X3s proving popular
30 March 2004

It’s probably going to be bad news if you’ve got your heart set on snapping up the new BMW X3 off-roader. Reports are coming in that BMW has already sold this year’s allocation in advance of the Freelander rival’s official launch in May. Up to 6250 cars have been earmarked for Britain in 2004 and with an estimated 7000 deposits already taken it looks like doom and gloom if you want a choice of colour and spec. A shop around BMW dealers though reveals that it’s possible to get your hands on a launch car if you can live with a pre-ordered example. One salesman we spoke to admitted that we could snap up either a £28,615 2.5-litre or £32,015 3.0-litre example if we got in quick and could put up with the particular models that he was expecting in May. ‘Plenty of people have opted to see the car before they fully commit,’ he admitted, ‘so there’s a good chance that there will be some available, especially if you sign up early.’

But our research also revealed there’s still not even a slim chance of forgoing the X3 and trading up to an X5. Another dealer comfirmed that it’s going to be at least a year wait for a recently facelifted model, whatever engine option you go for.

Our Verdict

BMW X3

The BMW X3 is both frugal and rewarding to drive, a rare and clever technical achievement

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