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