2011 BMW X3 Review and Road Test – The Road to Berchtesgaden

By Christian Stampfer on 19 January 2011
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The streets around Munich were heavily covered with snow as I picked up our second-generation BMW X3 xDrive20d but I wasn’t worried. It was the perfect weather for the X3 to demonstrate its abilities.

The X3 came in an elegant space grey with beige interior leather.  The look is softer; sharp angles have been replaced by soft contours and the awkward appearance of the last generation is gone. The new X3 looks just right.

Our X3 was very well equipped including many options which were not available on the previous model, such as the rear-view camera with top-view option, which provides the driver with a birds-eye image of the vehicle’s surroundings, a heads-up display, and electronic damping control (Dynamische-Dämpfer-Kontrolle), which, using data that the X3 is constantly collecting ranging from the position of the steering wheel to the strength of lateral forces, calculates and constantly adjusts the suspension for a smooth and sporty ride.

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Other features in the X3 included BMW Assist, adaptive Xenon headlights, the latest generation iDrive with navigation and BMW ConnectedDrive, and Bluetooth that supports streaming audio in addition to excellent connectivity with most mobile phones.

The 2011 X3 is the second generation of BMW’s smaller sports activity vehicle and officially premiered in U.S. and European markets at the beginning of November.  Two petrol versions of the X3, the X3 xDrive28i and the X3 xDrive35i, have so far been launched in the U.S. but a diesel version is rumored to be in the making.

My plan was to drive the X3 diesel from Munich to Berchtesgaden and then to Austria.  I actually started my trip from Gilching, a town outside Munich near Starnberg, Bavaria.  From there, I headed towards the A96 in the direction of Munich.

The heads-up display provided satnav directions and driving speed as we proceeded.  In case we needed any information along the way, ConnectedDrive provided in-car Internet access and Web browsing.

Click here to continue to Page 2 – Driving the BMW X3 to Berchtsgaden

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