The new BMW X3 is a well thought-out car

Mabuyane Kekana

Mabuyane Kekana

What is the best car to drive when exploring the north eastern parts of Limpopo?

Definitely an SAV - Sport Activity Vehicle. That's what BMW calls its X3.

Unlike some manufacturers, BMW did not want to lie about its baby X3. Oh yes, it is a baby, though a little uglier.

BMW's Guy Kilfoil said the X3 was not meant for bundu bashing, but it can take you almost everywhere.

On gravel the new X3 proved to be a well thought-out car. Handling and comfort levels are top of the league.

Additional driving dynamics on country roads, in city traffic and off the beaten track have been guaranteed by new power units delivering their muscle smoothly by way of BMW's xDrive, permanent all-wheel drive with variable power distribution.

The top petrol engines featured in the new BMW X3 are new-generation, straight-six petrol engines displacing 3,0 and 2,5 litres, respectively.

These engines deliver respective maximum outputs of 200kW (plus 30kW over the previous engine) and 160kW (plus 19kW). Two diesel models, the X3 2,0d (110kW) and the X3 3,0d (160kW) are also available.

Effective and faster interaction of BMW's intelligent xDrive all-wheel drive with dynamic stability control and engine management is ensured on all engine variants by Integrated Chassis Managements with its optimised computer technology.

The new BMW X3's special face is characterised by new dual circular headlights with their light sources and reflectors housed beneath a clear glass cover.

This look is further enhanced by fog lamps arranged in a line extending diagonally to the outside from the main headlights to the wheels.

The instrument panel is characterised above all by new decorative trim taking up the colour and materials of the trim on the centre console.

The new BMW X3 is available with a choice of no less than two petrol and two diesel engines.

In all cases, these new power units combine more power with greater torque and reduced weight.

The 2,0litre diesel manual is both responsive and enjoyable to drive.

If you you want to take any of the new X3s home, you will pay anything between R380000 and R550 000.