A decade ago, it would have been realistic to expect this car to lead its segment on CO2 emissions and fuel economy, given BMW’s wider record on such things, but not any more.
Look across a range of rivals for our X3 test car today – at a like-for-like Q5, GLC, Stelvio, F-Pace and Land Rover Discovery Sport – and you’ll find the BMW sits plumb in the middle of the pack with its NEDC lab test economy and emissions claims.
It’s competitive but not outstanding, then; and that’s backed up by how the touring fuel economy test result we recorded (48.8mpg) compares with those of its competitors (Stelvio 2.2d 210 49.7mpg, Q5 2.0 TDI 190 42.0mpg and Volvo XC60 D4 48.9mpg).
BMW has priced the car similarly competitively without attempting to overtly undercut its key competitors and, with our sources forecasting good residual values, the X3 should end up looking competitive when priced up on monthly finance for those willing to drive a decent bargain.
Unlike in every car in the class, BMW UK is currently providing an automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive on every X3 as standard.
Entry-level SE cars get 18in alloy wheels, three-zone air conditioning and an infotainment system with factory navigation, a DAB radio and real-time traffic information, but among the advisable options you’re obliged to pay extra for are a widescreen Professional multimedia system and (annoyingly) Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring software.
Run-flat tyres can be avoided on the car, but only in conjunction with three of the 10 available wheel options – and therefore only if you buy an entry-level SE-trim car, or an xDrive30d M Sport, or a top-of-the-line M40i petrol.