BMW design is evolutionary so even without sight of the famous blue and white propeller badge you’ll always know you’re looking at a Bavarian-bred premium SUV. But look closely and you’ll see it’s quite a step forward from the last model. The grille is larger, there’s a long, sharply-styled bonnet and the sides taper outwards around the rear wheels, with a more curvaceous rear-end treatment than the model it replaces. Inside it’s roomier and both the design and the quality of materials used are a major step forward.
If you like to give sports-car owners a surprise, the model to opt for is the seriously fast X3 M40i. It’s powered by a 335bhp 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six petrol engine and is capable of 0-62mph in just 4.8 seconds. Almost as fast and just as relaxed at a canter is the 335bhp 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six diesel engine in the 30d. There’s also a respectably quick and fuel-efficient petrol 2.0i as well as the model that most owners will probably choose, the refined and torquey 2.0d diesel. This delivers 0-62mph in a brisk 8.0 seconds while achieving 54.3 combined mpg with 138g/km CO2. All models put their power to the tarmac via an eight-speed auto and all-wheel drive xDrive system.
There are three trim levels, SE, xLine and M Sport, but all benefit from a lavish specification. This includes LED headlights, leather seats, heated front seats, 18-inch alloys, three-zone air conditioning and ambient lighting with six colours. A 6.5-inch 6.5in touchscreen that can also be controlled via a rotary dial between the front seats comes as standard, while the optional Professional iDrive system features a wider 10.25in screen. The X3 is also inching closer to autonomous driving capability; the optional Driving Assistant Plus allows for up to 30 seconds of automated driving in certain situations, such as traffic jams, slow-moving traffic or on long journeys.
|Vehicle length||4,657-4,716 mm|
|Vehicle width||1,881-1,897 mm|
|Vehicle height||1,676-1,678 mm|
|Wheelbase||2810 mm / 110.67 in|
|Unladen weight (DIN)||1825 kg|
|Engine Capacity||1995 cc|
|Max Torque||400 nm @ 1750-2500 rpm|
|Max Power||140 kW @4000 rpm|
|Top Speed||132 mph|
|Acceleration||0-62 mph / 8.0 sec|
|Combined cycle||56.4 mpg|
|Urban Cycle||52.3 mpg|