The rear-wheel drive BMW X3 sDrive18d sports a 105kW 2.0-litre diesel engine delivering 360Nm between 1750-2500rpm and is available with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.
The shift from 4WD to 2WD sees a significant weight reduction combine with fuel-saving technology including brake energy regeneration, optimum shift indication and auto stop/start, to provide fuel consumption figures of 5.1 litres per 100 kilometres (5.4L/100km auto) and emissions of 135 grams of CO2 per kilometre (142g/km of CO2 auto). These improved stats make the X3 sDrive18d the cleanest and most fuel-efficient model in the X3 range.
Despite the efficiency benefits, a 0-100km/h time of 9.9 seconds, a top speed of 195km/h and a towing capacity of 2000kg ensure practical usability remains.
BMW Australia’s Piers Scott told CarAdvice that while the new entry-level X3 wasn’t on the current model range plan, the local brand isn't ruling it out for the future. Strengthening its case could be the success of the entry-level two-wheel drive variants of the smaller BMW X1, which have proved popular since going on sale in Australia in October 2010.
Currently the BMW X3 range includes two diesels and two petrol engines spread across the xDrive20i, xDrive20d, xDrive28i and range-topping xDrive30d nameplates.