Lit­tle boy and fat man

BMW’S X3 has been a con­densed X5 — but no longer. So do you re­ally need to buy an X5?

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

com­par­i­son. We’re try­ing to an­swer a ques­tion plenty of peo­ple are ask­ing.

VALUE

The 30d is half the price of the M50d, which gets ma­jor fet­tling from the boffins in BMW’s go-fastMDivi­sion, most of it on the engine, sus­pen­sion and steer­ing. As the range-top­per, its stan­dard gear in­cludes 20-inch al­loys on run­flat tyres, bi-xenon head­lights, quad-zone cli­mate con­trol, leather in­te­rior, Blue­tooth and iPod con­nec­tiv­ity andBMW’s top-of-the-line Pro­fes­sional sat­nav. The op­tions list is as long as your arm.

For the money, the X3 is in­cred­i­bly well-equipped: Blue­tooth and iPod, Busi­nesslevel sat-nav, dual-zone air­con, leather, halo­gen lights and the X Line pack­age, which adds neat trim de­tail­ing. There’s also a long op­tions list.

TECH­NOL­OGY

Both have 3.0-litre six-cylin­der turbo diesels. The 30d’s pair of tur­bos push out­puts to 160kW/ 560Nm; the M50d has three bolted on, for 280kW/740Nm. In each, the su­per-smooth eight-speed au­to­matic is im­pos­si­ble to catch out. That they use only 6.0L and 7.5L/100km re­spec­tively is im­pres­sive in­deed.

TheM­Di­vi­sion tun­ing makes the M50d more brutish and ag­ile than a reg­u­lar X5. With a rear-drive bias, the xDrive sys­tem is eas­ily one of the smartest all-wheel drive sys­tems on the planet and half the time you won’t know it’s work­ing— xDrive can brake and shuf­fle torque, side-to-side and front-to-back, to vir­tu­ally

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