The new small SAV from BMW is ready to raise the bar in the premium sports activity market this year when the model goes on sale in the UK. X3 will be the lowest-emission four-wheel drive model in its segment. Furthermore, it is the first to have start-stop with auto transmission, unparalleled agility, significantly upgraded cabin and a raft of sector-first technology.

Some of the features of 2011 BMW X3 are a class-leading diesel engine, numerous chassis configurations courtesy of Variable Damper Control, as well as UK specific equipment packages and innovations such as Head-up Display and online connectivity, thanks to ConnectedDrive.

Inside, the SAV features the asymmetrical instrument panel and centre console are orientated towards the driver, while the latest generation iDrive, with 6.5-inch screen as standard, ensures all infotainment capabilities are easily accessible.  The 8.8-inch high-resolution screen of the navigation system in the Professional Multimedia package featured in the new BMW X3 is the largest on-board monitor in its segment.

The boot of X3 has a volume of between 550 and 1 600 litres, so the luggage compartment of the new BMW is also one of the best in its segment.

The rear seat can be split 60:40 as standard or as an option 40:20:40, where the three segments can be folded down either individually or together.

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Torque   Nm

Zero – 62mph

Top Speed Mph


CO2 Emissions g/km

BMW X3 xDrive20d






149 (147)

BMW X3 xDrive20d is powered by 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine with aluminium crankcase and common rail direct injection delivering 184hp at 4 000rpm and maximum torque of 380Nm between 1 750 and 2 750rpm. The acceleration from 0 to 62 mph is exactly 8.5 seconds and the top speed is 130mph. Despite of the good power, X3 achieves CO2 emissions of only 149g/km - again the best in the segment  Furthermore, the average fuel consumption is 50.4mpg.

Other engines will be launched at a later date, but in the UK the BMW X3 xDrive20d will account for approximately 80 per cent of all sales when all other engines have been introduced.

The new BMW X3 xDrive20d with automatic transmission achieves identical acceleration, top speed and fuel consumption, with a CO2 emission level of 147g/km.  This reduction in emissions is thanks to the X3 being the first BMW model in the UK to team Auto Start-Stop technology with the optional eight-speed automatic transmission.  The Auto Start Stop function also features as standard on the manual transmission.

The drivers of the new BMW X3 can personalize their vehicles by choosing different setting of the Variable Damper Control, which is again available for the first time on this model.

The settings are Normal, Sport and Spot+, which can be adjusted using a button on the centre console. As well as damping behaviour, it can adjust the character of the accelerator, engine response, power steering weight, DSC response thresholds and – depending on desired options – the shifting dynamics of the automatic transmission.

Another innovation is the Electric Power Steering, which is incorporated in the BMW X3 for the first time, allowing precise handling and increased efficiency.

As standard, the new BMW X3 comes with xDrive permanent four-wheel drive technology, an electronically controlled system that ensures variable distribution of drive to the front and rear axles. Linked to DSC, Dynamic Stability Control, xDrive can counteract oversteer or understeer at an extremely early stage, and help to control the car through bends by sending increased drive to the rear wheels while, if needed, braking the inside rear wheel to increase the car's mid-bend agility and traction.

2011 BMW X3 xDrive20d SE costs £30 490 OTR, which is 115 pounds less than the outgoing model, yet equipped as standard with Nevada leather upholstery, two-zone air conditioning, iDrive controller and colour display.

The option list is huge, but the most interesting in it are: a panoramic sunroof, high-end audio equipment and the Professional Multimedia package with hard-disk storage, to automatic boot lid operation and a tow coupling with electronically pivoting ball head.

The choice of systems offered under the BMW ConnectedDrive driver assistance banner is also unique in the segment, and include Head-up Display, Adaptive Headlights, High-beam Assistant and reversing camera including Top View, giving a 360 degree panoramic view for the driver.

Of course, BMW offers premium packages for the new X3:

Business Advanced Media package - £2 165

  • Business navigation, Bluetooth telephone preparation with USB interface, voice control and telematics, and BMW Assist.

Professional Multimedia Media package - £2 465

  • Professional navigation, Bluetooth telephone preparation with USB interface, voice control and telematics, and BMW Assist.

Visibility package- £1 490

  • Xenon headlights, Headlight wash, Adaptive headlights, High-beam assistant and dimming and folding exterior mirrors.

Cold weather package - £790

  • Steering wheel heating, front and rear seat heating, and through loading with 40:20:40 seat split.