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Only £27,498
£4125 deposit
£480.51 per month

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This vehicle may have been advertised at the higher price for less than 28 days, but for a minimum of 10 days.

Standard specification

Driver Convenience

Ambient temperature displayBrake force display
Coolant temperature gaugeCruise control
Electric tailgate releaseFront/rear Parking distance control
Fuel consumption indicatorOn board computer
Service interval indicatorTachometer
Tyre puncture warning system 


BMW Business radioCD Changer preparation

Exterior Features

Black/Chrome radiator grilleBody colour aspheric/tinted/electrically adjustable door mirrors
Exterior parts in body colourFingertip control / anti-trap function on electric window
Front and rear electric windowsFront fog lights + heated door mirrors
Green tinted heat insulating glassHazard warning lamps
Headlight washer jetsHeated screen wash system
High gloss shadow lineHigh level third brake light
Longitudinal roof railsM aerodynamic bodystyling
M kickplates on door sillsRain sensor including auto headlights activation
Rear side window aerialRear wiper
Twin exhaust pipesWhite front indicators/darkened rear lenses

Interior Features

1/3 to 2/3 split folding rear seats12V socket in rear of vehicle
Aluminium door sill trimsAnthracite headlining
Automatic air conditioning + active carbon filterBoot light
Courtesy light delayDoor trim fabric insert
Driver/passenger sunvisors + illuminated mirrorsFascia storage compartment
Folding grab handles with rear coat hooksFront centre armrest with storage compartment
Front cupholdersFront footwell lights
Front sports seatsFront/rear reading lights
Height adjustable front/rear head restraintsIlluminated glovebox with lock
Isofix rear child seat preparationLeather handbrake grip
M leather gearknobM sports multi-function leather steering wheel
Rake/reach adjustable steering wheelRear armrest / integral cup holders / storage tray
Removable / retractable luggage coverStorage pockets - front doors
Toolkit mounted under luggage compWheel changing equipment stowed under boot floor


3 rear 3 point seatbeltsABS/EBD
ADB - Automatic Differential BrakeAutomatic Stability Control (ASC)
CBC - (Cornering brake control)Crash Sensor - activates hazard/interior lighting + unlocks doors
Driver/Front Passenger airbagsDriver/front passenger side airbags
DSC - Dynamic Stability ControlDynamic brake control
Front and rear head airbagsFuel cut off safety device
Height adjustable front seatbeltsHill descent control
Inertia reel front seatbelts+pretensionersMotor Slip Regulation - Engine Drag Torque Control
Two tone hornWarning triangle and first aid kit


Engine immobiliserLocking wheel nuts
Remote central locking/doors+fuel cap+tailgateRemote control Thatcham category 1 alarm


Space saver spare wheel
The vehicle information above was correct at time of manufacture. Please speak to the dealership for full current specification.

Technical specification

Emissions - ICE

CO0.459CO2 (g/km)210
HC+NOx0.274Noise Level dB(A)76
Standard Euro EmissionsEURO 4 

Engine and Drive Train

CamshaftDOHCCatalytic ConvertorTrue
CC2993Compression Ratio17.0:1
Cylinder LayoutIN-LINECylinders6
Cylinders - Bore (mm)84Cylinders - Stroke (mm)90
Engine LayoutNORTH SOUTHFuel DeliveryCOMMON RAIL
Gears6 SPEEDNumber of Valves24

Fuel Consumption - ICE

EC Combined (mpg)35.8EC Directive 1999/100/EC AppliesTrue
EC Extra Urban (mpg)43.5EC Urban (mpg)27.4


Badge Engine CC3.0Badge Power204
Coin DescriptiondCoin SeriesM Sport
Insurance Group 117Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 0737A
Insurance Group 2AManufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years6
Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years3EURO NCAP Front and Side Impact test - Star Rating.9
EURO NCAP Pedestrian test - Star Rating.9Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage999999
Standard manufacturers warranty - Years3Vehicle Homologation ClassM1


0 to 62 mph (secs)7.4Engine Power - BHP218
Engine Power - KW160Engine Power - PSTrue
Engine Power - RPM4000Engine Torque - LBS.FT369
Engine Torque - MKG51Engine Torque - NM500
Engine Torque - RPM1750Top Speed137


Alloys?TrueSpace Saver?True
Tyre Size Front235/50 R18Tyre Size Rear255/45 R18
Wheel Type18" ALLOY 

Vehicle Dimensions

Width (including mirrors)1987 

Weight and Capacities

Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres)67Gross Vehicle Weight2350
Luggage Capacity (Seats Down)1560Luggage Capacity (Seats Up)480
Max. Loading Weight500Max. Roof Load75
Max. Towing Weight - Braked2000Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked750
Minimum Kerbweight1805No. of Seats5
Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb11.7
The vehicle information above was correct at time of manufacture. Please speak to the dealership for full current specification.

Independent review

Review courtesy of Car and Driving




BMW has launched a lot of great cars in recent years. The M3, the 330d, the M-Coupe, the 130i and the 535d are all cars that have wormed their way into our affections by dint of their sheer excellence in engineering. BMW aren't always wholly consistent though. For every cracker, there are models that receive rather less rapturous acclaim and to this list can be added the X3. A car that never really captured the public's imagination, the X3 has been saddled with a reputation of being at the same time expensive but apparently built down to a price. While this means that new sales have been unspectacular, the used market tends to level out issues like this, the market valuations often changing prevailing opinion of a car. That which was overpriced when new can become a real bargain when used. Does the X3 deserve this second lease of life? Find out here.


The X3 certainly got the big build-up. Its path had been paved by the phenomenally successful X5, a vehicle that changed the way we bought big 4x4s. With a track record like that along with the fact that the car was being built in a high-tech factory in Austria and would be launched into a compact 4x4 market in which Audi and Mercedes had no rivals, the X3 looked destined for instant success. Strangely, things didn't work out like that. Initial spy shots of the car that started appearing in magazines in early 2003 showed a nicely proportioned vehicle that looked like a shrunken X5. No problem there. The sharp intake of breath came when BMW announced pricing for the X3. In many instances the asking prices were just a couple of thousand pounds less than the equivalent engined X5. Put the two vehicles together and although the X3 was undoubtedly more modern and better packaged, the X5 felt a better built, more prestigious product. No wonder so many buyers paid £2,000 to go large. The X3 wasn't helped by the fact that no diesel option was initially offered, the range consisting of 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre petrol models only. Black lower body mouldings also proved a turn-off for many customers. BMW must be given credit for rectifying a lot of these issues very quickly. A 2.0-litre diesel arrived in September 2004 and this was followed up by a 2.0-litre petrol economy model in 2005 and a punchy 3.0-litre diesel. Body-coloured mouldings were also swiftly offered, giving the X3 a far more upmarket look. BMW were at it again in September 2006 when the engine range was significantly revised and the styling was updated. The 2.5si and 3.0si engines arrived with 218 and 272bhp respectively while a 3.0sd unit with 286bhp turned up at the top of the range - at the time, it was the most powerful diesel ever offered in a BMW. The styling changes ran to a larger front grille and a redesigned bumper/spoiler ensemble. Inside, the materials were upgraded and a three spoke steering wheel introduced while all models received DSC+ traction control. Further tweaks to the engine line-up came in September 2007 with the introduction of BMW's EfficientDynamics technology. This delivered fuel and emissions savings across the range with a headline-grabbing 43.2mpg attainable in the 177bhp 2.0d model. By the spring of 2009, the X3 had become cleaner still with the 46.7mpg of the 18d model which uses a 143bhp version of the same 2.0-litre engine.

What You Get

The front features a lot of black plastic and the interior never looks or feels quite as 'hewn from solid' as the X5. All things are relative, however, and by the standards of the compact 4x4 class, the X3 is the best there is. That shouldn't be surprising given the prices asked from new. The range opens with the 123bhp 2.0-litre petrol model, then comes the 150bhp 2.0-litre diesel. The 192bhp 2.5i and the 231bhp 3.0-litre petrol versions were up-graded in 2006 to offer 218bhp and 272bhp respectively. This 3.0si unit will hit 60mph in 7.5s before accelerating on to 142mph. The 3.0-litre diesel models could be the most desirable in the range with 36mpg economy and 218bhp or a massive 286bhp in 3.0sd form. The 2.5-litre car is offered with a manual gearbox and the option of an automatic while the 3.0-litre petrol version is supplied solely with BMW's acclaimed six-speed auto transmission. Trim levels run from standard through SE and Sport to M Sport with certain engines restricted to the plusher trims. There are some rather unusual consequences of shrinking the car down to compact 4x4 dimensions. Despite featuring split fold rear seats that can't fold flat, the overall luggage capacity is actually more than an X5 and the simpler one-piece rear tailgate is a good deal more practical. The rear doors are narrow and make getting in and out without dirtying your strides on the black running boards rather difficult. The rear squab is also mounted very low and long legged passengers won't savour a long journey tucked in the back of an X3. Another consequence of the dinkier dimensions is a smaller fuel tank. Given that the X3 is only marginally more economical than an equivalent X5, the drop in tank size from 93 to 67-litres puts a big dent in its pretensions as a long distance mile-muncher.

What to Look For

The BMW X3 has no known faults although it would be wise to check the underbody, exhaust and suspension for signs of damage from overenthusiastic off-roading. Overenthusiastic on-roading may well have taken its toll on the car too as ground clearance isn't huge. The plastic body cladding is also vulnerable if you are planning to test the X3's off-road limits. The engines are all peerlessly reliable units and although interior quality is nothing to get excited about, nothing seems overly flimsy.

Replacement Parts

(approx based on a X3 2.0i) A clutch assembly is around £130. Front brake pads are around £40, a full exhaust about £360, an alternator around £100 and a tyre around £40. A starter motor is about £120. A headlamp is about £165.

On the Road

BMW have boxed clever in the way the X3 drives. The front suspension has been set up to offer a livelier handling balance and the steering features a snappy ratio that makes jinking from lane to lane simplicity itself in spite of the elevated ride height. The relatively small turning circle of 11.7 metres helps when making three-point turns in tight confines. Drive an X3 hard over swooping country roads and you'll feel the benefits of these changes. Imagine it half way between an X5 and a Three Series Touring and you shouldn't be too far off the mark. The Sport pack raises the 3.0-litre model's top speed by a few miles per hour courtesy of higher-rated tyres, but the knobbly low speed ride this rubber imposes makes it of questionable benefit. Although most small 4x4s understeer determinedly when pushed hard into a corner, the X3 is, thanks to BMW's xDrive system, made of sterner stuff. This system distributes drive to the axle which most needs it in a split second. Developed in partnership with Bosch, xDrive splits 38 per cent of drive to the front wheels and 62 per cent to the rears in normal driving conditions but as soon as one wheel starts spinning, the system automatically re-routes the flow. Working in conjunction with ESP stability control and DSC traction control, xDrive calculates the car's yaw rate, steering angle and speed, this system keeps you on the straight and narrow. Although few will ever take their X3 off-road, BMW's baby 4x4 superficially looks fairly adept; its fording depth, ground clearance and angles of ramp and departure being very little different to the surprisingly effective X5. Your ambition will be limited by the tyres, however, and BMW offer no option of gnarlier rubber. Self-levelling suspension, underbody protection and a low-range gearbox - all items any serious off roader would want - are noticeable by their absence. Hill Descent Control is fitted as standard but if you need this system to get down such a gradient in the first instance, it's highly debatable whether the X3's road biased tyres would afford you the grip to make the return journey back up.


While there's little doubt that the BMW X3 makes a better used buy than a new one, it wouldn't come top of my personal recommendations list. If you buy into the BMW brand image enough to be prepared to fork out for one, you'll probably be perfectly happy but this sort of money buys some very capable new rivals that come with a full warranty. BMW is improving the X3 with every passing year and it will doubtless morph into a very good car. It's not there yet though.


** MPG figures are obtained in laboratory testing and intended for comparisons between vehicles. Please be aware they're not intended to represent real world efficiency.

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Harry Fairbairn BMW (Inverness)

32 Longman Rd, Inverness, IV1 1RY

Phone Number

Call now on 01463 641781*

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