The BMW X3 benefits from the familiar magic weaved by BMW’s Efficient Dynamics programme, which has given almost all of the company’s model range class-leading green credentials. The X3 delivers similarly impressive numbers.
But the most impressive aspect is the effective invisibility of the economy-boosting eco tech, none of which gets in the way of the driving experience. The four-cylinder X3s manage the neat trick of being both greener and quicker than their rivals.
There are no mechanical surprises. Power for the xDrive20d comes from BMW’s latest 2.0-litre diesel producing 187bhp/280lb ft in the latter. BMW claims a 0-62mph time of 8.5sec for the xDrive20d, which is pretty much on the money; we averaged 8.4sec to 60mph on a damp surface in that variant.
Only at very low revs does the 2.0-litre engine give away its relative lack of capacity, with little pull available below 1500rpm. But from then onwards there’s strong, lag-free urge until the engine starts to tighten up at around 4250rpm. The ultra-precise shift action of the six-speed manual gearbox makes it easy to keep the engine in its broad comfort zone, too.