Test Drive: 2017 BMW X3 30d xDrive

Test Drive: 2017 BMW X3 30d xDrive

Engine yay, car nay!

A wise man once said “The fastest car is always a rental”
Source: Top Gear Link

With that attitude, I began my automobile adventure. At the beginning of the month my travel plans led me back home to Bavaria and upon arrival in Nuremberg, I was eager to pick up my companion for the next 7 days. I had already made a car reservation weeks ahead for a BMW 435i/d or similar. My hope was to travel quickly towards Munich, use the car there, and just enjoy the rides around the Alps until returning it. Bringing only one suitcase, the small coupe would have been absolutely sufficient. Unfortunately, the dear SIXT rental company did not agree with my endeavors. Due to problems in their vehicle fleet, I was “upgraded” to an SUV fitted with winter tires which, were limited to 210km/h (roughly 130mph) … while we were having summer weather with up to 85°F


Rental Car Company: SIXT
Model: BMW X3 30d xDrive
Pick up: Nuremberg North, 06/01/2017
Return: Munich North, 06/08/2017
Km driven: 900
Fuel Consumption: 8.8l/100km Diesel
Engine: 2993 cm³ turbocharged straight six with 258hp
Extras: Leather, GPS Navigation Professional, 8-speed double clutch auto, surround view with park assist, comfort access, cruise control (without radar guidance), etc.



It was really hard for me to judge the car because of its ambiguity. I love BMW’s six cylinder engines, especially the diesel ones. They are doing a wonderful job getting you off the line and giving you enough torque and power in any traffic scenario. Unfortunately, as an SUV, the X3 fails to please me. There are simply better ones. The trunk is not big enough for large items or bikes and you always end up folding down the rear seats, the seats themselves make me feel like in a 3-series, and the car’s added height does not come with any off-road advantage compared to a sedan or wagon. It is just by far not a luxury vehicle. Additionally, in comes with a whopping price tag compared to the aforementioned sedans. It’s further disadvantages are the incredibly heavy body weight, the subsequently increased fuel consumption, and the soft tires that make high speed driving over 100mph very nerve-wrecking. I did enjoy the large trunk opening to put in my bike but then again – you can also get that with a wagon.


Overall, as much as I loved the 3 liter diesel, I cannot recommend the car. It has one of the poorest value for money ratios of any BMW vehicle. If you want a luxurious comfortable vehicle with enough room and minimal off-road ability? Get the 5-series sedan or wagon with xDrive and add some nice extras. If you want a real SUV? X5 if it needs to be German, or just stick to Range Rover.

Hopefully, I will get my 435i next time …

PS: BMW just doesn’t seem to be able to get their electronic issues under control. Reminds me of the 750Li I drove two years ago that suddenly lost all power on the highway…