Monday, August 15, 2011

Are You Jacques Kallis In Disguise?

On test… BMW X3 xDrive35i

The new BMW X3… it’s the Jacques Kallis of cars. Seriously. Just look at the facts.

1. They’ve both had a recent make-over. You’ve probably noticed that our Jacques has got a new look going with that wonderful thatch of hair that’s suddenly sprouted from his head. Yes, clever men wearing white lab coats spent many hours sculpting that new bonnet. Same with the X3. Earlier this year the Bavarian company unveiled their next generation mid-size SUV – it’s also the product of men in white coats who spent almost as much time sculpting its bonnet.

2. They’ve both gotten a little bigger. If you look back at those photies of a young Jacquie, you’ll notice he was somewhat slimmer when he first started his international career. He’s grown over the years – no doubt thanks to many, many hours in the gym – and Jacquie now fills out his whites a lot more than when he walked out to bat for his first Test in Durbs nearly 16 years ago.

And the X3 also has a bigger boot. In fact it compared to the first generation X3 launched back in 2004, this new SUV is bigger in every way. It’s 83mmm longer, 28mm wider and 12mm higher, which puts it precisely and purposefully between the BMW X5 and the X1 unveiled last year. Beemer’s new mid-size SUV looks all the better for it though. Gone is the slightly-too-tall awkwardness of the previous generation, replaced by the sharp creases and altogether more aggressive styling borrowed from its bigger brother.

3 They’re both the best allrounders around. Say what you like, Jacques remains the best all round cricketer in the world. Fact: he tops the ICC’s rankings for Test allrounders by a long way. If you were looking for one player to do bat, bowl and field for your team, then he’s your go-to-guy.

Similarly, if you’re looking for a car that will take you and you family any where, safely, comfortably and, if you choose, quickly, then the X3 similarly earns the go-to-moniker. Interior space and general ergonomics are several notches above it’s predecessor affording you a generous 550-litre boot that’ll fold out to 1 600-litres with the seats down.

Powered by BMW’s award-winning 225kW, 3.0-litre turbo engine, the X3 can also be a bliksem fast car with a chassis to handle both its engine output and SUV-size weight. The xDrive four-wheel drive system, coupled to a Dynamic Damper Control with either Normal, Sport or Sport+ modes, means you can keep it nice n’ comfy, or stiff enough for some automotive fun. The levels of grip and lack of body roll in this Sport+ mode are amazing

Maybe if Jacques had driven this instead of the that fancy Audi R8 sportscar of his, he wouldn’t have driven into that wall. Just saying.

Hang on. BMW xDrive35i… Jacques Kallis, 35 years old. Sheez, I rest my case.

The BMW xDrive35i starts at R614 182

(as appeared in the July issue of the Kulula in-flight mag)