For With the optional Variable Damper Control, the BMW X3 strikes a fine balance between comfort and agility. The cabin is classy and spacious, and running costs are low.
Against Its wide transmission tunnel makes life uncomfortable for a central rear passenger and the manual gearbox is a bit clunky. We’re yet to try the X3 on standard suspension.
What Car? says
The BMW X3 is one of the best cars in its class. It’s classy, practical and good to drive. The engines are very efficient, too, and standard kit is pretty generous.
What Car? readers say
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There are 8 BMW X3 versions available
Target Price team says:
The xDrive20d SE is our favourite version. It provides all the performance you need and comes with lots of luxuries, including leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors and cruise control.
There's also a lower-powered sDrive18d two-wheel-drive version, plus two six-cylinder models. These final two are fast, but cost thousands more that the perfectly adequate 20d.
There's also an M Sport trim available, but we'd resist the temptation. It looks great, with a sporty bodykit, but again, it costs thousands more than the SE.
BMW also offers numerous cost options, and we’d be tempted to specify the eight-speed automatic gearbox because the standard six-speed manual has a stiff action that makes it a bit too much like hard work.
Reader test team says:
I have owned my BMW X3 M Sport from new (March 2012) and have been massively disappointed with the car. I drive very carefully but the car still…
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…
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.…
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…