14 July 2004

BMW has announced final pricing on what will probably become the biggest-selling X3 off-roader – the 2.0d. The book is now open on Munich's junior oil-burning SUV, which arrives in October, and pitches in at £26,175 for the entry-level S model; almost £3k cheaper than the best value BMW can currently provide in the shape of the £29,000 2.5i SE.

Waiting lists are already filling up. While those currently opting for petrol engines can expect a car before October, the two dealerships we approached warned that it would be November before delivery of any diesel derivative. Customers wanting three-litre diesel power will have to pay close to £34k, and wait until September next year at the earliest.

There’s also some extra adrenaline injected into the range with a new aerodynamic body package designed to lift the car’s looks (right). It replaces the black plastic bumpers, side sills, and wheel arch trims with body-coloured panels, and the car’s fog lights with remodeled versions. At the rear there’s a new, more flattering valance and chrome exhaust trim, while new 19in five-spoke alloy wheels answer criticisms that the car looks under-wheeled. The package costs £1,250 excluding painting and fitting, and the new wheels are priced from £1,999.

BMW has also knocked up to almost £2000 off its range of Alpina alloy wheels. The range now starts at £1995 for set of Alpina rims on a 3-series; 21in wheels on an X5 now cost £4595 - £1,155 less than before.

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