The 2018 BMW X3 Get New Small Details But Big Changes

The Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) segment is bursting with offerings from pretty much every manufacturer, if you’re looking to sell vehicles, it’s a strong market with even stronger competition. BMW understand this problem, and they’re now moving toward Sports Activity rather than Utility.

Does that mean that the 2018 BMW X3 is any different to all the other SUV’s out there? Not really – it’s just an easy marketing ploy for BMW. Having said that, even the lowliest U.S. specification X3 has 240 horsepower, so none of the X3 models are shy in the power department. But can they take the fight to the competition?

Testing the new 2018 BMW X3


1. Testing the new X3
2. How Different it is
3. Diesel? Hybrid?
4. Tech Packed
5. Pricing

The 2018 X3 has been seen testing in public recently – running through what must be a set of climate test procedures in South Africa, Germany and America. Despite being camouflaged, we can clearly see that BMW have been busy, although some of the changes aren’t that easy to spot; you’d be hard pressed to see them, even against a current model.

The new model is actually slightly longer and wider, with the rear quarter roofline being slightly lower – the overall impression is one of a squat, muscular look. It definitely does look sportier than the current model.

We can also see that the front-end has been reworked slightly, we think to better incorporate new pedestrian safety regulations, although while there, BMW have made the traditional kidney shape grille a little larger, along with updating the headlights – making them slightly slimmer.

The last major remodelling for the X3 happened in 2015, so a decent update is about due now, although we think that for 2019, the X3 will be all-new.

How different is the BMW X3 for 2018?

The spy-shots that have been released also give us a good indication as to what we’ll see inside the updated 2018 X3 as well.

It seems that BMW are changing the steering wheel, redesigning the instrument cluster and making it a digital gauge, along with improving the upholstery and trim accents. There does seem to be a few changes surrounding the center console and minor detail changes like the buttons and switches.

From what we understand, the updates for the 2018 BMW X3 are exterior styling based, with a little mechanical upgrading, while the interior is having minimal changes – this is more than likely due to BMW upgrading the whole thing significantly for 2019.

Diesel? Hybrid?

As for what lays under the hood – again it seems as though BMW are saving a few tricks for the next big release, but we do know that a plug-in hybrid is on the cards for the 2018 X3.

The current engine line-up consists of a 2.0 liter turbocharged inline four with 240 horsepower, a 3.0 liter inline six cylinder that’s been turbocharged and another turbo, the diesel with 180 horsepower. It seems that BMW won’t be using the diesel here in the U.S. but the other engines should get a few tweaks to the fuelling to bring the horsepower levels up slightly.

Despite being slightly larger and more powerful, gas mileage figures should remain fairly static thanks to a reduced weight – industry sources say that it could be as much as 200 pounds lighter, the 2.0 liter having a figure of 21/25/24 MPG – that’s city, highway and combined.

The big news is the hybrid, but BMW are keeping that to themselves for a while. We’re pretty sure it’s happening, buy may not be available at the first launch. We know that BMW are working hard to make sure that the hybrid does what it’s meant to without causing any issues – the last thing they need when introducing new technology is to have teething troubles, especially for a manufacturer like BMW.

As to how BMW will hybridize the X3 remains to be seen. It’s pretty certain that the electric power will drive the front wheels only – of course the BMW will be rear-wheel drive as standard, and our money would be on a single electric motor rather than a motor for each wheel. But it all depends on what BMW want to actually achieve with the hybrid; will it help to give it a power boost, or is it designed to help with gas mileage? We think that BMW will see it as a little of both – improving their global emissions (and corporate branding) along with making the little X3 a bit more … punchy.

Tech Packed

With an eye towards technology and equipment, you can expect all the usual toys and features to be fitted, although as with all brands, you’re going to have to pay heavily for the latest in technology.

Expect to see a rear-view camera, front and rear parking sensors, frontal pre-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alerts, adaptive cruise-control, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, keyless entry, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, USB ports, satellite radio and navigation.

There will also be the obligatory touchscreen infotainment system, although screen size is unknown at the moment, and of course, for a few extra dollars, you’ll be able to upgrade the screen size anyway.

2018 Pricing for the BMW X3

We aren’t sure about what trim levels BMW will offer on the 2018 X3, but pricing for the base model will start in the region of $39,000 and rise to around $48,000 although we aren’t sure if that’s a fully-loaded top of the line model or just a top trim level that can be added to again. We’d doubt that BMW would want to break the $50,000 mark for a compact crossover, no matter what engineering pedigree lay behind it – people will vote with their feet (or wallets) and look elsewhere.

The luxury compact SUV / SAV segment is pretty competitive, and although the Acura badge may not rival the BMW badge, the RDX would be its strongest competition.

Expect to see the 2018 BMW X3 arriving at a dealer near you soon – sources say that BMW will debut the model in June of this year, with a full nationwide roll-out a month later – it should be available end of July at the latest.

2017-05-12 by Luke Widmeyer