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2018 BMW X3: Frankfurt Auto Show

What Is It?

Officially, the 2018 BMW X3 has already been unveiled, but the all-new third generation of this premium compact crossover was introduced to the wider world at the 2017 Frankfurt auto show. As hinted at by the name, the X3 is based on the same platform as the excellent 3 Series.

Styling-wise, this new model doesn’t deviate from the BMW crossover norm. But considering the current X3 is a consistently strong seller, that shouldn’t surprise or upset anyone. From a cargo standpoint, it’s an almost imperceptibly mixed bag. Space behind the rear seats has grown slightly to 28.7 cu ft. (up from 27.6), but maximum cargo space has decreased a touch: 62.7 cu ft. as opposed to 63.3. The available panoramic glass moonroof is bigger than before, though. So is the optional head-up display.

The X3 faithful will certainly be happy to upgrade. Safety features are plentiful and modern, the infotainment system can now be controlled by gestures, 3-zone automatic climate control comes standard, and BMW even offers a factory-installed trailer hitch for the first time. A cool new function is the 360-degree view of the X3’s immediate surroundings displayed on a smartphone.

A more exciting development comes in the form of a version by BMW’s high-performance M operation. It’s not an out-and-out X3 M, but the brand-new 2018 X3 M40i comes in at the top of the range with a 355-horsepower turbocharged 6-cylinder engine, dedicated sport suspension, M Sport exhaust and 19-inch alloy wheels.

How Much?

Nothing official yet. This new model has all-wheel drive as standard; the 2017 X3 with all-wheel drive starts at around $42,000, so expect something in that area.

When Can You Get It?

The 2018 BMW X3 goes on sale November 2017.

Add It to Your Shopping List Because …

The X3 is one of the absolute best compact crossovers because it excels at everything anyone may reasonably ask of it. Even the outgoing generation is still preferable to many newer rivals.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 Acura MDX — An interesting value proposition from an equipment-to-price perspective. Rides sweetly as well.

2018 Audi Q5 — A new generation comes for the 2018 model year. Suave and tasteful.

2017 Lexus NX — No driver’s choice, but pleasant and high-quality.

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class — Exceptionally refined and commendably classy.

2018 Volvo XC60 — All new for 2018. Improves on a highly capable predecessor and comes with Volvo’s new styling approach.

Colin Ryan
Colin Ryan specializes in writing about new cars. But he has also covered trucks, vans, 3-wheelers, even the occasional motorbike. That’s the kind of thing that happens while contributing to the Los Angeles Times, Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Popular Mechanics, Variety, Mazda and Lexus customer magazines, as well as many enthusiast sites and publications. He was also a staff writer at BBC Top... Read More about Colin Ryan

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