What is it?
BMW’s new range-topping X3, the xDrive30d M Sport, which is now on sale throughout UK showrooms. Combining generous standard equipment levels and advanced chassis technology with class-leading performance and genuinely sporting handling, it’s a car that gives real credibility to BMW’s claim of making the most driver-focused SUVs in the world.
And yet it would hardly matter if this car had half of its dynamic poise and purpose, so convincing is the objective prospect that it represents.
As practical as almost any medium-sized SUV, this BMW trounces its nearest rivals in key areas. Capable of going almost ten miles further for every gallon of diesel than Audi’s equivalent Q5, this car is also faster and more powerful than the Audi, and more than three seconds faster accelerating to 62mph than Land Rover’s most powerful diesel Freelander.
What it like?
A very impressive, fast and desirable family car. If this X3’s armour has a chink, it’s mechanical refinement. Fire the engine up and you’ll find it a little more vocal than the bigger-selling four-pot diesel; significantly less well isolated than it is in a 5-series. It’s far from noisy though, and combined with the eight-speed automatic gearbox that comes as standard, drives the X3 forward with enough mid-range pace to really concentrate the mind.