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BMW X3 (2010–2018)

Last updated 4 May 2019

Twin-scroll turbocharging gives strong performance, economy and low emissions. Bigger and much better than previous X3. Good quality cabin and comfortable ride.
Rear legroom is tight behind tall driver. Runs out of off-road ability in more challenging conditions.
Updated 4 May 2019

Owner reported curing tyre noise on his BMW F25 X3 by fitting non-runflat Pirelli *P7C tyres at £159.09 each. The noise has gone and the new tyres give a better ride.

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Introduction

It may not be BMW's most handsome design - especially when viewed alongside newer competition like the Mercedes-Benz GLC - but the X3 remains one of the best all-round SUVs. Comfortable, affordable to run and with a solid interior, it makes an ideal family car that's great at covering long distances.

The X3 is more than merely a motorway cruiser though. While it may be an SUV, it handles as well as any BMW saloon with impressive cornering performance and lots of grip. The steering is nicely weighted too. As a result it's just as handy on twisty B-roads as on dual-carriageways. 

While it's been on sale since 2010, the X3 was significantly revised in 2014. It may not look that different but all models now have an electric tailgate and a revamped cabin. But most importantly, the 18d and 20d models get a new all-aluminium 2.0-litre diesel engine with more power and better fuel economy. 

The manual-only sDrive18d shuns all-wheel drive in favour of rear-wheel drive, but this is good news for economy with a claimed figure of more than 55mpg. The xDrive 20d with 190PS is our preferred choice though - especially as it comes with the option of an eight-speed automatic. Yet it's still economical with Real MPG users seeing close to 40mpg.

The 2014 facelift also brought improvements to the interior with a less plastic-heavy and more sophisticated look. But as before it's still spacious and feels durable. The boot has a minimal load lip so getting heavy shopping or bulky pushchairs in and out is made a little easier.

While the X3 now has far more competition than when the first generation model pitched up, BMW’s mid-size SUV remains one of the most appealing. It’s spacious, comfortable and sure-footed on the road, while its engine keep running costs at a sensible level.

BMW X3 2012 Road Test

Owners' reviews

5
Comfortable economical SUV.
3
Well engineered but lacks tech
5
Versatile and delight to drive
5
Best Car Purchase So Far...
5
Overall a brilliant car to ownand drive.
5
Excellent Car with Some Minor Irritations
List Price from £39,870
Buy new from £33,658
Contract hire from £373.19 per month
 

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