BMW X3 30i G01 (vs. Porsche Macan) – Review

In my reviews, I’m trying to tell you mainly what’s the feeling of each and single car and what you feel when you meet him/her for the first time.

What does it feel when you meet the X3 G01 for the first time? You feel mainly well-being.

You can feel, harmony, that you have your own world immediately around you every moment you close the door, not too big a world, but very agile. You can experience, no matter where you want to drive, the car stays in the comfort zone, is hassle-free and always waits patiently for your command like a good dog. You can feel that the BMW X3 is a complete offer with all the modern features.

But wait a minute, wasn’t it the Mercedes thing, to feel just right that? Yes definitely, but here, it’s still a bit different.

I’m sure that I have also the infotainment I like and if I need, the BMW DNA with the ZF gearbox. That’s the significant difference when the things have to go a bit wild.

Of course, for me, only as a petrol driven one. As a diesel version, your car is poison for the people around you and you should feel ashamed… Even if the BMW Diesels are best diesels I know, real EURO 6, I just don’t accept diesels in my surroundings, they simply stink while I am running.

Simultaneously, I will compare it with the Macan,

because that comparison is really hot. And I am going to tell you: there is no winner in this duel and I don’t think that anything could change after Macan Lifting…

Moderngranturismo graph – Short summary with a Graph.

BMW X3 30i

BMW X3 30i

The new X3 is a good compromised car, the character is rather more relaxing than a really sporty one, it is amazingly pleasurable to drive that car. What I will remember most is the feeling of “well being” no matter where. Gravel, off-road or motorway. But you cannot forget that it is the BMW. Very good engine and handling will show you the sporty side of this car, even if it is only 2 liters engine there.

Exterior Design

The new BMW X3 looks more modern than the previous generation. But that isn’t a revolution, it should be the middle size tank, and it is. I like the new rear lights and the new front ones. Do I miss something? No. Could be better? Yes, the best designed BMW is for me X5 now.

BMW X3 G01

BMW X3 G01

Interior Design

The G-Generation Interior is completely new level to BMW. Because X3 is younger then the 5 Series, you can find there even prettier 3D wood implementation. The whole interior looks modern, you have there perfect M Steering wheel, Interior in Sensatec.

New I-Drive Infotainment on the big, well integrated screen, all looks compliant and stylish. There is also the first version of BMW virtual cocpit (the new 3 series, X5 and z4 have already second generation). It is not the dream, but I like it. It shows almost all I need, there is only a bit of customisation missing. For example, you can’t have the map always on it. The virtual cockpit shows only turns from the navigation system. The actual fuel economy is also not always shown.

(That is the point where I can’t really compare with Macan. The screen, located right on cockpit was very cool and I appreciate the clear presentation of the data on it, map and graphs (so customisation is better), but it was ok 6 years ago with that poor resolution)

I’m a little bit disappointed as far as the seats are concerned in the X3 one. The seats are hard and have strange profile, because I had the feeling it is too narrow for me, even if I have the narrowest ass in the world, because I have finished more than 60 marathons in my life… There are two additional pieces of leather, sewn on just under my bones. And I feel them.

(Seats are one of the points where the Macan wins for me)

On the other hand, BMW offer there Vernasca leather, it looks much better than old Dakota, even if it’s only optical change.

BMW X3 G01

BMW X3 G01


Driving the new X3 is different than the Porsche Macan. The feeling is, the car is not so heavy, but also not so well glued to the ground. The scale shows only 55 kg difference, but the time in 100 km/h is 0,5 seconds better in the case of the X3. And you can feel it.

The M Suspension has a lot of compression damping. You find it hard even if you see it isn’t really so. It is also responsive, having not really lot of rebound damping. It is not really my favourite suspension type, but always better than the adaptive one, which is way too soft in any occasion at any mode.

When you are an old BMW fan, M-Sport Suspension is the best choice. But it’s clear…

I thought that the X3 is bit less insulated than the 5 Series and Macan.

I have the feeling that the BMW brakes better, but it could be connected with the fact that in Macan you travel quicker, and you didn’t recognize it.

Honestly speaking, you feel the huge weight of these two cars when braking from 140 kph in “sporty half-emergency mode” before each turn on the mountain road.

X3 gives you generally much more feedback from the road and is more sensitive to everything, handling, braking and accelerating.

The driving the X3 was more like driving SUV, the sitting position is high, it gave me more confidence to drive offroad, the visibility is perfect. Driving Macan is like driving a high Porsche. But is that something what the SUV customer is looking for? If you want to drive a Porsche, you ‘d better buy the real low Porsche. And an X3. #noshortcuts.

BMW X3 G01

BMW X3 G01


Is that 2.0 liter engine enough for the X3? Not at all, but much better than for Macan. The engine of the X3, with a same power and less torque is 0,5 seconds faster. And my feeling tells the same. I can accept the 2.0 liter engine in X3, but not in Macan. The difference is significant there.

The BMW engine works better. Gearbox? With that small engines, gearbox doesn’t have a really difficult life. Both are good and much better than in Mercedes.

Assistance Situation

The Driving Assistance Plus system has got all you need: Active Cruise Control, lane keep assistant, blind spot, traffic jam assistant and last but not least: safety braking assistant.

And if you have a car equipped with Driving Assistant plus, your insurance rate can go down by 10 % in Germany. As I have said, that makes your car safer. The best confirmation of my words.

The only disadvantage that I’ve seen, is relatively late lane recognition. But it is enough to accept that car as a complete one, when your priority is the driving.


X3 is really good modern car for any purpose (until you are the lumberer or live in the middle of cold-nothing and need real off-road machine). I had only doubts about the seats and in the end I have to admit, I really appreciate the Macan suspension.

All the rest is better in BMW, which is way more modern.

If I were looking for a SUV, I would choose X3. But I’m not right now. Does it mean that I would buy Macan? Also no, because that is not really a modern car. But it tells us an important thing: do people buy Macan because they are looking for a SUV? Rather no. They are looking for Porsche, to deliver their families to the shopping center or school.

So, is that true that Macan is the best SUV on the market, like many people said?

Best SUV to drive, yes.

Best SUV to travel, no.

BMW X3 G01

BMW X3 G01