BMW X3 review: 5 cool features we love about the SUV
Time for inspection
1. That key
One of the first things you'll notice about the new, third-generation BMW isn't so much how it looks virtually indistinguishable from its predecessor, but rather its key. It's enormous, and you'll rightly be wondering what on earth a smartphone is doing masquerading as a car's keyfob. That's because it is a smartphone... sort of. Turning it on reveals a central touchscreen that allows you to see if the car is locked (or not), its remaining range, and lets you schedule the ventilation system so your car is cool(er) when you set off.
2. Those puddle lights
Some cars, like the Audi R8, are content with projecting the brand's logo; other cars, like the Jaguar E-Pace showcase funky graphics. The BMW X3, however, trumps them all for sheer size with stylised motion lines that start near the middle of the front doors and stretch all the way to the back of the car. Some will no doubt find the yuge-ness of the puddle light graphics obnoxious, but we're willing to bet an equal number will also say that bigger is better.
3. That space
With prices ranging from $206,888 to $246,888, the BMW X3 represents cracking value — easily one of the best cars out there in the dollar-to-size stakes. A 550 litre boot and a spacious rear bench ensures there's room enough for the brood and their attendant luggage. Even from the driver's seat, the X3 conspires to give the impression it's a far larger car than its exterior dimensions might suggest. Add to that a tall driving position and the X3 is a great confidence booster on the road. It's like that first drink at the bar — enough to give you a little courage, but not enough to let you get stupid.
4. Those swivelling 360-view cameras
Having a reverse camera isn't unusual these days. Having one mounted in the nose to prevent you from smashing into inconveniently placed pillars isn't either. Having side view cameras (mounted underneath the wing mirrors) in conjunction with the aforementioned front/rear ones to give a bird's eye view of the car isn't revolutionary as well. But what the X3 does with its cameras is a little more unusual — it swivels with the turning of the wheel, instead of being fixed in place. A nice little touch that also happens to be really useful.
5. Those X3 logos
We hope you like model badges, because the X3 has a whole lotta them. There's one on the boot, as is customary, but there's more badges scattered throughout the cabin, if you care to play "hunt the X". The most prominent one being located just above the cupholders in the centre console. One more is visible only when the door is open, just below the A-pillars. But the sneakiest one is located on outside edge of the B-pillars, embossed into the metalwork.
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