Buyer’s guide to the BMW X3

Buyer’s guide to the BMW X3

BMW’s mid-size SUV remains as popular and desirable as ever.

The BMW X3 was one of the first mid-size premium SUVs to come to market –years before other manufacturers had thought along similar lines.

BMW has managed to squeeze three generations into that time period, and the model remains as classy, refined and popular as ever. It’s also increasingly become a ‘baby X5’ – something that’s very appealing to many buyers.

Here’s everything you need to know about the BMW X3.

What engines are available?

BMW offers a great choice of engines that should appeal to most buyers, with plenty of petrol and diesel units to choose from.

The petrol line-up begins with the xDrive20i – a 181bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine that is a good option for many buyers. The only other petrol engine in the regular X3 range is the M40i – which utilises a 349bhp six-cylinder 3.0-litre petrol engine, which is capable of accelerating from 0-60mph in just 4.6 seconds.

Until recently this was the most powerful engine in the line-up, but recently BMW has introduced the hot X3 M, which utilises a different 3.0-litre petrol engine. It produces 503bhp in Competition form, and it knocks the 0-60mph time down to 3.9 seconds.  

Moving over to the popular diesel engines, the best-seller is the 187bhp 2.0-litre xDrive20d engine. This is the most efficient engine in the line-up – returning up to 42.2mpg.  If you fancy something with a bit more punch, you should choose the 261bhp 3.0-litre xDrive30d version, while the 3.0-litre M40d version appeals to those wanting a great mix of performance and efficiency. This version produces 322bhp, can achieve 0-60mph in under five seconds, yet can still return a claimed 35.7mpg.

From December 2019, BMW will also be introducing a plug-in hybrid version of the X3, too, which utilises the same powertrain as the popular BMW 330e. It sees a 2.0-litre petrol engine paired to an electric motor to produce a combined 249bhp. A battery pack enables a range up to 31 miles, while its fantastic efficiency and low emissions will make it a hit with the fleet market.

What trim levels are offered?

Three regular trim levels are offered, while opting for any of the ‘M’ models unlocks specific trim levels. Equipment highlights and prices are as follows.

SE – from £40,355

Standard equipment is excellent, and includes 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights, climate control, an 8.8-inch touchscreen and cruise control to name but a few features.

xLine – from £41,255

This rugged-looking version brings larger 19-inch alloy wheels, sports seats, LED foglights and an xLine bodykit, which includes bolder exterior styling and underbody protection.

M Sport – from £43,005

The best-selling M Sport version adds different 19-inch wheels, a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen with further connected services, a semi-digital cockpit and the ever-popular M Sport styling pack.

See Available X3 Deals

M40i/M40d – from £53,870

On top of M Sport models, these sportier versions add 20-inch alloy wheels, fancier adaptive LED headlights, better brakes, electric seats with memory function, additional sports setting and black chrome detailing.

X3 M Competition – from £77,190

This hot model adds 21-inch alloy wheels, full Merino leather upholstery, a harmon/kardon sound system, a head-up display, ambient interior lighting and sporty details to match the performance on offer.

What about personalisation?

The colour range is fairly limited on the X3, with most options being darker shades. Highlights include Sparkling Storm (brown) and Phytonic Blue. The wheel choice is better, though, with buyers able to upgrade all their alloy wheels (regardless of trim level), with the largest on offer being 21-inch wheels.

In typical BMW fashion there is also a lengthy range of optional extras. Some of our favourite picks are a BMW Individual Merino leather interior (£990), adaptive cruise control (£620) and a surround view parking camera (£500).

A host of packages are also available, which can focus on both styling and safety. The choice is lengthy, with prices ranging from £495 through to £2,890. Just be careful not to pick too many as it can easily drive up the price of an X3.

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