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The BMW X3 is a fun-to-drive, upscale crossover SUV that made its first appearance in 2003. Are you looking to insure a BMW X3? If so, take a few moments to read on before entering your zip code to find insurance quotes for your area. You’ll learn about reviews, safety features and considerations that may affect your insurance costs for this compact luxury SUV.
Not much can be added to the accolades and awards bestowed upon the BMW 3 sedan over the years. To get a complete picture of the BMW X3 SUV, it’s important to remember that it and the popular 3-series sedan are siblings built on the same platform with many parts in common. The BMW X3 is as dynamic and performance-oriented as the sporty BMW 3 sedan but with a shift in emphasis and target market. Consumers who need practical SUV gear-hauling capacity added to their BMW luxury driving experience can have it all with the X3 compact crossover SUV.
What’s New for 2011
The BMW X3 has been substantially re-designed for 2011. Earlier-year models, while respectable, were in need of updating in light of strong competition from Audi, Infiniti, Volvo, and other upscale compact crossover manufacturers. The BMW X3 was a trendsetter in 2003; with this year’s model the folks at BMW have re-captured some of that excitement by increasing interior size, comfort and cargo space. The new suspension is not so harsh as before, but does preserve the sporty feel. What’s more, the standard manual transmission has been replaced by an eight-speed automatic that offers paddle shifters for manual up- and down-shifting as well as the option for different driving modes to increase the performance driving experience. Reviews of the new transmission, suspension, and interior and exterior styling are all favorable. Reviewers like the responsiveness of the eight-speed transmission as well as the roominess of the interior, added standard features like Bluetooth and iPod interface, and a slightly lower price that includes more standard features.
The 2011 BMW X3 is available in two models: the xDrive28i has a 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engine, and the xDrive 35i comes in a 3.0-liter turbo-charged six cylinder version. Both have BMW’s all-wheel drive system as the standard offering. Both have adequate fuel economy (19/25 and 19/26 respectively) and seat five people comfortably enough to be useful as a small family vehicle. Prices start around $37,500 for the 28i and $42,000 for the35i.
Crash Testing and Safety Features
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has performed crash tests on the new X3 model as of yet. Crash tests for prior years from the IIHS were well rated, but no data exists for past years from the NHTSA. The NHTSA has come out with new, stricter test criteria for 2011, so many cars may receive different safety grades in comparison to prior years. Consumers interested in the new safety standards as well as updates to crash test results can check the NHTSA website www.safercars.gov for more information. Test results under the new system will become available for many vehicles as the year unfolds.
The BMW X3 has some safety features worth noting: antilock disc brakes, six airbags, electronic stability control, a crash sensor that disconnects the alternator and fuel pump, unlocks doors and turns on the hazard lights in the event of an accident, hill descent control, LATCH for child safety seats, tire pressure monitor, active head restraints in front and a head protection system in front and rear.
Insurance Rates for the BMW X3
The average insurance rate for the BMW 3 sedan nationwide ranges between $1500 and $1800. However, its SUV sibling the X3 crossover is less expensive, averaging nationwide between $1200 and 1300. It is important to remember that this average is only the starting point in your insurance comparison process. A number of variables can shift the cost significantly above or below the national average. These include the state and town in which you live, the age and driving record of drivers, whether or not the car is used for commuting, annual mileage, credit history, multiple-car discounts, and whatever other factors insurance companies determine to be accurate predictors of risk.
As an example of the potential variability in rates, insuring a car in Louisiana or Montana can be double the cost of insuring it in Maine or Arizona. A new driver can pay significantly more than a middle-aged driver with a clean record. On a positive note, low-mileage and multi-policy discounts, especially if you bundle homeowner’s and auto insurance, can reap significant savings.
In addition to these considerations, the insurance companies are in heavy competition for your business, so it is more worthwhile than ever to compare rates and terms to get the best policy at the best price. To begin comparing insurance quotes for a BMW X3, simply enter your zip code in the box. Happy shopping!