The exterior design is modern and should be fashionable for a while. The interior is sumptuous, with finishes in leather, aluminium and high-quality plastic in some areas.
The test model came with a long list of optional extras, such as the panorama glass roof and head-up display that shows essential information, like speed and cruise control, on the windscreen so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road.
The graphics in the infotainment system feel futuristic and fresh and are arguably the best in this segment.
It has a plethora of impressive safety features, including adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist.
Then there is the BMW gesture control. I thought it would be one of those gimmicks to sell cars that doesn’t work, but it does. The optional sport seats for the front passengers wrapped me in total comfort and the rear ones are as good. Your expensive bags can be comfortably accommodated in the cavernous boot. The optional Harman Kardon sound system is amazing.
The 2.0 litre diesel is fairly frugal on long-distance drives and the 140kW/400Nm makes it no tortoise on the open roads. It was also very comfortable on bumpy dirt roads.
This highly refined and sophisticated German model is manufactured here in South Africa and exported to the world. BMW has produced a very good vehicle in the X3 and you would be hard-pressed to find a SUV to top this.
The price starts at R690,200 but the optional features included in the model I drove pushed it to R954,814, which is not pocket change.
One of the most hotly anticipated compact premium SUVs has finally landed in South Africa. The E-pace is distinctly Jaguar, with a strong resemblance to the F-type, but in a more compact SUV style. However the rear third of the vehicle looks a bit squashed from the side.