POSTED: Monday, March 28, 2011 - 4:53pm
UPDATED: Monday, March 28, 2011 - 4:59pm
The BMW X3 is something that I firmly believe goes against nature. It is a BMW truck. You will forgive this inevitable lapse into old fogeydom, but BMW has been since the 1920’s, a purveyor of sporting sedans and sports cars. It is not GMC.
But, it is a nice SUV with full-time all-wheel-drive, stability control, hill descent control, 4-wheel vented disc brakes, killer sound system, huge moonroof and a lot of leather and wood. All assembled beautifully and priced at roughly $44,000.
We also got all that on the new Jeep Grand Cherokee a couple of weeks ago, for around $45K. And it’s roomier, and the Hemi makes more power. But as good as the Jeep is, and it is excellent, to friends, colleagues, rivals and women you hope to impress, it is not a BMW.
But, our truck did have that monument to driver distraction, the goofy one-knob I-drive system, that controls sound, information and lord knows what all by turning, twisting, tilting, pressing and cursing this little knob. It’s awful and everyone thinks so. I hope a legendary company like BMW comes to their senses soon.
The 3-liter inline 6-cylinder engine produces 240-horsepower, which isn’t overwhelming, but will pull this family-hauler to 60 miles per hour in 6.7 seconds. Like all BMW engines, it is butter-smooth and as responsive as a politician to a lobbyist.
And yes, I said family hauler because truth be told, this is a substitute for a station wagon, since most Americans associate wagons with Ward Cleaver and wouldn’t be caught dead in one.
The X3 handles very well, and could no doubt acquit itself reasonably off road, but come now. Is anyone really going to take this 44-grand trucklet into the boonies? If you answered yes, I have some swampland near Houston you might be interested in.
But if you have the wherewithal for the X3, you really won’t regret it. You won’t regret the 19 miles per gallon in the city, or the silly I-drive system. Well OK, you might regret that.