BMW X3 2018 first drive: It’s certainly not beautiful, but it grows on you –


BMW X3 30d

TESTED 2,993cc, six-cylinder turbodiesel, eight-speed automatic gearbox, four-wheel drive

PRICE/ON SALE range £37,980 to £50,530 (as tested £44,380)/November

POWER/TORQUE 261bhp @ 4,000rpm /457lb ft @ 2,000rpm

TOP SPEED 149mph

ACCELERATION 0-62mph in 5.8sec

FUEL ECONOMY 49.6mpg/42.8mpg (EU Combined/Urban), on test 39mpg


VED £200 first year, £450 for next four years, then £140

VERDICT Nothing exactly new, more a raised game from this premium family SUV. High-tech suspension rides well and provides good handling, although there is rather a lot of car to throw around. Accommodating and comfortable cabin, with excellent rear space and a decent-sized boot. Quite likeable, though a little dull and not a great-looking car.

TELEGRAPH RATING Four stars out of five


Volvo XC60, from £32,935

You need to spend £34,465 to get a 4×4 version of this lovely SUV, with the heavy but lovely five-cylinder 2.4 diesel. Looks great, rides beautifully and the interior is a delight. Soft-road rather than off-road, but then that’s what all these cars are about.  

Audi Q5, from £38,035

Renewed for this year, the Q5 is keen competition for BMW – it actually outsold the X3 for several years. It builds on the old strengths with great diesel engines and surprisingly adept handling, but the steering remains horrible and it’s a bit dull.


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