BMW X3 Review (2006)

BMW X3 Front Side
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BMW X3 Review

BMW X3 ReviewBMW X3 Review  | Part ThreeBMW X3 Review  | Part FiveBMW X3 Road Test

We tested the BMW X3 3.0d M-Sport (with sports suspension) and 18 inch wheels, 225/45 tyres on the front and 235/50 on the rear.

We found the 3.0 diesel engine to be a flexible powerful unit, yet still remaining quite frugal - on average we returned 34 mpg which increased on a relaxed tour of Wales to a little over 40 mpg, which we considered quite respectable.

We found the throw of the standard 6-speed manual gearbox a bit vague but unlike a lot of SUVs it was light to use, making the X3 more car like to drive than a ponderous 4x4.

As with most turbo charged diesel engines, if you let the revs drop off you can find yourself floundering having to build the speed back up again. Saying that, the X3 is no slouch with 0 to 62mph coming up in a mere 7.4 seconds, that is as quick as a respectable hot hatchback. Needless to say we did not try out the quoted top speed of 130 mph.

To prove how flexible and quick the 3.0d engine is, you only have to look at the BMW quoted 50-75 mph acceleration times in 4th gear – X3 3.0i (petrol) 7.7 seconds - X3 3.0d (diesel) 5.7 seconds, which is a comparable to the MINI Cooper S Works.

In summary we liked the engine and this is the option we would choose.

How It Drove - Ride and Handling

We tested the BMW X3 3.0d M-Sport (with sports suspension) and 18 inch wheels, 225/45 tyres on the front and 235/50 on the rear.

The ride is hard and you certainly feel poor road surfaces at low speeds but it pays absolute dividends when you find your favourite ‘B’ roads. The X3 handles more like a competent hatchback than an SUV.  Overall levels of grip are superb even when pressing on in the wet, in fact surprisingly so, bordering on the sublime. On good road surfaces, which are becoming a lot harder to find, the ride softens out, becoming quite pleasing, we really did like it.

Off road, which in our case was limited to our friendly farmer’s tracks and fields, we found that the X3 was quite capable of handling the off-road conditions and made a good job of rebuffing the transmission of mild impacts back through the cabin.

BMW X3 Review | Part Three
BMW X3 ReviewBMW X3 Review  | Part ThreeBMW X3 Review  | Part FiveBMW X3 Road Test
BMW X3 Road Test Data
Model ReviewedBMW X3 3.0d M Sport
  
Body Type4x4
ColourSilver Grey Metallic
  
Performance (manufacturers data) 
  
0 - 62 mph7.4 Seconds
Top Speed 130 mph
  
Transmission6-Speed Manual
  
Fuel TypeDiesel
  
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
  
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
  
Urban27.4 mpg
Extra Urban43.5 mpg
Combined35.8 mpg
  
Insurance Group17
Euro NCAP RatingTBA
Warranty3-Year/Unlimited Mileage Warranty
Price (when tested on the 04/05/06)£34,150 OTR

The information contained within this BMW X3 review may have changed since publication on the 4 May 2006. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local BMW dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. carpages.co.uk © 2018