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