The all new BMW X3 is a dynamic car and a pretty jewel to own says FUNKE OSAE-BROWN
Our plane touched down at the O.R Tambo International airport for what could by called an experience of a life time. It was half past four in the morning, the movement of our feet disrupts the quietness of the airport. The immigration officers were at alert, their voices stronger and louder than the sound of our tired feet ruffling the tiled floor.
After getting my passport stamped, I met Stella of BMW SA who was on the same flight with me returning home to South Africa after days of meeting with their Nigerian partner, Coscharis Motors. Stella and I walked through the O.R Tambo airport to join the elevator which took us to the upper floor where our hotel is located. We spent four hours at the hotel before we boarded a 11.15am flight to George.
An hour and a half later, we arrived in George, a city in the Western Cape province situated halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth on the Garden route. More than four BMW X5 cars were waiting to receive us. We hopped into one of them and our journey to the Redberry Farm began. I took in the beautiful landscape as we drove on.
The Redberry farm was all shades of beauty. It is a commercial strawberry grower and popular family entertainment venue for residents of the city and visitors like us. By the entrance of the café is a sign post “You cannot make everyone happy, You’re not a tub of ice cream.” Stella and I laughed at this. Some other journalists from Cote D’Ivoire, Cameroon and Ghana were in our group. We moved into the large hall, registered and waited for the test drive of the X3 to commence.
Outside the little hall, was Edward Makwana, group product communication manager, BMW, South Africa. He was deep in a chat with another journalist. I had some servings of the famous redberry smoothie with pizza and cake. Just as I was gulping the last drop of the smoothie, Edward, walked in to welcome us and intimate us with the driving route from Redberry farm, George to Conrad Pezula hotel, Kysna where the unveiling would be done later that evening.
Benjamin, a journalist from The Guardian newspaper Nigeria was my drive partner. I chose to make the first go at the car. The map for our route has been programmed into each car. There was a voice prompter that told us which turn to take along the way.
It was a three-hour drive from George to Kysna. It afforded me the opportunity to experience the car and enjoy the scenic beauty of the country side. We drove through farms, private properties, mountains, hills viewing the mountainous landscape juxtaposed against the blue skyline.
The BMW X3 is indeed a great car to drive and a cute sporty jewel on the road. It is agile on the road. Earlier we were told by Edward that the BMW X3 was the car that launched the mid-size SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) segment in 2003. Since then, BMW has recorded more than 1.5 million new registrations of the X3 across the two model generations so far.
With the 2018 model of the BMW X3, the brand is surely set to write the next chapter in its success story with an even more striking, dynamic design language, powerful yet also efficient drive systems and luxurious appointments. The X3 comes in different variants of BMW X3 M40i, BMW X3 xDrive30i, BMW X3 xDrive20i, BMW X3 sDrive20i, BMW X3 xDrive30d, and BMW X3 xDrive20d.
The new BMW X3 uplifts the already cheek dynamic design of its predecessor to new, even more eye-catching terrain. The third generation of the pioneering premium mid-size Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) treads a familiar BMW X family path in combining rugged off-road looks with sporting presence.
The car’s exterior looks largely unchanged. However, its five-centimetre-longer wheelbase, long bonnet and extremely short front overhang now comes with more finely balanced proportions. There now an emphasis on the perfect 50:50 distribution of the weight between the front and rear axle giving it an edge over its predecessor.
What I also found interesting about the car is the front end. The chunky three-dimensional kidney grille treatment and foglamps features a hexagonal design for the first time on a BMW X model. The light clusters at the rear have three-dimensional look in optional full-LED guise that give them that substantial visual impact.
The xLine model which I drove has a remarkable visual character. The radiator grille and other exterior details in Aluminium satinated, light-alloy wheels, emphasise the robustness of the Sports Activity Vehicle. The BMW X3 is now also available in Luxury Line trim, whose chrome radiator grille bars, two-tone underbody protection and classically designed light-alloy wheels shine an even brighter spotlight on the elegance of the exterior design.
Driving through rough terrains at Klipdrif, I put to test some of the dynamic handling qualities of the new BMW X3.
The chassis and the xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system, which made its debut in 2003 when the first generation of the BMW X3 was launched, comes in handy to for me to have a good grip on slippery gravel filled road. Likewise, the standard Driving Experience Control switch enabled me choose between the various configurations – Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport And Sport+ modes. These configurations make the vehicle more dynamic, more comfortable or more efficient to drive.
Truly, the new car has nice off-road skills. The high ground clearance of 204 millimetres helps to ensure unhindered progress, not only when travelling along rutted gravel or sand tracks, over churned-up ground or on city roads with high speed bumps. The BMW X3 will be a darling of Nigerian roads.
BMW Personal CoPilot makes the car an interesting toy to have. It is a comprehensive line-up of driver assistance systems. The driver assistance and (semi-)automated driving, comes with the latest generation of Active Cruise Control (ACC), which makes braking the car to a halt in stop-and-go traffic and automatically pulling away again possible.
An interface with the smartphone is possible. You can have access to the contents on your phone by using the BMW Connected. With the help of the Open Mobility Cloud platform, the digital services connect to the BMW X3 via devices such as smartphones or smartwatches, resulting in seamless connectivity.
The interior of the new BMW X3 is truly comfortable and princely. The cockpit layout is superb making the interior really inviting. The hexagonal forms and precise, bevelled edges also play a central role in the interior. The interior displays exceptional material quality and fit and finish, and impresses functionality-wise.
The X3 will be available in the Nigerian market first quarter 2018.