The BMW X3 is among the top-selling automobiles within the mid-sized luxurious SUV phase, and we suspect it’s not simply the blue-and-white roundel on the bonnet that retains it on the rostrum.
Credit score should be given to BMW for providing the widest array of powertrain selections of any automobile on this phase. There are four- and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, plus a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and a full-electric model, the iX3.
That compares favourably with the Mercedes-Benz GLC (quickly to be petrol solely domestically), Audi Q5 (petrol, diesel, PHEV), Genesis GV70 (petrol, diesel, electrical), Lexus NX (petrol, hybrid, PHEV) and Volvo XC60 (petrol, PHEV).
Six-cylinder turbo-diesels are notably uncommon on this phase these days, so we’ve put the X3 xDrive30d and its inline-six oiler to the take a look at.
BMW gave the X3 a facelift for 2022, with freshened styling and upgraded infotainment.
However this phase doesn’t keep nonetheless, and a brand new era of the X3’s arch-rival from Mercedes-Benz is launching this yr. A brand new Q5 can also be anticipated in 2024, and the GV70 and NX are nonetheless fairly contemporary.
Does the X3 nonetheless maintain up?
How a lot does the BMW X3 xDrive30d value?
The BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport is priced from $102,900 earlier than on-road prices.
That places it basically smack-bang in the course of a mannequin vary that opens at $81,700 earlier than on-road prices for the rear-wheel drive, petrol four-cylinder sDrive20i. It additionally undercuts the plug-in hybrid xDrive30e by $7500.
The M Sport bundle is necessary, although thankfully you may nonetheless get an xDrive30d M Sport with an inside color aside from black (“Oyster”, aka a pale beige).
Audi has deleted its V6 50 TDI for 2023, although the sportier SQ5 TDI and its turbo-diesel V6 beckons for round $10,000 extra and an inline-six turbo-diesel Vary Rover Velar Dynamic SE D300 is one other $10,000 above that.
In any other case, there aren’t any direct rivals for the X3 with a six-cylinder diesel, although yow will discover extra inexpensive four-cylinder turbo-diesels within the Genesis GV70 and Audi Q5 ranges, in addition to inside the X3 vary itself.
You might additionally have a look at the bigger Volkswagen Touareg, which has a selection of turbo-diesel sixes that bookend the X3’s by way of energy and a base value that undercuts it by over $10,000.
The upcoming Mazda CX-60 might lack a luxurious nameplate, however the model is positioning it as a extra premium SUV than the likes of the CX-5 and an inline-six turbo-diesel is amongst its out there powertrains.
It’s value noting our tester was from when BMW Australia was importing X3s with options lacking because of the semiconductor chip scarcity. Accordingly, our tester didn’t have a wi-fi cellphone charger or adaptive cruise management.
What’s the BMW X3 xDrive30d like on the within?
With regards to inside design, BMW is all about delicate evolution whereas arch-rival Mercedes-Benz seemingly throws the child out with the bathtub water with each era.
For those who love BMW’s basic, driver-oriented dashboard design, then, the X3 will enchantment to you. If you would like one thing flashier and extra high-tech in look, you’d be greatest ready for the next-generation GLC.
The X3 is exhibiting its age in some respects. The curler door on the base of the centre stack appears low cost and plasticky, whereas the X3 emblem down there’s an unusually gauche contact in an in any other case elegant inside.
The paddle shifters may very well be extra tactile, too, whereas the doorways didn’t shut with fairly as strong a thunk as I anticipated – thoughts you, they weren’t tinny, as it is a BMW in any case.
Materials high quality is in any other case fairly good. There’s nonetheless some arduous plastic on the decrease reaches of the dashboard and doorways, however virtually all over the place else is completed in soft-touch trim. BMW resisted the temptation to go overboard with gloss black trim, although you’ll nonetheless discover sections of the stuff.
The X3 has but to get the BMW Curved Show being rolled out throughout the model’s line-up, which positions the infotainment touchscreen and digital instrument cluster in a single wraparound meeting.
It additionally doesn’t characteristic BMW Working System 8 but – it’s nonetheless operating on OS7.0 – so there’s loads of bodily switchgear. The row of preset buttons appears virtually quaint now.
The infotainment interface due to this fact doesn’t look the most recent and freshest, but it surely’s nonetheless straightforward to navigate and responsive. As all the time, we admire the extra presence of the iDrive controller and its adjoining shortcut buttons, permitting you to carry out key features with out utilizing the touchscreen or voice prompts.
The wi-fi smartphone mirroring labored effectively, with dropouts occurring solely twice and in the identical place, main us to consider it was a difficulty with interference. However the wi-fi mirroring does drain your cellphone’s battery, so we’re glad to see a wi-fi cellphone charger again on the tools checklist.
The digital instrument cluster is trendy in look and there’s a map view out there, though it’s not as detailed as in Audi’s digital cockpit. The top-up show can also be customisable, and presents key data clearly and in your line of sight.
There’s BMW’s trademark orange-backlit switchgear, whereas the colour-adjustable ambient lighting is elegant, if not fairly as extravagant as that in a Mercedes-Benz.
We now have no complaints about BMW’s ambient lighting, nonetheless, notably the illuminated exterior door handles, the secure exit lighting, and placing puddle lights.
You grip an virtually inordinately massive, thick steering wheel and sit in snug seats with power-adjustable bolsters and lumbar plus a handbook thigh extender.
Within the rear, the bench is agency however snug, and there’s loads of legroom and knee room, although the driveline hump does eat into the centre-seat occupant’s house.
Whereas the expansive panoramic sunroof stretches again to the rear seatbacks, headroom is ample.
Rear-seat occupants have separate temperature and fan pace controls, in addition to two USB-C shops and a fold-down centre armrest with cupholders.
There are ISOFIX factors on the outboard rear seats, together with three top-tether factors. The rear bench splits 40/20/40 and folds virtually utterly flat.
The boot measures in at 550L with all 5 seats in place, and expands to 1600L with the rear seats folded.
There’s a large opening and a flat, well-shaped load house, which incorporates netted pockets on the perimeters.
What’s below the bonnet?
The X3 xDrive30d is powered by a 3.0-litre inline-six turbo-diesel producing 195kW of energy at 4000rpm and 620Nm of torque from 2000-2500rpm.
It’s mated with an eight-speed torque-converter automated transmission and all-wheel drive.
BMW claims a 0-100km/h time of 5.8 seconds, and mixed cycle gasoline financial system of 6.4L/100km. Over a mixture of inner-city, suburban and freeway driving, we averaged 7.3L/100km.
The X3 xDrive30d is down 56kW and 80Nm on the Audi SQ5 TDI, however is up 10kW and a whopping 270Nm on the petrol-powered xDrive30i. It’s additionally faster and torquier than the plug-in hybrid xDrive30e, which has complete system outputs of 215kW and 420Nm.
How does the BMW X3 xDrive30d drive?
BMW’s 3.0-litre turbo-diesel inline six is a formidable unit within the bigger, heavier X5, so naturally it doesn’t disappoint within the X3.
The X3 xDrive30d merely pulls, and proves an easy, grunty engine. There’s a surge of torque low within the rev vary and also you’ll rapidly end up at freeway speeds.
Diesel clatter is nearly non-existent and there’s a meaty engine word that makes this one of many better-sounding oilers in the marketplace.
Refinement ranges are additionally excessive: at freeway speeds the cabin is serene, whereas there’s little in the best way of tyre roar on coarse-chip roads, and the automated cease/begin system by no means feels too jerky.
Solely a slight rattle from the A-pillar on some unsurfaced roads undermined the X3’s excessive degree of refinement.
It’s an easy cruiser, and the X3 looks like it will be splendid for a long-distance street journey – particularly with adaptive cruise management, now that that’s again.
Whereas our tester was lacking the characteristic, it did produce other energetic security and driver help options like lane-keep help and autonomous emergency braking, and BMW permits you to alter the sensitivity of those as a substitute of simply toggling them on and off.
It additionally had BMW’s Caring Automobile performance, with totally different modes enjoying particular music, altering the ambient lighting and blowing air out of the vents in a selected strategy to both calm down or energise you. It appears a bit gimmicky, however we admire the energising mode for attempting to deal with the intense subject of driver fatigue.
The 19-inch alloy wheels might have helped, however we discovered experience high quality to be arduous to fault even over unsurfaced roads.
You can also make it a bit of firmer in Sport mode, which makes it really feel a bit of bit busy; this mode additionally quickens shifts however holds onto gears for longer.
Even in Consolation mode, physique management is superb. The X3’s centre of gravity feels surprisingly low for an SUV, and it stays flat in corners. Braking efficiency can also be exemplary, with the brakes providing loads of chunk as we found when a small animal ran out throughout the street in entrance of us – excellent news; it survived!
The LaserLight headlights are additionally good at serving to you keep away from wildlife, casting their beams far and large. They’re not essentially any extra spectacular or brilliant than the Matrix LED headlights of some rivals, however they provide related performance together with the power to dam out oncoming automobiles in order to keep away from blinding their drivers.
What do you get?
X3 sDrive20i + xDrive20d highlights:
- 19-inch alloy wheels
- Run-flat tyres
- Aluminium roof rails
- Adaptive LED headlights
- LED tail lights
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Energy-folding facet mirrors
- Anti-dazzle (driver’s facet solely)
- Auto-dipping (passenger’s facet solely)
- Energy tailgate
- 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
- 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Wi-fi Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- Satellite tv for pc navigation
- DAB+ digital radio
- 6-speaker sound system
- Wi-fi cellphone charger
- 3yr ConnectedDrive Companies subscription
- Tri-zone local weather management
- Ambient lighting
- Electrical parking brake
- Keyless entry and push-button begin
- Sport leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Black ‘Sensatec’ leatherette upholstery
- Energy-adjustable entrance sport seats with driver reminiscence
X3 xDrive30i M Sport + xDrive30d M Sport add:
- 20-inch alloy wheels
- M Aerodynamics bundle
- BMW M high-gloss black window highlights
- BMW M high-gloss black roof rails
- M Sport brakes
- 12-speaker sound system
- M leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Anthracite headliner
- M inside trim
- M door sill trims
- ‘Vernasca’ leather-based upholstery
- Driver’s seat bolster adjustment
Our tester had 19-inch alloy wheels fitted, a no-cost possibility.
BMW loves an choices bundle, and our tester had two of those fitted: the $5400 Visibility bundle, which provides metallic paint, a panoramic sunroof, and BMW Laserlight headlights; and the $1200 Consolation bundle which brings heated entrance seats, driver lumbar assist and a heated steering wheel.
The German model may stand to be extra beneficiant with customary tools. Whereas it’s not as spartan because the lesser xDrive20d, which is missing a lot of this variant’s customary security tools, the xDrive30d nonetheless misses out on options which might be customary slot in inexpensive Genesis GV70 and Lexus NX fashions like ventilated entrance seats.
Is the BMW X3 xDrive30d secure?
The pre-facelift BMW X3 managed a five-star ANCAP security score primarily based on exams carried out by Euro NCAP in 2017.
It acquired scores of 93 per cent for grownup occupant safety, 84 per cent for youngster occupant safety, 70 per cent for susceptible street person safety, and 58 per cent for security help.
This five-star ANCAP score applies to all variants besides the xDrive30e plug-in hybrid.
Commonplace security tools contains:
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Lane departure warning
- Lane change warning
- Cruise management
- Reversing digicam
- Reverse parking sensors
- Reversing assistant
X3 xDrive30i + xDrive30d add:
- Adaptive cruise management with cease/go
- Entrance cross-traffic alert
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Lane-keep help
- Steering & Lane Management Assistant
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Junction help
- Encompass-view cameras
How a lot does the BMW X3 xDrive30d value to run?
As of October 1 2022, all new BMW automobiles are coated by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee. Homeowners additionally obtain complimentary 24/7 roadside help for 3 years.
By way of logbook servicing, BMW Australia presents Service Inclusive pre-paid packages that cowl the primary 5 years or 80,000km – whichever comes first.
The usual Service Inclusive Fundamental bundle prices $2400 for the core X3 vary, costlier than in an Audi Q5 or SQ5 ($3140-3170).
CarExpert’s Tackle the BMW X3 xDrive30d
The X3 might not look as contemporary in and out as different automobiles inside BMW showrooms, however there’s nonetheless lots to advocate it for.
Chief on the checklist of the X3’s strengths is the excellent inline-six turbo-diesel engine. It’s fast, fuel-efficient, and doesn’t sound half-bad in addition.
Valuable few equally sized SUVs can provide a six-cylinder diesel, and whereas such an engine could seem passé within the period of electrification, we reckon there are many consumers on the market who’ll admire its attributes.
The X3 can also be one of many extra participating SUVs on this phase to drive, whereas additionally providing a cushty experience. We may simply see ourselves setting off on a cross-country street journey in one in every of these, with passengers capable of calm down within the spacious and comfy cabin.
It mightn’t have BMW’s latest-generation infotainment, however BMW Working System 7.0 continues to be an intuitive and neatly introduced system.
And although the X3’s inside isn’t the flashiest in its phase, its introduced in that basic – dare we are saying timeless? – BMW model.
Is it essentially the most inexpensive or well-equipped automobile in its phase? No, but it surely’s a rattling good one.
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