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:
We haven’t driven the entry-level X3 (18d sDrive) yet, and until we do, the next one up (xDrive20d SE) is our favourite. 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 are two other diesel engines available, both 3.0-litre units with either 255bhp or 309bhp. They're both 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 body kit, 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:
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.…
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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…