I recently had twice the pleasure of driving the revised one bmw X3 and X4. The X3, as you know, is called a Sports Activity Vehicle (or SAV as BMW says) and the manufacturer wants the X4 to be called a Sports Activity Coupe (SAC). They are closely related in many ways.
I was very happy with the ride at the end of each test. That was mainly because they both had high-torque two-litre diesel engines, but there were plenty of other things to like about this duo.
I think the X3 is an exceptional SAV to drive, with real balance and momentum. The X4, despite all the talk about its slightly sawn-off looks, is no slouch in this department either.
What I liked most was how the spaciousness of the X3 – the X4 isn’t as good in this department – still didn’t compromise on the handling characteristics. There’s a choice of xLine and M Sport trims if you fancy the X3, while M Sport is the standard specification for the X4. Prices for the X3 range (30e xDrive xLine) start at €61,485 (OTR), while prices for the X4 (20d xDrive M Sport) start at €72,235 (OTR).
The two-liter diesels have an “intelligent” four-wheel drive, mild hybrid technology (48V starter generator), pump 190 hp, have an excellent torque of 400 Nm and an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The energy gained from recuperation and stored in the 48-volt mild hybrid battery can also supply the 12-volt vehicle electrical system and the vehicle functions connected to it.
And it can generate additional propulsion power, while the starter generator can give an additional 11 hp electric boost during acceleration.
But I don’t like the way mild-hybrid is being released by some (not necessarily BMW); it’s not a hybrid in the true sense of the word. Far from it.
Anyway, they’ve redesigned the front and rear for a sturdier look and it mostly works. The X4 inherits the new front fascia of the X3, so it gets the kidney grille extension and a more graphic rear design. The grid is bigger and now consists of a one-piece frame.
Both cars get upgraded equipment; a new navigation system and BMW Live Cockpit Professional with a 12.3-inch display come as standard; Three-zone automatic climate control, while X3 xLine models get special sports seats.
The M Sport versions also have M Sport suspension, remote control including an integrated key, Performance Control, aluminum interior fittings and variable sport steering.
The center console is based on the current 4 series in both models. Standard equipment now includes advanced sports seats; X3 M Sport models and all X4 models come standard with Vernasca leather.
Seats in BMWs have long been an important part of the drive. A long journey in the X3 has shown how robust, comfortable and supportive they can be.
Driving over the face of Ireland in inclement weather showed how maneuverable it was and how easy it was to drive for such a large engine.
Intelligent all-wheel drive helped on narrow, slippery roads, and its rear-wheel alignment added bite to cornering.
By the way: the inclination of the rear seat backrest (partition 40:20:40) can be individually adjusted to give you more space.
All in all, the redesign and upgrade added a lot to the cars in terms of looks and cabin equipment – regardless of whether they were diesel engines.
Opinion: The key to saving fuel is matching the way we think with the way we drive
Many pieces of advice and partial solutions have been suggested to reduce our dependence on and use of fossil fuels in our cars.
Obvious ones like going electric were at the top of most lists.
It’s an obvious “off,” but the stumbling block to actually getting your hands on one remains due to the serious lack of models due to demand and lack of microchips.
And there’s the fact that there’s still a higher percentage of electrical energy being generated from fossil fuels than you’d like.
I think we need to weather the storm for now and, as is widely believed, lower our car fuel bills in many ways.
We just have to adjust our mindset.
Reducing consumption ranges from using our vehicles less often – if we can replace a short drive with a short walk – to the way we drive, slower acceleration and deceleration are also big savings.
My favorite solution is that we drive 10% slower on freeways.
Like I said, we just have to adjust our mindset.
Riders in the Sky: Japan’s Suzuki announce plans for flying cars
Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and accept that what you read is actually happening.
Another step was taken this week to make “flying cars” a broader reality. It has been announced that Suzuki is collaborating with Japanese “flying car” start-up SkyDrive to develop the phenomenon.
The two companies will work in the research, development and commercialization of electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles and vehicles. They signed a contract to work together on the project. Suzuki said they will also put energy into developing new markets.
From today’s perspective, SkyDrive is developing a two-seater, electrically powered flying car.
And there are plans for series production. It’s not clear if Suzuki will be working on this particular vehicle.
The company intends to launch a “flying car” service in Osaka in 2025 when the city hosts the World Expo.
So the day is fast approaching when we can say, “I’ll stop by for a cup of tea?”
https://www.independent.ie/life/motoring/car-reviews/x3-and-x4-a-couple-of-bmws-that-show-theres-more-to-life-than-diesel-41475647.html X3 and X4: A couple of BMWs that show there’s more to life than diesel