The BMW X3 sDrive18d is the first rear-wheel-drive model in the X3 range, and the most efficient, returning 55.4mpg and emitting just 135g/km CO 2 . This compares to the 50.4mpg figure for the four-wheel drive X3.
Powered by a 143hp, 2.0-litre diesel engine, and available with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox, the new model teams performance with better than ever emissions and fuel consumption.
Thanks to an extensive suite of EfficientDynamics technologies, the new BMW X3 sDrive18d emits just 135g/km of CO 2 , and has a combined fuel consumption of 55.4mpg, making it the cleanest and most fuel-efficient model in the X3 range. These figures allow the sDrive18d to occupy VED Band E, with a Benefit in Kind (BIK) taxation rate of only 21 per cent. This impressive fuel economy doesn’t impact on performance with the 2.0-litre diesel engine developing 143hp, with a peak torque of 360Nm between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm, resulting in the BMW X3 sDrive18d accelerating from zero to 62mph in 9.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 121mph.
At just £28,580 for the SE model, the X3 sDrive18d is £2,890 less than the xDrive20d. With the exception of Hill Descent Control, reserved for four-wheel-drive models, the sDrive18d matches the standard equipment on the xDrive20d in every respect. SE models feature Auto Start-Stop, Drive Performance Control, 17-inch alloy wheels, Nevada Leather upholstery and BMW iDrive with a 6.5-inch colour screen. M Sport models feature a host of sporty additions such as 18-inch alloy wheels, M aerodynamic bodystyling, Sport seats and Sport suspension, amongst other items.
The introduction of this new entry-level model sees the engine range for the BMW X3 expand to four diesels variants. Folding down the rear seats increases boot space from 550 to 1,600 litres, while the BMW X3 sDrive18d can also be ordered as an option with a trailer coupling offering maximum towing capacity of 2,000kg.
Over 74,000 X3s were sold in the first half of 2012, a rise of 38.4 per cent on the same period last year.
Read our BMW X3 review