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 a bit 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.
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 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…
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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…