ive20d SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG44 mpg

Although I have only owned this 7 month old car for two weeks it is the most satisfying car I have owned in 50 years. I had two previous BMW 3 Series Touring models which I found to be very good but this X3 ticks all the boxes for me. It looks good, has a great engine and 7 speed auto gearbox and rides well on 18" wheels with 50 profile runflats - better than my last Touring model. It is much easier to get in and out of (yes, an age thing), and has a very comfortable raised driving position. The iDrive system is excellent and the inclusion of the Professional Multi Media Navigation System makes it even better. Although the full sunroof was not a requirement it certainly makes for a very light and airy cabin environment. Thus far very, very pleased.

David Woollard, Cornwall, March 9th 2015

ive20d SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG44 mpg

Although I have only owned this 7 month old car for two weeks it is the most satisfying car I have owned in 50 years. I had two previous BMW 3 Series Touring models which I found to be very good but this X3 ticks all the boxes for me. It looks good, has a great engine and 7 speed auto gearbox and rides well on 18" wheels with 50 profile runflats - better than my last Touring model. It is much easier to get in and out of (yes, an age thing), and has a very comfortable raised driving position. The iDrive system is excellent and the inclusion of the Professional Multi Media Navigation System makes it even better. Although the full sunroof was not a requirement it certainly makes for a very light and airy cabin environment. Thus far very, very pleased.

David Woollard, Cornwall, March 9th 2015

ive18d SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG40 mpg

I bought this X3 because I need to pull a boat trailer and sometimes on and off a sandy beach where the 4x4 capability is a must. It does really well on sand and am pleased with the way it handles soft sand in particular. I'm generally happy with the car itself - motorway cruising range on a full tank is about 550 miles which is very good. Biggest problem with the car is the truly horrible SatNav system and iDrive in general. I had a Lexus previously which has a superb SatNav with touch screen operation. The traffic flow for real time information in the BMW actually shows the traffic problems on the wrong side of the road. The whole iDrive system is unbelievably useless for SatNav - taking ages to do the simplest thing. In the Lexus I would just touch the map where I wanted to navigate to and it was done. The BMW is really horrible and the sooner they get with the real world and introduce touch screen the better. Setting a destination that then includes the most massive hold-ups still results in the SatNav suggesting the route with the hold-up. Getting a new route on the move risks killing yourself as it is so complicated to do. I have the 'professional' wide screen version and what an over-priced piece of junk it is. BMW massively let themselves down on the SatNav and crap iDrive system. It's early 1990's technology at best.

Andy Smtih, January 27th 2015

ive18d SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG40 mpg

I bought this X3 because I need to pull a boat trailer and sometimes on and off a sandy beach where the 4x4 capability is a must. It does really well on sand and am pleased with the way it handles soft sand in particular. I'm generally happy with the car itself - motorway cruising range on a full tank is about 550 miles which is very good. Biggest problem with the car is the truly horrible SatNav system and iDrive in general. I had a Lexus previously which has a superb SatNav with touch screen operation. The traffic flow for real time information in the BMW actually shows the traffic problems on the wrong side of the road. The whole iDrive system is unbelievably useless for SatNav - taking ages to do the simplest thing. In the Lexus I would just touch the map where I wanted to navigate to and it was done. The BMW is really horrible and the sooner they get with the real world and introduce touch screen the better. Setting a destination that then includes the most massive hold-ups still results in the SatNav suggesting the route with the hold-up. Getting a new route on the move risks killing yourself as it is so complicated to do. I have the 'professional' wide screen version and what an over-priced piece of junk it is. BMW massively let themselves down on the SatNav and crap iDrive system. It's early 1990's technology at best.

Andy Smtih, January 27th 2015

d SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG37 mpg

My wife and I went to view a Toyota RAV 4 but she fancied an 06 plate X3 with 78K on the clock.. who was I to argue. Did the deal on the spot and then came home and researched the car! Such poor reviews. Why did I not sleep on the decision! Six months on and no regrets now. The ride is firm but better than our previous car; A VW Golf. 37 mpg of mostly town driving, which is 10 mpg poorer than the Golf 105 diesel. Not too bad when you compare the size and weight and add in 4WD. We love it.

howard franks, South Lanarkshire, November 25th 2014

ive20d SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG41.2 mpg

I made the mistake of ordering a manual gear change; ignoring warnings about it as I thought BMW would not produce an inferior manual change. Well they have. It is the worst gear selector I have ever had. Perhaps it will improve with use. I certainly hope so. It is very disappointing. Clunky doesn't describe it. I worry about missing changes and reverse. Avoid it.

Roger Daniels, July 29th 2014

ive20d SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG41.2 mpg

I made the mistake of ordering a manual gear change; ignoring warnings about it as I thought BMW would not produce an inferior manual change. Well they have. It is the worst gear selector I have ever had. Perhaps it will improve with use. I certainly hope so. It is very disappointing. Clunky doesn't describe it. I worry about missing changes and reverse. Avoid it.

Roger Daniels, July 29th 2014

ive30d xLine 5dr Step Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG39 mpg

I had been waiting for the new 'face-lift' version of the X3 to appear ever since I saw the publicity material. As luck would have it, a local BMW dealership had one available and I was lucky enough to get it. Since the moment I drove it away from the showroom, I have been thrilled with it. For a diesel engine, it is amazingly quiet at any speed and just purrs along. It is fantastic on the road with great handling and is such a comfortable ride. I have 19" alloys which seems to make the ride even more enjoyable. I like a pretty soft ride and this is perfection. There are four driving modes and I almost always use the 'comfort' setting which seems just right and there is plenty of power to pull away at junctions. Currently I seem to be achieving 39 mpg on a combined cycle - not bad considering I have only had the vehicle for two weeks. I am expecting this to get better. The interior is full leather with lots of optional extras, such as BMW professional navigation system and connected drive, visibility package and comfort package. I am always excited about having a new car but this one has surpassed all others. It is really a pleasure to own.

Mike Stevens, Herts, July 24th 2014

d Sport 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG32 mpg

If you're looking for a 4x4 - The X3 is a hidden gem. Like a lot of people we wanted an X5, then discovered the X5's low mpg (akin to any big 4x4), then the extraordinary cost of the X5 tyres (the worst of an big 4x4). And so started looking at the X3, it's only 2 inches shorter than the X5 and mpg is vastly better. Running costs much better. Cabin is bigger than our current BMW 320d, but not as big as an X5. We started considered the 2.0d and but saw 0-60 was much slower compared to our current '06 BMW 320d. So found and bought the hidden gem the X3 3.0d Sport As it's the same engine as X5, it is silky smooth and lovely to drive. The handling is pin sharp and much better than our 320d SE Touring. The ride is firmer then the SE, but no where near the bone shakers of 1 & 3 series M Sports I've driven. 0-60 is 7.7secs (Golf GTi territory) it's a pleasure on A roads and over takes anything with confidence. MPG: 36mpg is achievable with the Auto box. We're getting more around the 30mpg through the villages we live in. But on our average of 700 miles/month, it's only costing us Β£30/month extra in fuel compared to our 45mpg 320d. And much better than an X5 would be. Off road: it's been great in a wet field in January. The ABS stops the wheels from spinning and tearing up the grass and trickles over it without any mess or fuss, ground clearance isn't big so for sure it isn't a mud plugger, but fine to drive onto grass and not need pulling out like any 2wd.

Ed Pickard, Devon, February 14th 2014

ive20d SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG40 mpg

11 months and 10,000 miles down the road and still waiting for the diesel clatter to subside. A very good car marred by the awful racket of a bag of nails under the bonnet. I did notice the noise on the test drive but assumed that it would subside when the engine was run in - wrong! Above 40 mph the racket subsides to acceptable, not good , but acceptable. I'm shocked that BMW can produce a car with such an agricultural engine and it is such a mismatch to the elegant interior and very good driving experience. This is my 4th BMW and when I think of the super smooth E39 straight 6 I cannot believe this engine is produced by the same company. OK the six was petrol but I thought that diesel technology had moved forward, obviously not. The rest of the car is great but future buyers be warned, around town and at speeds under 40 mph you will get tired of the noise. If anybody out there knows of a company that can supply and fit an effective noise suppression kit, I'm in the market. The rest of the car is great, well the Sat Nav has a mind of its own and I'm awaiting an update to the system, but it is a nice car and would have got 5 stars if it wasn't for the racket from the front. In Germany they offer a petrol turbo 4 with the same bhp, why are we denied in the UK. Dear BMW, not everybody runs it as a company car and is a slave to the CO2.

David Wilson, Berks, October 7th 2013

ive20d SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG40 mpg

11 months and 10,000 miles down the road and still waiting for the diesel clatter to subside. A very good car marred by the awful racket of a bag of nails under the bonnet. I did notice the noise on the test drive but assumed that it would subside when the engine was run in - wrong! Above 40 mph the racket subsides to acceptable, not good , but acceptable. I'm shocked that BMW can produce a car with such an agricultural engine and it is such a mismatch to the elegant interior and very good driving experience. This is my 4th BMW and when I think of the super smooth E39 straight 6 I cannot believe this engine is produced by the same company. OK the six was petrol but I thought that diesel technology had moved forward, obviously not. The rest of the car is great but future buyers be warned, around town and at speeds under 40 mph you will get tired of the noise. If anybody out there knows of a company that can supply and fit an effective noise suppression kit, I'm in the market. The rest of the car is great, well the Sat Nav has a mind of its own and I'm awaiting an update to the system, but it is a nice car and would have got 5 stars if it wasn't for the racket from the front. In Germany they offer a petrol turbo 4 with the same bhp, why are we denied in the UK. Dear BMW, not everybody runs it as a company car and is a slave to the CO2.

David Wilson, Berks, October 7th 2013

ive20d SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG45 mpg

Really pleased with this car. Previously owned a couple of Mercedes and a SAAB, all of which were very good cars, but the BMW is the complete package. A really good practical car and outstanding service from my local dealer. I am not a great believer in adding extras as they depreciate very quickly and what you don't have you don't miss! Split rear seats, heated front seats and automatic box and that's about it. I should have ordered privacy glass as the standard tint is too light but other than that I do not regret adding further to the cost. I drive significant distances 60,000 miles over the last 20 months both in the UK and Europe, I am a relatively gentle driver and once the engine passed 20K miles I find over 45mpg the norm, and usually above that on a long run. (best being 50mpg over a 400 mile run M5,M4 and M25 in the main). The trip computer confirms that the average over the last 9 months is 45 mpg reflecting a lot of motorway and "A" roads. This is different from many other reviews, but there again I do get overtaken by a lot of X3's and perhaps that tells a story. In summary a great car whether it is for general use or for blasting down to the South of France or the Alps, proved invaluable in the snow although the Pirelli P7's have their limitations as might be expected. The only thing that I am less comfortable about is the lack of a spare wheel, I will look at the wheel choice more carefully when I come to change. No hesitation in recommending.

Humphrey Richards, Devon, September 1st 2013

ive20d SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG45 mpg

Really pleased with this car. Previously owned a couple of Mercedes and a SAAB, all of which were very good cars, but the BMW is the complete package. A really good practical car and outstanding service from my local dealer. I am not a great believer in adding extras as they depreciate very quickly and what you don't have you don't miss! Split rear seats, heated front seats and automatic box and that's about it. I should have ordered privacy glass as the standard tint is too light but other than that I do not regret adding further to the cost. I drive significant distances 60,000 miles over the last 20 months both in the UK and Europe, I am a relatively gentle driver and once the engine passed 20K miles I find over 45mpg the norm, and usually above that on a long run. (best being 50mpg over a 400 mile run M5,M4 and M25 in the main). The trip computer confirms that the average over the last 9 months is 45 mpg reflecting a lot of motorway and "A" roads. This is different from many other reviews, but there again I do get overtaken by a lot of X3's and perhaps that tells a story. In summary a great car whether it is for general use or for blasting down to the South of France or the Alps, proved invaluable in the snow although the Pirelli P7's have their limitations as might be expected. The only thing that I am less comfortable about is the lack of a spare wheel, I will look at the wheel choice more carefully when I come to change. No hesitation in recommending.

Humphrey Richards, Devon, September 1st 2013

ive20d SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG39 mpg

After 4 years of a Volvo XC90 D5 we wanted to down size to get better economy BUT still needed space for kids university run. I went for the SE but blinged it up with 19inch wheels and the X pack...and in mineral silver it looks great. I also went for the variable damper control, professional media, cold weather pack, visibility pack and auto box plus some other bits and pieces. I was concerned that the 2 litre diesel would not be up to the job but has proven to be a punchy unit and both quiet and smooth. I like a spirited drive now and then and after 1000 miles I continue to be amazed just how quick the and refined the unit is...much better than the Audi Q5 I tested. The Variable damper control is amazing with the 19 inch low profile run flats I get a really comfortable ride. The auto box is well matched and the media, nav, phone, voice command works really well....once you get used to it, very impressed. I have been also been impressed by the space in the car and the many nice touches like the dipping driver mirror when reversing. Like many others, I am not getting anywhere near the official MPG with an average of 39 so far. I knew this before I bought the car so no real disappointment. One final comment, I have been amazed by how well the electronic aids have dealt with the recent snow. I passed a Q5 that couldn't get up our hill to the village! with no dramas at all. Overall, really impressed so far...quiet, punchy, well equipped and the tech works well.

Mark Steers, Berkshire, January 21st 2013

ive20d SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG39 mpg

After 4 years of a Volvo XC90 D5 we wanted to down size to get better economy BUT still needed space for kids university run. I went for the SE but blinged it up with 19inch wheels and the X pack...and in mineral silver it looks great. I also went for the variable damper control, professional media, cold weather pack, visibility pack and auto box plus some other bits and pieces. I was concerned that the 2 litre diesel would not be up to the job but has proven to be a punchy unit and both quiet and smooth. I like a spirited drive now and then and after 1000 miles I continue to be amazed just how quick the and refined the unit is...much better than the Audi Q5 I tested. The Variable damper control is amazing with the 19 inch low profile run flats I get a really comfortable ride. The auto box is well matched and the media, nav, phone, voice command works really well....once you get used to it, very impressed. I have been also been impressed by the space in the car and the many nice touches like the dipping driver mirror when reversing. Like many others, I am not getting anywhere near the official MPG with an average of 39 so far. I knew this before I bought the car so no real disappointment. One final comment, I have been amazed by how well the electronic aids have dealt with the recent snow. I passed a Q5 that couldn't get up our hill to the village! with no dramas at all. Overall, really impressed so far...quiet, punchy, well equipped and the tech works well.

Mark Steers, Berkshire, January 21st 2013

ive20d SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality1/5
  • Average MPG40 mpg

I've run this from new for 1000 miles so far. Diesel consumption is very good on long runs and when it's set to eco pro. A motorway trip of 400 miles came in at 44 MPG running at speeds of about 75-80 mph on a fairly fine day with little wind resistance. Car handles extremely well, corners well and has a very smooth ride. Running costs should be quite cheap, since my deal included servicing for 5 years. My previous car was a top of the range Ford Kuga with all the toys. It blows the X3 out of the water with its equipment so I have to say I am disappointed on a daily basis with what the X3s equipment can't do. I opted for bluetooth and USB additional extras. Utter waste of time. For example, your phone operates predominantly via the iDrive system. The voice command button on the steering wheel is not active which is misleading because the button is there on all X3s. This means it isn't hands free at all so completely and utterly useless. To add insult to injury, the phone button and scroll wheel on the steering wheel only allow you to view and dial recently dialled numbers, so isn't able to access your phonebook. Next gripe is that the wing mirrors are quite big, but there is no way to fold them in when parked up, either manually OR electronically. It's just a matter of time before they get ripped off by a bus. Other problems - auto locking, boot operation, lack of cable for USB, poor headlight washing. All in all, I'd stick with my Ford due to the frustrations.

Rob Jones, October 7th 2012

ive30d SE 5dr Step Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG40 mpg

I've had my X3 3.0SE for 3 months now and overall it's a great car. I'll start with the bad, the hard plastic trim on the inside of the rear hatch is poor quality as are the door bottoms. It's also poor on fuel on short runs ~2 miles when it doesn't warm up, I struggle to get better than 31mpg. Now the good, it's great to drive, the engine and transmission a good match and the stop/start is unobtrusive. In normal mode the response can be a little slow for overtaking but if you flick the leaver across into sport it is fine. There's plenty of space for the family, good to see out of and once warm the economy is OK. The best I've seen on a gental run is 51mpg (this is the 3.0) but overall I'm getting 40 which I am happy with. The ride is good on our rough roads but I specifically decided to have the standary wheels and non-runflat tyres which I believe helps. Handling is good, it can feel a little soft and if you really drive hard you may want VDC but I doubt it is worth it. All I need now is for the winter to come so I can see how it performs in the snow

Chris Attwood, Tyrone, June 28th 2012

ive30d SE 5dr Step Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG40 mpg

I've had my X3 3.0SE for 3 months now and overall it's a great car. I'll start with the bad, the hard plastic trim on the inside of the rear hatch is poor quality as are the door bottoms. It's also poor on fuel on short runs ~2 miles when it doesn't warm up, I struggle to get better than 31mpg. Now the good, it's great to drive, the engine and transmission a good match and the stop/start is unobtrusive. In normal mode the response can be a little slow for overtaking but if you flick the leaver across into sport it is fine. There's plenty of space for the family, good to see out of and once warm the economy is OK. The best I've seen on a gental run is 51mpg (this is the 3.0) but overall I'm getting 40 which I am happy with. The ride is good on our rough roads but I specifically decided to have the standary wheels and non-runflat tyres which I believe helps. Handling is good, it can feel a little soft and if you really drive hard you may want VDC but I doubt it is worth it. All I need now is for the winter to come so I can see how it performs in the snow

Chris Attwood, Tyrone, June 28th 2012

ive30d M Sport 5dr Step Auto

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

This is an update to my previous submission. I have now done 8000 miles in this car and I am growing more pleased with my choice every day. The only thing I miss from my BMW 350 GT is the radar braking, which was brilliant in the rain, dark and fog. Nothing has gone wrong with the car and no rattles have developed. I find the car extremely comfortable on long journeys and very easy to drive. I am now used to the stop start as well, which took a while and the auto handbrake is a dream, except when trying to park, so I now switch it off when doing that. The most pleasing thing is I am now getting between 35 and 40 mpg and can get much better if I try. Amazing for a 3ltr brick shaped car.

Brian Tetley, Leics, May 23rd 2012

ive30d M Sport 5dr Step Auto

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

This is an update to my previous submission. I have now done 8000 miles in this car and I am growing more pleased with my choice every day. The only thing I miss from my BMW 350 GT is the radar braking, which was brilliant in the rain, dark and fog. Nothing has gone wrong with the car and no rattles have developed. I find the car extremely comfortable on long journeys and very easy to drive. I am now used to the stop start as well, which took a while and the auto handbrake is a dream, except when trying to park, so I now switch it off when doing that. The most pleasing thing is I am now getting between 35 and 40 mpg and can get much better if I try. Amazing for a 3ltr brick shaped car.

Brian Tetley, Leics, May 23rd 2012

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