What should I be paying?
BMW has now limited its trim level options to either the slightly chunkier xLine or the more road-going (not that any X3 is particularly off-road going) M Sport.
All X3s come with a fairly hefty list of standard equipment these days though, including LED lights all round, fancy LED screens inside and three-zone climate control. All get active cruise control too, plus parking aids and an electronically-opening boot.
The xLine trim is the opener, with prices starting at £45,585 for the xDrive20i combined with non-metallic white paint and 19-inch wheels. Five metallic shades are on offer as £695 options and 20-inch wheels will set you back around £1,000. We’d advise saving the money and enjoying the greater ride comfort.
M Sport trim means more aggressive front and rear bumpers, lots of real leather and that slightly sportier suspension setup as standard, although there’s also the chance to then add the £2,200 M Sport Pro Pack which brings the impressive adaptive suspension. M Sport prices start at £47,385 at the time of writing for the 20i and £48,370 for the 20d.
Examine the price list further and it's riddled with options, particularly in packs. Some are very nice to have, some expensive fripperies. They sell because they don't sound like much when you add them to the lease or PCP payment. An extra couple of quid a week over three years is easier to swallow than paying a few hundred pounds on top of the base price on an outright purchase.
Truth is you could get an X3 with no options and it wouldn't look too bald. Well, provided you can live with that non-metallic paint.
The M40d and M40i now sit in their own trim level at the top of the range, with prices starting at £61,590 for the former and £62,065 for the latter. That may sound expensive, but the ludicrous X3 M Competition will set you back almost £90k before you even look at the options list.
The far more sensible plug-in hybrid xDrive30e is £53,730 in xLine trim and £55,530 in M Sport. For context, an Audi Q5 TFSI e plug-in hybrid starts at £52,925, so there’s nothing really in it.
BMW’s fuel figures look something like this: the 20i claims up to 37.7mpg, while the 20d is up to 48.7mpg. The plug-in hybrid is the real star for company car buyers though, with a claimed 141.2mpg and 43g/km of CO2 emissions. Obviously whether you hit those figures in the real world depends on how frequently you’re plugging in.