The BMW X3 has been around for a while now, but this is now the 3rd generation to wear the badge and benefits from everything BMW learned from the 1st and 2nd generation cars, but also from the rest of the burgeoning X family. The initial X3 was lacking in some key areas, so has BMW finally got things right?
We will start with the most subjective area; styling. We think the X3 looks great, in fact we think it is one of the better looking models in the current line up. Luckily it has escaped the designers’ new found love of oversized grilles (we are worried that windscreens will be the next thing sacrificed to fit in towerblock grilles) and as a result it delivers a cohesive and confident look from every angle.
Despite the good looks there is still decent practicality on offer. The 550 litre boot is spot on for this class, interior space is good for both front and rear passengers and a 60 litre fuel tank means infrequent stops for diesel. The X3 also gets a trademark BMW dashboard which is intuitive to use, well laid out, and attractive.
Under the bonnet you get a 2 litre turbodiesel which puts out a respectable 187 bhp and just under 300 lb ft of torque. An 8 speed automatic gearbox gets the job of feeding the intelligent all wheel drive system which distributes torque to each wheel with the help of stability and traction control.
You might hope that the BMW would provide something for keen drivers, and you would be absoultely right. In the context of SUV’s it is towards the sporty end and provides enough incentive that you will seek out opportunities to exploit the chassis. What is impressive with the 3rd generation car is the new found ride quality which makes the X3 one of the best SUV’s at balancing entertainment and ride comfort.
The X3 looks good, is right on the numbers in terms of performance and fuel consumption and provides a great balance of fun and comfort thanks to a major improvement in ride quality over previous generations. It is a fantastic all rounder and that is why it is our pick of diesel SUV’s.