The Cape wine-lands, certainly one of the most beautiful corners of South Africa, can be viewed in a few different ways. From hotel room terraces to wine estate cellars, there is no shortage of grandeur – a bit like test-driving the new BMW X3.
- The new refreshed BMW X3 comes with all the good things we’ve come to expect from BMW with an enhanced look and some extra zhush.
- Even from the front, the dynamic presence and focused expression of the new BMW X3 are thrillingly obvious.
- With an array of models on offer, there’s a BMW X3 for every motoring taste and affluent pocket.
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Having missed the official launch a few months back, it was great to finally test-drive the refreshed BMW X3 in one of the country’s most scenic provinces. The BMW X3 ranks as one of the best-selling releases globally by the German auto-giant, and certainly does equally well at the Southern tip of Africa, often ranking as one of the top selling mid-sized premium SUV’s.
The BMW X3 xDrive 20d, with its diesel engine and 140kW power output, arrived at the Belmond Mount Nelson just in time for a drive around the mountain to the leafy suburbs of Constantia – home for the next few days, before heading on-wards to Stanford, providing a scenic drive on pothole-less roads and some well-maintained dirt roads.
The BMW X3 felt at home in the suburban side-roads of Constantia, as much as the open roads leading up to the Garden Route, accelerating to a pace with ease, switching over to the cruise control functionality and back with little effort. The smooth and precision handling of the BMW X3 sets the tone for the rest of the vehicle, which as a luxury vehicle, offers a seamless experience from start to finish, be it connecting Apple CarPlay, configuring custom settings, discovering new features or familiarising yourself with old favourites.
The center console controls and gear shift are well positioned and comfortable to interface with, leaving enough space for storage, be it that hazelnut almond milk latte or iPhone. The interior of the vehicle mirrors the class and elegance of the exterior, as the ‘updation’ of the BMW X3, starting with the rear lights all the way to the front kidney grille, oozes a seductive yet sophisticated design. The rear lights, reminiscent of a comet outline, give the back of the BMW X3 a very hot and modernistic feel.
The BMW X3, with its price tag starting at R895’658 for the X3 sDrive 18d, and coming in at R1’415’042 for the top end X3 M40i, is certainly not a low-cost SUV. Yet much like the hillside breakfast view of the Constantia Lion View Villa, the luxury and engineering of the BMW X3 comes at a price, and much like the breath-taking views over the Hermanus Lagoon to the flowing waterfalls down the ‘Vark se Snoet’, beauty overrides rationale at the best of times.
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