BMW X3 (2010 – 2018) Review

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BMW X3 (2010 – 2018) At A Glance

Rating:

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.

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.

Looking for a BMW X3 (2010 - 2018)?
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Real MPG average for a BMW X3 (2010 – 2018)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

81%

Real MPG

27–52 mpg

MPGs submitted

735

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the BMW X3 (2010 – 2018)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

I bought a falsely advertised ULEZ-compliant car. What can I do?

I bought a 2012 BMW X3 diesel advertised as ULEZ-compliant. I discussed the necessity for Euro6 with the salesman in the initial telephone conversation and was assured that the car is Euro6 so is ULEZ charge exempt. After buying the car, I became aware of the TfL ULEZ status checker and searched for the registration number, only to find that the car was not ULEZ charge exempt. I then requested a Certificate of Conformity from BMW to either correct the TfL record or to prove the car had been falsely advertised. The Certificate of Conformity confirms the car to be emissions category 5J, and therefore not ULEZ exempt. I raised the issue with the dealer who refuses to respond to the complaint. As always I have saved copies of the advertisements. What recourse do I have?
A clear cut case of a car being mis-sold. The car is clearly not as described. This falls under misrepresentation, as a result, you are entitled to a full refund. For your legal rights, see: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/how-to-reject-a-car-your-consumer-rights
Answered by Dan Powell
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What does a BMW X3 (2010 – 2018) cost?

Buy new from £48,133 (list price from £54,605)
Contract hire from £380.80 per month
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