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Future models - BMW - X3 - 2.0d

First drive: Downsized diesel for X3

Diesel-do: 2.0d will be the second compression-ignition X3 variant.

Smaller 2.0-litre diesel saves on running costs but is still spritely in BMW's X3

23 Jul 2007

THE same third-generation 2.0-litre turbo-diesel that powers the 120d and, soon, the 520d will also power BMW’s X3 2.0d by year’s end.

That’s right, BMW is about to introduce another diesel variant of its compact X3 SUV in response to the growing popularity of diesel in Australia.

To be available here as a six-speed auto-only, the X3 2.0d sprints to 100km/h in a claimed 9.6 seconds and returns average EU fuel consumption of 7.0L/100km.

In the 120d, the same upgraded diesel lowered BMW’s official 0-100km/h claim from 8.5 to 7.8 seconds.

14 center imageIt will come with the same standard equipment as the X3 2.5si petrol six.

But while the 2.5si is priced at $65,900 for the manual, the X3 2.0d auto should supersede it as the least expensive X3, with a price of around $62,500 - about $13,000 less than the X3 3.0d ($75,900).

The 2.0d variant will be the latest addition to the X3 line-up that first arrived here in November 2005 and was facelifted in December 2006.

Drive impressions:

THE 2.0-litre diesel X3 is never going to live up to the performance of the brilliant X3 3.0d - but it's surprising just how close it comes.

That's right, while the 2.0d lacks the $13,000-dearer X3 3.0d's beefier off-idle response and midrange overtaking muscle, it still offers enough of both to be instantly recognisable as a diesel.

According to BMW, the X3 2.0d auto sprints to 100km/h in 9.6 seconds and consumes an average of 7.0L/100km. That's 1.7 seconds slower than the X3 3.0d - yet 1.6L/100km more economical.

Like the 520d versus 523i scenario, the heavier X3 sees the 2.0d (7.0L/100km) far more economical than the X3 2.5si (10.1L/100km). We averaged an unflinching 8.6L/100km over all manner of mountain and highway roads, equating to a fuel range of more than 850km.

Unline the 520d, however, which is quicker than the 523i, the X3 2.0d (9.6 seconds) is actually seven-tenths slower to 100km/h than the X3 2.5si (8.9 seconds).

Overall, we found the X3 2.0d manual to be quick, quiet and torquey. With 100km/h coming up at 1900rpm, the diesel X3 was right in the heart of its torque zone at highway speeds.

So for around $3500 less, the X3 2.0d offers vastly better fuel consumption that the petrol X3 2.5, with slightly reduced performance.

The X3 2.0d will be cheaper to both buy and run than the petrol X3 2.5si, but is slower and still costs a hefty $62,500.

Read more:

More power, higher prices for X3

Sydney show: Four Oz debuts for BMW

First look: Facelift time for BMW's X3

The Road to Recovery podcast series

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