2010 saw the introduction of the second generation of the BMW X3. With its introduction we saw a much better machine in comparison with the model before it. Everything from looks to performance improved. Some will be surprised to read that the current generation X3 is almost as large as the first generation of the X5. The X3 is a comfortable, spacious and capable machine that might even be one of the best in its class. In 2015 the X3 received a subtle update.
The X3 range is made up of a selection of 2.0 litre and 3.0 litre engines. The 2.0 litre four-cylinder engines offer maximum power outputs of 150 bhp (X3 sDrive 18d) and 190 bhp (xDrive20d SE/xLine/M Sport). The 3.0 litre six cylinder engines offer 258 bhp (xDrive30d) and 313 bhp (xDrive35d M Sport). This is one of the few BMW cars that does not have a petrol option available in Ireland – which means that potential buyers should ensure that they do adequate mileage to own a diesel.
This car handles excellently, in fact we would say that it is on par with a normal saloon vehicle. If you opt for four-wheel drive you will find that xDrive offers an excellent amount of traction as well as grip. That four-wheel drive however won’t bring you over the roughest of terrains, but it certainly won’t leave you stranded on snowy or icy days.
At higher revs the engines can create a bit of noise, which is a bit of a common thread among BMW diesels. With that said though, they all level out at cruising speeds. The automatic transmission is definitely the better option, but choosing this will increase the overall cost of the vehicle.
During 2015 BMW added some reshaped bumpers to the exterior as well as LED indicators. The vehicle now has a slightly more aggressive look – but the update was by no means extensive. As per usual, the interior material quality is excellent but somehow it is lacking in excitement. It’s a bit like the interior of the Audi Q5 – in that we all know it’s made of the good stuff, but it could do with being a bit more enticing.
The X3 received a full five stars in the Euro NCAP safety test. As standard there are many safety and driver aids. Owners will receive adaptive headlights that illuminate the sides of a road while turning or on a bend. Purchasers will also get Park Distance Control to the front and rear. Tyre pressure monitoring systems are also available. Other safety items can be purchased at a high enough price though. These options include; run-flat tyres, headlight wash, lane change warning system and Xenon headlights. You will also find the X3 kitted out with side, front and curtain airbags.
The interior of the X3 is roomy. There is plenty of room for two adults in the rear, and head room is certainly not an issue. Unfortunately the tunnel in the centre of the rear does make the seating slightly uncomfortable if you are trying to fit a third adult in there. The boot is practical offering 550 litres. With the back seats down this stretches to an impressive 1,600 litres.