For BMW’s 2.0-litre diesel engine is strong and pretty refined. The BMW X3 xDrive20d SE gives you lots of luxuries, including leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, parking sensors and cruise control.
Against The wide transmission tunnel makes life uncomfortable for a central rear passenger and the manual gearbox is pretty clunky. We’re yet to try the X3 on standard suspension.
What Car? says
The BMW X3 xDrive20d SE is our pick of the X3 range. It has all the performance you need, and it's efficient enough to keep running costs down.
What Car? readers say
View the whole BMW X3 4x4 range
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. Even sat-nav and a powered tailgate come as standard.
There's also a lower-powered two-wheel-drive sDrive18d version, plus two six-cylinder models. These final two are fast, but cost thousands more than the perfectly adequate 20d.
There are also xLine and M Sport trims available, but we'd resist the temptation. The M Sport in particular looks great with its sporty bodykit and big wheels, but it costs a lot more than SE.
Of the numerous cost options available, we'd certainly go for the eight-speed automatic gearbox; the six-speed manual (standard on the 18d and 20d) has a stiff action that makes changing gear a bit too much like hard work.
Reader test team says:
This is my second X3 F25 model and after a week's ownership can already perceive an improvement over my original 2011 model. The car feels more…
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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…