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2014 Kia Soul, Clear White, 15 mi., $24,595
Review of the 2012 BMW X3
IntroductionX3, a small, premium Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) with all-road capability and unmatched driving dynamics, was a runaway success when it was introduced in 2004. As many as 150,000 original first generation X3s were sold in the US. Worldwide BMW sold 600,000 X3s and the segment became highly competitive with new entrants coming on the scene. BMW has redesigned the X3 and the current model is in its second generation and a carry forward model for 2012. The new 2012 BMW X3 has been built on the solid success of the original by developing its key competencies and also adding new technology. This ace SAV comes in X3 xDrive28i and X3 xDrive35i models.
Exterior Design and Special FeaturesThe 2012 BMW X3 comes with a forward-slanting BMW kidney grille and large headlight assembly combine and BMW X design features including and powerfully flared wheel arches and the short front and rear. The high-class interior of the Drive28i includes automatic climate control with micro-filter and air recirculation, a 12-volt power outlet, leatherette upholstery, 40/20/40 rear seat for increased storage space, 12-speaker anti-theft AM/FM stereo/CD/MP3 audio, iPod and USB adapter, Radio Data System (RDS), tilt/telescopic three-spoke leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel with controls for audio system, cruise control, and Bluetooth wireless communication for hands-free mobile phone (if so equipped). The key features of the xDrive35i are 18-inch alloy wheels, Xenon Adaptive Headlights with auto-leveling, and LED Corona headlight-rings, leatherette upholstery (8-way power adjustable front seats with 2-way manual headrests, and driver-seat and mirror memory and rear-seat backrests with 40/60 split), automatic climate control with micro-filter and air recirculation, and a three-spoke leather-wrapped multi-function sport steering wheel with audio, cruise and optional Bluetooth controls.
EngineThe xDrive28i is motivated by a 240-hp 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine and the xDrive35i derives power from a 300-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine. Both engines are mated to an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission with Steptronic manual shift mode. The latter delivers an EPA estimated 26 mpg on highways. xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive is standard on both models.
SafetyThe standard safety features of the 2012 X3 are front and rear Head Protection System (HPS), front seats active head restraints, airbag supplemental restraint system (SRS) with advanced technology for front seats, BMW's Advanced Safety System for integrated deployment of passive and active safety features, Hill Descent Control (HDC), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), LATCH and anti-theft alarm system.