The test car arrived with a Sand Beige Nevada leather interior, which includes the central and door armrests as well as the seats, in place of the standard twill-covering.
The test car arrived with a Sand Beige Nevada leather interior, which includes the central and door armrests as well as the seats, in place of the standard twill-covering. This gives the car a sumptuous feeling, however it does add £1,190 to the price and is just one of the many optional extras. Standard goodies for the SE include an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, an over-anxious Park Distance Control (PDC) system, rain sensing wipers with automatic headlight activation, manually adjustable front seats and a radio/single CD player with MP3 compatibility and iPod input jack. M Sport adds 18-inch alloys, door sill finishes embellished with an ‘M’, M aerodynamics package and sports seats and suspension.
It is very easy too go overboard with the extras. For instance, the Media package costs £1,915 but does include satellite navigation with pop-up colour screen, Bluetooth telephone preparation, BMW Assist and a 6-CD autochanger that resides beneath the front, central armrest.
BMW tells us that the xDrive, all-wheel drive system (with fully variable torque split) is now even more effective and operates faster than before with help from the Intelligent Managements (ICM) system. Meanwhile, the DSC Dynamic Stability Control includes such gizmos as Brake Drying, which is activated whenever the wipers are switched on; Brake Pre-tensioning, Brake Fade Compensation, Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assistant. Naturally, ABS is included along with Cornering Brake Control and Trailer Stability Control.
If that is not enough there is also Dynamic Traction Control, which is featured in the X3 for the first time. This system delays some of the other controls and allows for some wheel spin in difficult surface conditions or a light, controllable drift on bends, should the mood take you.
For this size of car, it is very agile on country roads and makes light work of motorways. A trip to the capital revealed that it is tall enough for excellent visibility in town but not so large that it is difficult to manoeuvre in tight spaces.
BMW X3 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||BMW X3 2.5Si SE|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||8.5 Seconds|
|Top Speed||130 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||36.7 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3-Year / Unlimited Mileage|
|Price (when tested on the 03/02/07)||£30,485|