BMW

BMW X3 M ESTATE xDrive X3 M Competition 5dr Step Auto

Fuel

FuelPetrol

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph4.1s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2261 g/km

BMW's third generation X3 is a premium mid-sized SUV that's a larger, plusher and more powerfully efficient choice than its predecessor, stacking up impressively against prestigiously-badged alternatives from Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar and Volvo in this sector. Like its rivals, dynamically targeted almost exclusively towards on-road use, it's another example of just how car-like a model of this kind can be.

THREE MARKET ECONOMY

The third generation BMW X3 is a premium mid-sized SUV with some very strong competition. Just as well then, that the Munich maker has delivered a very strong package. Jonathan Crouch takes a look at what's on offer.

Ten Second Review

BMW's third generation X3 is a premium mid-sized SUV that's a larger, plusher and more powerfully efficient choice than its predecessor, stacking up impressively against prestigiously-badged alternatives from Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar and Volvo in this sector. Like its rivals, dynamically targeted almost exclusively towards on-road use, it's another example of just how car-like a model of this kind can be.

Background

It isn't often that BMW gets it wrong - and even when it does, it usually still manages to turn a profit. Their original X3 compact SUV was a case in point, launched in 2004 to more affordably extend the reach of this Bavarian brand's road-biased SUV model range following the success of the larger all-conquering X5. But early X3s felt cheap, rode poorly and, even by the modest tarmac-orientated standards of the class, were woefully short of any kind of off-road ability. The second generation version, launched in 2010, was much better, but - in this country at least - it still lagged behind its arch-rival Audi's Q5, in terms of perceived desirability. Much has changed since 2010 of course. BMW launched a second generation X1 model in late 2015 that trod uncomfortably on the toes of lower X3 derivatives. And the X3's task was made even harder by the launch in 2016 of a Mercedes entrant (the GLC) in the mid-sized premium-badged SUV segment and the introduction of a second generation Audi Q5 model in early 2017, to join other key rivals like Volvo's XC60, Jaguar's F-PACE, Alfa Romeo's Stelvio and the Lexus NX. It all means that the X3 needs to re-assert itself. Can this third generation model do just that?

Driving Experience

You might think that sandwiched between the X1 and the X5, the X3 wouldn't have to spread its talents too broadly, but such is the span of rivals of this size that this third generation X3 needs to cater for quite different customer expectations in the compact luxury SUV segment. If those expectations extend towards a dynamic driving experience, then the X3 comes well prepared. With ideal 50:50 weight distribution, a finely honed chassis and xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive, linked to Dynamic Stability Control, this SUV proudly shows off the handling characteristics for which the Munich maker is renowned. To further improve dynamics, the car is now lighter and rear bias of BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system has been increased. As for engines, well as before, most buyers will choose a diesel, probably the 190bhp 2.0-litre xDrive 20d variant. There's also a 265bhp straight-six xDrive30d diesel derivative. And a potent 326hp M40d variant. BMW thinks that petrol power will get more of a take-up this time round, so is offering an entry-level xDrive 20i version, plus there's a range-topping 360bhp X3 M40i variant to take on rivals like Audi's SQ5. There's also a plug-in hybrid petrol version, the 252hp xDrive30e. As usual with the brand, there's an optional Dynamic Damper Control system, optional Variable sport steering and an optional sports braking set-up. BMW also boasts that a fording depth of 500 millimetres gives this SUV decent off road ability too. Across the range, 8-speed auto transmission is standard.

Design and Build

The exterior dimensions of this third generation X3 are largely the same as those of its MK2 predecessor, but its five-centimetre-longer wheelbase, long bonnet and short front overhang emphasise its 50:50 weight distribution between front and rear axle. At the front, the chunky three-dimensional kidney grille and LED fog lamps feature a hexagonal design. Moving to the rear, the three-dimensional LED light clusters, downward-sloping roof spoiler and twin exhaust pipes further enhance the appearance.The interior of the this X3 follows BMW tradition with a driver-focused and ergonomically designed cockpit. Hexagonal forms and precise, bevelled edges are a distinct design theme. The material quality and fit and finish are of a class above what you'd expect for a mid-range SAV, as you'd expect from a BMW, while it is also impressively functional, with more cabin stowage compared to its predecessor.To further improve comfort in the rear compartment, the angle of the standard 40:20:40 split/folding rear seat backrests can be adjusted individually and through various stages thanks to the optional rear comfort seat. This feature also allows the backrests to be released remotely from the load compartment, which expands the standard load capacity of 550-litres to 1,600-litres.

Market and Model

Pricing has risen a bit this time round, presumably to give the only slightly smaller BMW X1 SUV slightly more elbow room. The figures start at around £41,500 and rise to around £54,000 for the top M40d and M40i models. All variants come with xDrive 4WD and 8-speed auto transmission. There's also a full-electric iX3 model priced from around £62,000. Whichever variant you select, it'll be easy to spend more than you budgeted or, thanks to a wider range of tempting options. Optional perforated leather climate seats will be popular, perhaps fitted out with active seat ventilation. Another option is a generously sized panoramic glass roof, while optional acoustic front side windows will complement the standard acoustic windscreen glazing to help create even lower noise levels in the cabin. In basic specification, the X3 now has 18-inch light-alloy wheels (it had 17-inchers previously), while wheels up to 21-inches in diameter are available depending on the specification and engine variant. A nice touch this time round is the optional BMW Display Key - like the one found on the BMW 5 Series and 7 Series. The Display Key offers a series of additional features, keeping the driver informed of fuel levels and any service or maintenance work due, and letting them know that the windows and sunroof are closed. Plus, it can also be used to operate the optional auxiliary heating.

Cost of Ownership

As you'd expect from a current BMW, emissions are low and fuel economy is excellent. Let's get to the WLTP figures. To give you an idea of how far we've come, when the MK1 X3 was first launched in the UK in 2004, its 3.0-litre engine made 231bhp and emitted 293g/km of carbon dioxide on the old NEDC cycle. The benefit of a decade's engineering is evident in the fact that today's M40i flagship variant develops 360hp and emits just 209g/km (under tougher WLTP ratings) - the combined cycle fuel figure is 30.7mpg (WLTP). The base xDrive20i petrol manages 35.8mpg and 179g/km. For the xDrive30e plug-in hybrid petrol, the figures are 128.4mpg and 49g/km, with a WLTP-rated all-electric driving range of 34 miles. As for the diesel variants, well today's 265bhp xDrive30d model will get 40.9mpg (WLTP) from a gallon of fuel and 181g/km of CO2 (WLTP), which is impressive for a six cylinder diesel SUV. Go for the X3 xDrive20d and you'll see 47.9mpg and emit 154g/km. As usual with the brand, there's a 'Driving Experience Control' set-up that lets you switch between drive modes, one of which is 'ECO PRO', a setting that focuses all of the car's systems on achieving ultimate frugality. An overall weight reduction of 55kgs and sleeker aerodynamics also help here, this X3 boasting a class-leading drag coefficient of 0.29Cd. This has been achieved thanks to aerodynamic enhancements including a roof spoiler with aero edges at the sides and an 'Active Air Stream' system, which regulates the flow of cooling air for the engine, brakes and air conditioning. Finally, the all-electric iX3 has a 279 mile WLTP-rated driving range. Plugging the vehicle into a direct current rapid-charging station opens the door to charging outputs of up to 150 kW, meaning the high-voltage battery can be charged from 0 to 80 per cent of its full capacity in 34 minutes.

Summary

This X3 has come of age in third generation guise. If it struggles to match the profitability of its predecessor, then that'll be because competition in the premium mid-sized SUV sector is so much tougher these days. This model is, after all, an immeasurable improvement over the MK2 version in every possible way. Even the best of this car's prestige rivals can't match this one's hugely impressive blend of handling and efficiency. It feels up-market, it rides impressively and, thank goodness, on-tarmac, it drives just as a BMW should. All of which means that buyers in this sector who can afford the asking price should find that this X3 adds up very nicely indeed. Assuming that they don't prioritise off road ability of course: few will. A vehicle this good ought to speak for itself. Try one and we think you'll find that it does.

  • Rear wiper
  • Heated windscreen washer jets
  • Rain sensor including auto headlights activation
  • Windscreen wipers with adjustable interval
  • Acoustic glazing
  • Green tinted heat protection glazing
  • Electric front and rear windows with fingertip open/close + anti-trap facility and comfort closing function

  • Dynamic stability control + (DSC+)
  • Anti lock braking system (ABS) with brake assist
  • Brake drying
  • Braking pre-tensioning
  • ADB - Automatic Differential Brake
  • Brake energy regeneration
  • Dynamic brake control
  • Electromechanical parking brake
  • Dynamic Traction Control - DTC
  • Hill start assist
  • Ventilated front and rear disc brakes
  • Automatic Stability Control (ASC)
  • Hill descent control
  • CBC - (Cornering brake control)

  • Floor mats in velour - Front and rear colour co-ordinated with all standard carpet colours and front with M stripes

  • Adaptive M suspension

  • Attentiveness assist
  • Front/rear park distance control (PDC)
  • Active Guard incl approach control warning with city brake function and person warning with city brake function
  • Electronic Power Steering (EPS)
  • BMW remote services

  • Auto start-stop
  • Automatic tailgate operation

  • Head up Display
  • BMW Online services
  • BMW emergency call
  • BMW Teleservices
  • Real time traffic information
  • Lights on warning by audio warning signal when ignition is switched off
  • On board computer - average speed+fuel consumption,service interval, clock date,odometer,trip meter,outside temperature display with acoustic ice warn
  • Check Control warning system for monitoring of lights and door/luggage compartment open warning
  • Brake pad wear indicator in front and rear
  • Condition based service
  • iDrive Controller with 8 favourite buttons
  • Oil sensor for level and grade, warning by check control system
  • Personal Profile - automatic lock when driving away selectable
  • Control display - 10.25" colour touch sensitive display screen
  • M Gear selector
  • BMW Live Cockpit Professional Nav with 12.3" instrument display + 10.25" display, Intelligent Voice Assist, BMW OS 7, HDD, 2USB, 4G LTE connect
  • Integrated owner's handbook
  • BMW service history

  • Automatically dimming electrochromatic rear view mirror
  • Direction indicator, side repeaters, integrated in exterior mirrors
  • Exterior mirrors - electrically folding with anti-dazzle

  • Black Sensatec instrument panel with grey contrasting seam
  • Sensatec dashboard

  • EU6 emissions management
  • Incorrect fuelling protection

  • BMW professional radio/CD/MP3
  • Harman Kardon loudspeaker system
  • Electronic service booklet
  • DAB tuner

  • Body colour front and rear bumpers
  • M Double slat kidney grilles in High Gloss Black with black slats
  • M Competition bodystyling
  • High gloss shadowline exterior trim in decorative moulding side frame/recess cover/guide rail/B, C pillars/mirror frame and triangle with mirror base
  • M Exhaust tailpipes - Quad, round, split left and right with high gloss black finisher 100mm
  • High gloss black shadow line roof rails
  • Shark fin antenna
  • M Sport exhaust system
  • Visible VIN plate
  • Front and rear bumper system with replaceable deformation elements
  • Lightweight engineering
  • Black finish on B pillars
  • Body colour door handles

  • LED tail lights
  • Dynamic brake lights
  • High level 3rd brake light incorporating LED Technology
  • High beam assistant
  • BMW Icon adaptive LED headlights with low and high beam headlights in Bi-LED, LED daytime running lights in corona ring style and LED Indicators

  • 3 zone automatic air conditioning

  • Front and rear bottle holders integrated into door trim storage compartments
  • Rear seat centre armrest with two cupholders
  • Four grab handles integrated in roof lining
  • High gloss black front door sill finishers with X3 M competition designation
  • M Gear knob
  • Front and rear side armrests integrated into door trim
  • Parcel shelf removeable and storable under boot floor
  • 12V power socket in front centre console
  • Through loading system with 40/20/40 split folding rear seat
  • Reach and rake adjustable steering column
  • Storage compartment in rear centre console, front and rear door trims and under luggage compartment
  • Foldable boot floor with storage compartment
  • Toolkit located in luggage compartment
  • M leather steering wheel
  • Front centre armrest with storage compartment
  • Front cupholders x 2
  • Anthracite headlining

  • Luggage compartment lighting
  • Ambient lighting
  • Welcome lighting
  • Interior lighting - front centre over interior mirror with soft light, rear centre, footwell light+ Auto activation when door open/ignition switch off

  • Connected package professional - X3 M/X4 M

  • Airbags - Front driver/passenger, front and rear curtain head protection, front side, manual deactivation of front passenger airbag
  • Crash Sensor - activation of airbags
  • Child proof locking system in rear door
  • Passive protection for pedestrians
  • Crash Sensor - activation of central locking release, hazard warning light and interior lighting
  • Three point seatbelts to all seats with front and outer rear pyrotechnic belt tensioners and seat belt force limiters
  • Dynamic safety
  • Seatbelt security check for front seats
  • Battery safety cut-off
  • Deactivation of fuel pump in the event of a crash
  • Child seat ISOFIX attachment rear outer seats
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Side impact protection
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • Twin horns

  • Front head restraints
  • Three rear headrests
  • Driver and front passenger lumbar support
  • Front M seats with illuminated M logo in headrests

  • Remote control with 2 integrated key with M specific design - 1 button open/close all lockable, windows + separate button for open luggage compartment
  • Alarm system (Thatcham 1) with remote control and electronic engine immobiliser
  • Central locking switch for all doors, fuel filler cap and luggage compartment
  • Start/stop button with Comfort Go keyless engine start and auto Start/stop deactivation button

  • M Sport differential
  • Performance Control
  • Eight speed M Steptronic sport transmission with drivelogic and gearshift paddle switches on steering wheel

  • Sunvisors with vanity mirrors and ticket pocket

  • 21" V spoke M light alloy wheels in bicolour black with mixed tyres - style 765M

  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 445
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 241
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 213
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 245
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 261
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Min: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Max: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Min: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Max: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Min: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Max: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Min: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Max: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 265
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 261
  • CO2 (g/km): 239
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N

  • Cylinders: 6
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 24
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
  • Compression Ratio: 9.3:1
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 8 SPEED
  • Engine Code: S58B30T0
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 84
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 90
  • CC: 2993

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 14.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 26.9
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 30.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 26.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 24.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Min: N
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Max: N
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Min: N
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Max: N
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Min: N
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Max: N
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Min: N
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Max: N
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 24.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 24.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 19.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 10.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 9.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 10.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 11.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Min: N
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Max: N
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Min: N
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Max: N
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Min: N
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Max: N
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Min: N
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Max: N
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 11.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 11.6

  • Generation Mark: 3
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Service Interval Mileage: 15500
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 24
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 510
  • Badge Engine CC: 3.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 46E
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Coin Series: X3 M Competition
  • Coin Description: N
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 999999
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 6

  • Engine Power - KW: 375
  • Engine Power - RPM: 6250
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 443
  • Engine Torque - NM: 600
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 2700
  • Engine Power - BHP: 510
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 4.1
  • Top Speed: 155
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 61.2

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2

  • Tyre Size Rear: 265/40 R21
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 21" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Front: 255/40 R21
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Wheel Style: V SPOKE STYLE 765

  • Width (including mirrors): 2138
  • Height: 1669
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4726
  • Width: 1897
  • Wheelbase: 2864

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1995
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2500
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 65
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 550
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 2400
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Max. Loading Weight: 505
  • Max. Roof Load: 100
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1600
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 12.6

  • Sun protection glass: £320

  • M Sport compound perforated brake with red high gloss + red painted brake calipers with M designation: Included
  • M Sport compound perforated brake with black high gloss + black painted brake calipers with M designation: £0
  • M Sport compound perforated brake with blue high gloss + blue painted brake calipers with M designation: £0

  • Bluetooth hands free telephone connection with USB audio interface + audio streaming: Included
  • Enhanced bluetooth with wireless charging, 2X USB, audio streaming, screen mirroring and wifi hotspot: £430

  • Parking Assistant Plus with 360 degree surround view camera: £500
  • Reversing assist camera: Included
  • Cruise control with brake function + speed limiter: Included
  • Parking assistant: Included

  • Wifi hotspot preparation: £0

  • Aluminium carbon trim finishers with pearl chrome highlight: Included
  • Carbon fibre interior trim finishers: £600
  • BMW Individual piano black trim with highlight trim finishers: £300

  • BMW gesture control: £190

  • High gloss black exterior air inlets, mirror caps and air breather: Included
  • BMW Individual paint: £280
  • Metallic paint: Included
  • Electric dual tilt/slide panoramic glass sunroof: £1,190
  • M Carbon precision strut - M Carbon engine strut integrated in the engine bay: £0

  • Lashing rails and four adjustable lashing eyes for luggage compartment floor: Included
  • Steering wheel heating: £0
  • Full Merino leather upholstery: Included
  • Luggage compartment separating net: £110
  • Sunblind for rear side windows: £180
  • Merino leather/alcantara upholstery: £800

  • Comfort pack - X3 M: £900
  • Driving assistant pack - X3 M: Included
  • Driving assistant plus pack - X3 M: £1,080
  • Extended storage pack - X3 M: £0
  • M Carbon pack - X3 M: £3,900
  • M Carbon Exterior pack - X3 M: £0
  • M Driver pack - X3 M: £2,095
  • Extended storage pack in combination with Space saver spare wheel - X3 M: £0
  • Comfort pack with extended storage in combination with Space saver spare wheel - X3 M: £900

  • Metallic - Sophisto Grey Brilliant effect: £0
  • Metallic - Alpine white: £0
  • Metallic - Donnington grey: £0
  • Metallic - Toronto Red: £0
  • Metallic - Phytonic blue: £0
  • Metallic - Black sapphire: £0

  • BMW Individual Paint - Sunstone metallic: £280

  • Active protection: Included

  • Driver and front passenger heated seats: Included
  • Heated front and rear seats: £280
  • Electric seat adjustment with memory: Included
  • Electric front seat adjustment with memory and active ventilation: £100
  • Seat backrest adjustment for rear seat: £0

  • Comfort access system with smart opener: £0

  • Fully electric towbar: £850

  • Full merino leather - Black: £0
  • Full merino leather - Sakhir orange: £0
  • Full merino leather - Adelaide grey: £0
  • Full merino leather - BMW individual Ivory white/Black: £0
  • Full merino leather - BMW individual Tartufo/Black: £0

  • Merino leather/alcantara - Black with Midrand beige bicolour: £800

  • Space saver spare wheel: £190
  • BMW Mobility Kit: Included

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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