HUNT FOR A RUN-OUT BAR­GAIN

BMW’s mid-size SUV will soon be up­dated, but the cur­rent model re­mains pop­u­lar

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - MOTORING - CRAIG DUFF

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.