It has the space for your family, friends and gear as well as the latest comfort and technology features. It can deliver both hair-raising performance and a comfortable quiet ride all at once. This versatility comes with a hefty price tag, especially once you count up all the must-have options, but if you are looking for a luxury SUV that can do it all, there are few other cars like it.
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