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BMW X3 news - Spring clean - 2009

It’s turning into SUV week here at Top Gear. We’ve already seen a blinger VW, an even uglier Audi (didn’t think it was possible, huh?) and now we’ve got a greener BMW X3.

This is the clunkily named X3 xDrive18d, but here’s the important bit: it’s the most economical X3 ever - and one of the cleanest, most frugal SUVs we’ve ever seen.

The X3 xDrive18d (no, sorry, we can’t keep writing that. How about X318d, BMW?) is powered by a 2.0-litre turbodiesel, which puts out 143bhp and a handy 258lb ft of torque. 

It’ll see the X3 to 62mph in just over 10 seconds - which, let’s face it, is as fast as you ever really need to go in a porky SUV - and, more importantly, will return 45.6mpg and emit just 165g/km of CO2.

That’s impressive stuff - in fact, consumption is eight per cent lower than the stop-start Freelander, while emissions are 10g/km lower than the cleanest Audi Q5. That said, the new hybrid Lexus RX will manage 148g/km and is quicker into the bargain, hitting 62mph in 7.9 seconds.

The X318d (yes, we’re sticking with that) starts at £27,865. Go and buy one. Or don’t. Your choice.

Now watch Clarkson take the X3 off road, with disastrous results: 

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