2012 BMW X3 Long Term Road Test

2012 BMW X3: The 6-4 Question

February 16, 2012


Just today, BMW announced that it would start using its new "N20" turbocharged four cylinder engine as the base offering in the X3. You might have heard of this engine. It first came out in the Z4, then moved to the 5 Series and now stands as the base engine in the all-important 3 Series.

Why just this week, we put the 328i on the dyno and it cranked out a solid 240 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque -- at the wheels. Clearly, BMW is being more than a little conservative with the rating of the N20.

With that in mind, though, it seems like a good fit for the X3. Our 3.0-liter, inline six is rated at 300-hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. That's another conservative rating, so figure a little more on top of that. But does this vehicle really need that much power for daily driving? Hard to tell until we get one to test, but I'm guessing the X3 would get along just fine with the turbo four.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Inside Line @ 2,432 miles

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