Cost & verdict

BMW X3 review

Manufacturer price from:£39,120
What Car? Target Price:£37,040
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BMW X3
Review continues below...
23 Aug 2016 12:40 | Last updated: 7 Nov 2018 14:31

In this review

Cost & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

BMW X3 4x4 running costs

When it comes to buying an X3 with cash, there’s little to separate it on price from its main rivals. Generous dealer discounts are available. However, the X3 is predicted to depreciate quicker than an Audi Q5 or Land Rover Discovery Sport.

PCP deals are relatively pricey, with much higher like-for-like monthly payments than that for a Q5. On the plus side, the 20d model makes sense as a company car, with similar CO2 emissions to the best rivals in the class, resulting in sensible benefit-in-kind tax payments.

We don't yet have a True MPG fuel economy figure but BMW claims an average 54.3mpg for the popular 20d version. This is very similar to the claimed figures for equivalent engines in the Q5 and Discovery Sport.

Use our True MPG calculator to see what your car really does to the gallon

BMW X3 4x4 equipment

You don’t need to spend more on the higher trims levels, because entry-level SE comes stacked with all the equipment you'd need. Heated leather seats, an electronic automatic tailgate, climate and cruise control, a DAB radio, sat-nav, Bluetooth, automatic headlights and wipers and alloy wheels are all standard.

XLine trim then adds larger wheels, a sports steering wheel and various visual upgrades. Unless you’re particularly bothered about the car's looks, it isn’t worth the extra money.

M Sport is above that and – you guessed it – you get larger wheels and an even sportier appearance. Sadly, you also get overly stiff sports suspension, although you can opt out of this for no extra charge. The range-topping M40i, meanwhile, gets the option of even bigger wheels, a fully digital driver display and upgraded brakes among the highlights. It gets M Sport suspension as standard, but for a little extra you can have the excellent adaptive M suspension.

BMW X3

BMW X3 4x4 reliability

In our most recent survey, BMW rated average for reliability, finishing 17th out of 32 manufacturers. Audi finished a little higher, although Land Rover, Volvo and Jaguar came in considerably lower down the pecking order.

Every X3 comes with a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty to protect against large and unexpected bills. This also includes a three-year paintwork warranty and a 12-year anti-corrosion promise.

BMW X3 4x4 safety and security

All X3s come with stability control, six airbags and a tyre pressure monitor as standard. Euro NCAP awarded the X3 five stars in its crash tests, where it scored similarly well compared with its rivals across the individual categories.

Of course, being a premium car, you would expect many of the latest safety aids to be available. Well, you get automatic emergency braking as standard, while blindspot monitoring, lane assist, rear cross traffic alert and traffic sign recognition are among some of the useful options.

Security firm Thatcham Research has carried out tests on the X3’s resistance to theft. It scored very highly, achieving above-average marks for guarding against being stolen or broken into.

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Verdict

The X3 is superb to drive and offers a spacious, high-quality interior, making it one of the best large SUVs to buy

  • Sharp handling
  • Class-leading infotainment
  • Strong engines
  • Slightly firm ride in M Sport trim
  • Popular 20d model sounds gruff
  • Pricey PCP finance
There are 5 trims available for the X3 4x4. Click to see details.See all versions
OUR PICK
SE
Entry-level trim comes with luxuries such as climate control, a powered tailgate, sat-nav, cruise control and heated leather seats, so there’s no need to spend any extra...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£37,040
Average Saving £2,080
View Trim
xLine
Adds larger wheels, a sports steering wheel and various visual upgrades. Unless you’re particularly bothered about the ritzier looks, xLine isn’t worth the extra over SE...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£37,890
Average Saving £2,130
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M Sport
This top-of-the-range trim adds larger wheels and a more aggressive-looking bodykit. Sadly, you also get overly stiff sports suspension, although you can opt out of this for no extra charge. The ch...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£39,402
Average Saving £2,218
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M40d
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel
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£49,659
Average Saving £2,796
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M40i
The M40i, with its raucous straight-six engine, stands on its own with 20in wheels, an optional bespoke suspension set-up and a hefty price tag...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£50,069
Average Saving £2,796
View Trim