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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: July 4, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

    Driven: BMW X3 30d M Sport: €61,480

    Michael McAleer

    BMW’s X3 is now in its second-generation and this new one is much, much better than before. The last one was by no means BMWs finest hour – something that BMW have certainly addressed. We have previously driven the 2.0-litre diesel version, which makes up the overwhelming majority of sales, but there is a new version out and it gets a 3.0-litre diesel putting out a massive 258hp, which in a vehicle that isn’t all that massive, feels like vast amounts of power.

    X3 M Sport: 258hp and 560Nm of torque

    Twin that with 560Nm of torque and you have what adds up to blistering performance. This is the M Sport version too, so it looks the part, with 18-inch M alloy wheels, chrome-plated door sill finishers, black gloss trim for the window surrounds, an M Sport steering wheel, sports seats and dark interior headlining.

    Power: delivery is smooth and very refined

    This is a much more useful and imposing car than before. It is much more spacious and with a closer link to the larger X5, it looks much more upmarket too. What you don’t expect with this version is just how agile and quick it is. Our car was fitted with adjustable dampers and when you select Sport mode and push the car on you could be in a 5 Series, such is the car’s competence. The X3 features an 8-speed automatic transmission and it is silky smooth and thanks to Stop/Start technology, emissions are low.

    Interior: high quality cabin and more space than before

    Despite having a 3.0-litre diesel engine, and all that power, emissions are just 159g/km so that means road tax of just €447, which is very impressive. This car munches up a long journey with ease. We travelled the length of the country and it was a really comfortable drive. The six-cylinder diesel is very smooth and potent. When you look at the price tag, this makes a superb buy, making a mockery of the Volkswagen Touareg’s price tag. Plus, unless you really want the extra seats the X5 can provide we would take a long hard look at this particular model if  you were shopping for the larger X5.

    • Sam says:

      BMW is one of the most discussed company who produce stylish cars and luxurious cars. I specifically like the small car developed by BMW. They look great and even in my budget too. All these addons in BMW will make it one of the best car to drive with. I hope this car will have great performance on the road.

    • Niall says:

      Nice. I particularly like Terracotta leather trim. However, the 3.0 TDi aside, a Skoda Octavia Scout with leather trim would be a more prudent and practical choice, for me anyway.

    • Peter Barrins says:

      Outrageously expensive and an ugly car looking car to my eyes. The Audi Q5 is a much more resolved design. I would consider a used X5 a much better option if I was spending that much cash and going for a 3 litre diesel. The X5 is a great looking car unlike the Q7 which has no style at all. And it had better be an improvement on the last X3 which was, let’s face it, a load of rubbish with a plasticky, cheap interior totally unbecoming of a BMW or any car costing what it did. BMW seems to be on two different and opposing tracks with current their design direction. One track seems to still be Banglesque, while the other is moving in another (and better) direction – for example the new 5 series which is a great looking car and the new 3 which is also going to be a very fine looking machine. The new 1 is a bit of a mess, as is the X1 and X3, while the X5 is the best looking car of its type. In my opinion, of course!!

    • Peter Barrins says:

      Don’t really agree with your comment re the Touareg (bigger car and I suspect better off road capability) and you make no mention of the Discovery which is the same price for the 3.0 diesel – although I do not think the X3 can really compete with either. The Q5 3.0 Tdi is a few grand cheaper and is really its main competitior, though I’d much prefer a used X5 to any of these cars. €60K for an ugly car makes no sense to me at all and if you want on road comfort why not just buy a 525d or something similar.

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