NEW FOR 2009:

– Offered in a single trim line, called X3 xDrive 30i
– Standard six-speed automatic transmission, heated steering wheel, Space Grey metallic interior trim, power seats with driver memory, automatic climate control, privacy glass and 17-inch V-spoke alloy wheels
– Xenon headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, wood trim, storage compartment package and chrome line exterior discontinued as standard equipment and added to optional packages
– Optional Executive Package now includes alarm system and 18-inch Y-spoke alloy wheels
– Exterior colours: Mineral Green replaces Highland Green; Space Grey replaces Silver Grey; Vermillion Red replaces Crimson Red
– Interior trim: Walnut Light wood replaces Ash wood
– Upholstery colours: Saddle Brown replaces Terracotta; Oyster replaces Tobacco; Sand Beige/Black discontinued

For 2009, the BMW X3 is offered in a single variant, now renamed the X3 xDrive 30i.

The X3 xDrive 30i uses a 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine that is now mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission, instead of the six-speed manual that was the default choice for 2008.

Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, automatic headlamps, adaptive brake lights, heated mirrors, rain-sensing wipers with heated washer jets, rear washer/wiper, rollover sensor, tire pressure warning system, self-charging keyless fob, privacy glass, roof rails, cruise control, heated multifunction leather-wrapped wheel, illuminated vanity mirrors, split-folding rear seats, power windows, heated eight-way power leatherette seats, and CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input.

Available option packages add such features as a navigation system, panoramic sunroof, xenon headlamps, heated rear seats, premium sound package and an M sports package.

The X3 compares favourably to competitors in the premium midsize SUV segment, especially with the new level of standard features; it’s nicely sized, comfortable and with an engine that works well in this envelope. The xDrive is a torque management system that switches seamlessly from rear- to all-wheel drive when necessary, and powers up or brakes a specific wheel before any start to lose their grip for proactive surefootedness in slippery conditions.

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