Sold as an SAV Sports Activity Vehicle it doesn’t have the seating flexibility of an MPV but there is plenty of space for up to five occupants.
The test car with its 2.5si engine is pretty quick off the mark, too. It takes just 8.5 seconds to complete the 0-62mph sprint and the top speed is 130mph. This particular engine produces 218hp at 6,500rpm and 250Nm of torque between 2,750 and 4,250rpm.
The fuel consumption is reasonable with figures of 20.6mpg, 36.7mpg and 28.5mpg for the urban, extra-urban and combined respectively. However, the CO2 emissions from the twin, chromed tailpipes are measured as 238g/km, putting the test car in VED Band G, which at the time of writing is £210 per annum.
Most of the X3s have a 6-speed manual box, which I found very useable until it came to reversing. Perhaps it was the test car, but I found it a stiff and an awkward movement to get the lever into the right slot, but that was my only niggle throughout the test week. That said, automatic transmission with Steptronic is standard on the 3.0si and 3.0sd in both SE and M Sport trims and a £1,470 option on all others save the 2.0d models.
Even without the Sports seats, the X3 is very comfortable. Sold as an SAV Sports Activity Vehicle it doesn’t have the seating flexibility of an MPV but there is plenty of space for up to five occupants. The rear seats split and fold flat to increase the luggage capacity from 480- to a maximum of 1,560-litres and the load platform is at a sensible height.
It has to be said that there are plenty of SAV/SUV vehicles on the market. Some are cheaper than the BMW but seem to provide similar specification, especially where interior comfort and equipment is concerned. However, there can be drawbacks to the cheaper options. The Subaru Tribeca, for instance, while it is well appointed only has one engine choice and doesn’t come with a manual transmission, nor does it bear a BMW propeller badge and to some, that means a great deal.3 February 2007
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|