BMW X3 xDrive 20d M Sport 5dr Car Review - February 2012

List Price: £34,550
Tax Band: F
Insurance Group: 28
MPG: 50.4
CO2: 149
0-62 Mph: 8.5 secs
BHP: 184 BHP
Range: 743 miles
CarSite Verdict:  4/5
The X3 is a appealing option in the crossover market, and provides the space and comfort that would be expected from such a vehicle. A flexible car that performs well as a family car as well as being able to carry a reasonable load, the X3 is well balanced and is sure to be a popular car over the coming years.

PROS:  The X3 balances the driving experience with comfort and space in the cabin, and once purchased the running costs are very competitive.

CONS:  The fifth passenger in the middle seat may find the large transmission cavity uncomfortable, and switching between gears can be a little stiff from time to time.

Behind the Wheel

In many of the cars that are produced by BMW, the M Sport option tends to make the suspension quite firm, but the X3 is the exception to the rule as this actually complements the ride, which is comfortable. The driving position is comfortable, and the visibility provided by the higher stance of the car makes driving the X3 a joy.

The engine performance isn’t shabby either, providing a brisk 0-62mph pace of 8.5 seconds, and capable of reaching 130mph. Because of the higher position of the vehicle on the road, it is natural to have little bit of body movement, but this is kept to a minimum meaning that it really does feel like driving a car with better visibility. The iDrive controller means that the entertainment system can be controlled without having to reach for the centre console.

Looks & Equipment

The X3 has the sportier design that people would expect from a crossover, and the flowing lines give the vehicle a stylish look. The lower suspension position delivered with the M Sport package also improves the look, and the body almost hugs the alloy wheels which come as standard with this version of the X3. Leather seats mean that the X3 looks as attractive in the cabin as it does in terms of the exterior.

The equipment is certainly ample for this X3, and the entertainment centre with the iDrive controller is an excellent addition. Cruise control is also available as standard in this car, and the adjustable steering wheel options mean that it really is possible to get the perfect driving position, which has always been one of the major selling points of the BMW cars.

Practicality, Safety & Reliability

The X3 is a very practical vehicle to own, with plenty of space for people in the front and the back of the vehicle, but the wide transmission tunnel might be an issue for those who regularly carry five people in the car. The boot space is impressive, and the X3 can carry a good load for those who regularly have to use the load space available. The impressive space available in the car means that the X3 is practical for transporting a family and for carrying a large load over long distances.

The security features available on the X3 are typical of what is available on the BMW range, and those who are worried about theft will want to consider the additional extra of satellite tracking which is available. The X3 has also achieved some very good safety results in the Euro NCAP tests, and has been awarded the five star award for both adult and child safety.

Value for Money

The list price for this version of the X3 is £34,135, which isn’t particularly competitive when compared with the other SUV’s on the market, but it is a fair assessment that BMW have always aimed for the premium end of the market. The usual three year warranty with roadside recovery also gives people some added peace of mind for their motoring.

Once the vehicle itself has been purchased, the running costs of the X3 are particularly good, as it can boast and average 50.4mpg in terms of fuel performance and the insurance group is also quite good. Another bonus is that the X3 has a remarkably high resale value, and depreciation is much less of a problem than it can be for those who are buying a standard car for the same amount. Overall, this makes the X3 a very competitive package despite the higher price to be paid on the forecourt.

BMW X3 xDrive 20d M Sport 5dr Car Review - by 
All BMW X3 Reviews
BMW X3 xDrive 20d SE 5dr - February 2012
The angles and edges of the X3 xDrive have been contoured and cut for a more proportioned look. The version no longer looks unwieldy but elegant and polished. The suspension of this 2nd generati...
BMW X3 xDrive 20d M Sport 5dr - February 2012
The X3 is a appealing option in the crossover market, and provides the space and comfort that would be expected from such a vehicle. A flexible car that performs well as a family car as well as be...
BMW X3 xDrive 35d SE 5dr - March 2012
The 35d offers impressive performance, low running costs, good looks and plenty of interior space. However, most drivers will be perfectly satisfied with the cheaper 20d, making the 35d seem overpr...
Small 4x4 Alternatives

You might want to read reviews for other Small 4x4 cars that you can then compare to the BMW X3. Here are some popular BMW X3 alternatives:

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