We have yet to try the 2.0-litre petrol, badged 20i, but it’s the 187bhp 2.0-litre 20d diesel that’s likely to be the best seller and it’s also our pick of the range. It offers strong performance whether you’re negotiating suburbia or the M1, as well as enough poke to help you overtake on a B-road. In fact, it’s way punchier than the rather lacklustre Discovery Sport 2.0 TD4 180, even if it’s not quite a match for the Audi Q5 2.0 TDI 190.
The 261bhp 3.0-litre straight-six diesel model (30d) is faster, making it an even more relaxing car to cover ground in. It’s so fast that it’s barely any slower in the real world than the range-topping M40i petrol and makes way more financial sense.
Speaking of which, the M40i is awesome if performance is your thang. Its truly breathtaking pace comes courtesy of the 335bhp 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six lurking under its bonnet, giving it the capability to crack 0-62mph in just 4.8sec and reach (a limited) 155mph. It is flexible, too, with the turbocharger helping to bring a wide band of pull that begins from low revs.
Whatever X3 you choose, the standard eight-speed automatic gearbox respond quickly and ensure you’re never left floundering.