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by Brett Davis

BMW has announced the arrival of the 2011 BMW X6 xDrive30d to the Australian market.

Due to popular demand, BMW Australia has had no choice but the bring the favourable 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine into the BMW X6 lineup. According to BMW Australia, over half of the BMW X5 SUVs sold in the country are fitted with the 3.0-litre diesel engine. The company also says, for the first time, that it sold more diesel cars than petrol during 2010, proving diesel’s growing popularity.

The BMW X6 xDrive30d is the new entry-level model, undercutting the previous xDrive35i entry model. The key feature to the 3.0-litre straight six diesel is the lower fuel consumption rating over the xDrive35d – averaging 7.4L/100km over the xDrive35d’s rating of 9.0L/100km.

Even though the xDrive30d is a more frugal option, it still makes up for a reasonably high-performance SUV. BMW says the car is able to shift from 0-100km/h in just 7.5 seconds, not bad compared with the xDrive35d’s time of 6.9 seconds. Providing the acceleration is the same 3.0-litre diesel as seen in other BMW models, offering an identical 180kW of power and 540Nm of torque.

Like all BMW X6 variants, the xDrive30d comes standard with Dynamic Performance Control, an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and a number of BMW EfficientDynamics technologies such as Brake Energy Regeneration, low rolling resistance tyres and third-generation common-rail diesel injection technology. It also comes in five-seater form with the optional three-seat rear bench.

The BMW X6 xDrive30d is now available to order from your local BMW dealer with prices starting at $109,900, excluding dealer charges, stamp duty and other on-road costs. Deliveries are expected to take place in June this year.