The BMW X3 marks the midpoint in the German firm's SUV range, sitting between the entry-level X1 and large X5 both in terms of size and price. It faces strong competition from other large premium SUVs such as the Audi Q5 and Land Rover Discovery Sport.
The original X3 was launched in 2004, and was one of the first mid-size SUVs to carry a premium badge. It was, at least initially, a huge sales success. The second-generation version appeared in 2011 and, to keep it competitive in the face of an ever-increasing number of rivals, it was larger, quicker and more efficient, as well as being better to drive. Read about those earlier cars by clicking here.
The current X3 has always been one of our favourite large SUVs, due to its high quality interior and comparatively low running costs. It's also one of the best cars to drive in this class. This latest version sharpens the X3's appeal even further, although if you want a petrol X3 you’re out of luck, because the engine line-up has diesels only. There’s one 2.0-litre and two 3.0-litre motors to choose from, along with three trim levels.
Read on over the next few pages for our in depth impressions on the X3, along with our recommendations for which trim levels and engines to choose.