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BMW introduces base rear-drive X3

Two's company: The rear-drive BMW X3 sDrive20i will boost the range in March, priced from $65,900.

sDrive20i to join BMW X3 line-up in March priced from $65,900 plus on-roads

BMW logo19 Dec 2017

By ROBBIE WALLIS

BMW Australia has bolstered its newly-released third-generation X3 SUV range with the addition of an entry-level, rear-wheel-drive sDrive20i variant that will join the line-up in March priced from $65,900 plus on-road costs.

Its price is $3000 less than the previous range-opener, the diesel-powered xDrive20d.

The new variant undercuts the base Mercedes-Benz GLC220d 4Matic at $67,500, is equal in price the Audi Q5 2.0TDI Design Quattro, and is more expensive than the Volvo XC60 D4 Momentum ($59,990) and Land Rover Discovery Sport TD4 110kW SE ($56,595).

The sDrive20i uses a detuned version of the 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine found in the xDrive30i, producing 135kW/290Nm – 50kW/60Nm less than the 30i – and is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

BMW says fuel economy figures will be revealed closer to its release date.

The sDrive20i mirrors the specification of the xDrive20d, and includes idle-stop, 19-inch alloys, cloth and leather upholstery, automatic tailgate, three-zone air-conditioning, leather multi-function steering wheel, head-up display, speed limit information, Navigation system business with 6.5-inch central display, automatic headlights and wipers, cornering LED headlights and wireless charging.

Standard safety features include an approach control warning, lane departure warning, lane change warning, rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors.

Buyers can also option the $3500 M Sport package, which consists of anthracite headliner, high-gloss Shadow Line interior trim, dynamic damper control, Aluminium Rhombicle interior trim, LED foglights, M Aerodynamics package, M leather steering wheel, 19-inch M light alloy wheels, steptronic transmission with gearshift paddles and ‘Vernasca’ cloth and leather upholstery.

The all-new X3 line-up arrived in Australia last month, and the launch line-up ranged from $68,900 for the xDrive20d up to $83,900 for the turbo-diesel six-cylinder xDrive30d.

Around the middle of next year the range will be further bolstered by the addition of the performance-focused xDriveM40i variant, sporting a 265kW/500Nm turbocharged inline six-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet.

With one month left in 2016, the X3 is sitting third in sales for the luxury medium SUV segment with 3383 units sold, representing a 5.5 per cent dip over the same period last year.

It currently sits behind the Land Rover Discovery Sport (4092) and Mercedes-Benz GLC (3649), while leading the likes of the Lexus NX (3118), Audi Q5 (2954) and Range Rover Evoque (2671).

2017 BMW X3 pricing*
sDrive20i (a)$65,900
xDrive20d (a)$68,900
xDrive30i (a)$75,900
xDrive30d (a)$83,900
*Excludes on-road costs

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