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Used car of the week: BMW X3

  • Used second-generation X3 from before the latest face-lift
  • What to watch out for
  • What Car?'s Approved Used scheme
Words ByDoug Revolta

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BMW X3 xDrive20d SE

Classy, practical and good to drive, the BMW X3 is undoubtedly one of the best cars in its class.

It had a mid-life face-lift in the summer and this has helped to bring down prices of the previous second-generation model, which began production in 2010.

Some of the early models from 2011 may now be out of warranty, again helping to lower prices.

Engines and standard kit are good across the range, but our pick on the used market from before the latest face-lift is the xDrive20d SE. It has a strong and refined 181bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that offers an impressive claimed fuel economy of more than 50mpg.

The high-spec SE trim comes with leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, and cruise control.

Prices for face-lifted X3s start at £30,995 but you can get our favourite 2011 used model with less than 30,000 miles on the clock for £21,000.

X3 problems

The X3 has a great reliability record, but there are a few things to check before buying.

Some owners have reported problems with the parking sensors; check they work when you take a test drive.

Look out for any performance issues, too, because there have been reports of software problems that have led to engine trouble.

Check for any peeling paint on the car, particularly on the front.

There was a recall last year to fix a fault with the front passenger airbag; while this only affected four cars, it's worth checking with BMW to see if it affected the car you're looking at.

Head to What Cars?'s Approved Used section to find BMW X3s for sale.