HUNT FOR A RUN-OUT BARGAIN
BMW’s mid-size SUV will soon be updated, but the current model remains popular
DON’T PAY FULL FARE
The X3 is fast reaching its use-by date – the new model recently shown at the Frankfurt motor show is due here before the end of the year. That doesn’t detract from the ability of the existing car – which is still a first-rate prestige SUV – but it should focus attention on haggling for a decent deal. Mind you, you’ll need to haggle: the X3 is still the third best-selling compact prestige SUV behind the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Mercedes-Benz GLC and the 30d tops the range with a recommended price of $81,000.
IT IS THE FLAGSHIP OF THE RANGE
The X3 30d also tops the line-up in terms of performance. The 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo diesel (190kW/560Nm) turns an eight-speed auto transmission and all-wheel drive, claiming 5.9 seconds for the 0-100km/h sprint and returning 6.1L/100km when driven with less vigour. The just-launched model is all but certain to have a proper M car to head the range but that will have petrol power and isn’t likely to arrive until late next year.
TECH IS GOOD, COULD BE BETTER
Standard gear on the 30d includes a power tailgate, nine-speaker audio, 8.8-inch infotainment screen with premium satnav software, 19-inch alloy wheels with tyre pressure monitoring and Nevada leather, a $3000 option on lesser versions. That’s what you’d expect around this price, though a headup display probably should have been included as default kit rather than a $2000 option. You likewise shouldn’t have to pay – and all the premium brands are guilty of this gouge – $1937 for metallic paint.
IT IS A SPACE CADET
The X3 is often overshadowed by its bigger, brasher X5 stablemate but for most families the smaller car is the smarter choice unless you regularly carry three in the back seats. Leg and headroom for two adults is more than acceptable and the boot will still cope with 550L of luggage. Drop the 40-20-40 spilt rear pew and cargo capacity expands to 1600L.
ACTIVE SAFETY SHOULD BE STANDARD
When this version of the X3 launched in 2011, much of the active safety software was still fairly esoteric. That isn’t the case these days and BMW doesn’t have the excuse of saying the car hasn’t been engineered to take the cameras and sensors. They’re available, providing you’re prepared to delve into the options catalogue and pay for the privilege. That doesn’t cut it when small mainstream cars come standard with everything from autonomous emergency braking to blind spot and lane departure warnings. Hopefully, the soon-to-arrive version addresses that oversight.