We have remained impressed with
the Intelligent Throttle Control (i TC)
throttle-by-wire system. With i TC, if the
driver’s foot is bouncing around, the
system filters the input to smooth the
response. Performance can be further
smoothed by selecting the fuel-miserly
Eco mode, but we haven’t met anyone
who has used it. There are two different
ignition keys. The mellow key lets you
relax a little if somebody else is driving
your X3, and the other key is for you to
have fun with. Both keys are digitally
encoded to aid theft prevention.
Can-Am’s frame design makes for a
profile that looks low, sleek and racy.
Climbing in can be a little tight, but
once inside, the comfortable interior
spaces are very inviting with ample legroom for taller drivers. Can-Am aimed
for a low seated position. The molded
seats slide front to rear 6 inches without tools, and with tools, they have a
height range that varies 2 inches. The
seats are already low enough to make
it harder than we like to see from inside
the car. We wouldn’t want to drop the
seats any lower.
The seat cushions are removable for
easy cleaning. When the car is new, the
seats adjust easily, but (like some other
brands) after some time in the dirt,
the seats don’t slide as easily. There is
plenty of room for drivers over 6 feet
tall, and we like the passenger grab
bars and angled footrests for the driver
ALL ABOUT THE WHOLE
We spent time with the new X3 in
giant truck whoops in the desert, we
rallied through washes and on desert
trails, and we even had fun with some
rock crawling. Finally, we hit the sand
dunes to get a good feel for the new
machine. Compared to machines from
the big “P,” the X3 feels like it is lower
in general with a lower center of gravity.
As a result of that feel and the wide and
amply suspended chassis, the Can-Am
feels great on fast roads, washes and in
the dunes. There is little body roll, and
the car corners like crazy at speed.
The same is true when the terrain is
rough and whooped where you push
the suspension hard. When you are roll-
ing slow over rocks or roots, the sporty
suspension setting feels crisp, and you
feel a fair amount of the terrain surface.
For technical driving, the low seating
makes cresting blind hills a thrill. The
same is true in the dunes.
Jumping the Can-Am is a pleasure
as well. As we said, any time you are
aggressive and driving hard, it works
great. Suspension experts are telling
us that the X3s are delivered with the
machine riding a little low, and that you
could adjust the suspension to lift the
car at least an inch compared to stock,
and that is if you haven’t added a lot of
weight in accessories.
Most people will never have a prob-
lem with the AWD capability of the X
rs, but when we were rock crawling,
we felt more comfortable approaching
The rear shocks are massive, and they
are connected to beefy trailing arms.
The result is 24 inches of rear-wheel
travel for this model.