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BMW X3 2006 Review

BMW has added a diesel variant to its X3 compact SUV.

Yes, given the right circumstances, a diesel would be on a short list of purchase options.

They go so well, so "grunty" and responsive but use minimal fuel and we hate coughing up for petrol every few days at the bowser.

Some diesels are better than others but all modern, high pressure injection derivatives have strong points.

BMW has added a diesel variant to its X3 compact SUV.

It arrived at the same time as the BMW 530d sedan and both share the same, latest generation, straight six cylinder, turbo diesel engine.

This engine is not from the successful X5 but is BMW's latest development of the in-line six cylinder format.

As expected, it takes a good thing to higher levels of refinement, power and torque and to lower levels of fuel consumption and emissions.

The engine is an all aluminium construction with a high-tech direct injection system operating at 1600bar or 23,200psi in the old measure. It also features twin camshafts and four valves a cylinder.

Good for 160kW/480Nm output, this is as good or better power than a petrol engine of similar capacity while torque output eclipses many V8s.

It does this sipping a mere 8.6 litres/100km and can sprint from 0-100kmh in 7.9 seconds. The engine is a showcase for BMW technology from the bottom of the sump to the cam cover.

And it's significantly lighter than similar engines.

Being an SUV means the X3 3.0d needs some sort of multi-terrain capability which it has in the form of xDrive electronic all wheel drive.

This system varies drive between the axles with up to 100 per cent drive to the rear and variations in between depending on tyre grip.

A full array of dynamic controls is fitted to the vehicle such as automatic stability control, hill descent control and cornering brake control.

Safety equipment includes eight air bags.

Specified to a luxury level, the $75,400 X3 diesel misses out on nothing in the equipment department: leather, climate control, 17in alloys, front and rear park distance control, multi-function steering wheel.

An extensive list of options is also available.

The vehicle looks handsome with colour coded bumpers and a distinctive BMW appearance - like a (slightly) downscaled X5.

It's roomy and comfortable inside with extremely low levels of noise or vibration. Engine performance is excellent and is never found wanting at any speed including off idle.

Ride is sporty but comfortable and the X3 sits on the road like a sporty car.

Given the choice, and ignoring the premium price, this is the X3 we'd pick over the two petrol versions.

Pricing guides

Based on 39 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
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Range and Specs

X3 2.5I 2.5L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $6,400 – 9,900 2006 BMW X Models 2006 X3 2.5I Pricing and Specs
X3 2.5SI 2.5L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $6,800 – 10,560 2006 BMW X Models 2006 X3 2.5SI Pricing and Specs
X3 3.0D 3.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $7,600 – 11,770 2006 BMW X Models 2006 X3 3.0D Pricing and Specs
X3 3.0I 3.0L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $7,100 – 11,000 2006 BMW X Models 2006 X3 3.0I Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


Lowest price, based on 26 car listings in the last 6 months

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