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BMW X3 – top-selling medium SUV over $60,000

Driving BMW’s latest X3 SUV – the petrol 2.0-litre turbo 8-speed automatic X3 X-drive 30i with permanent all-wheel- drive – it’s taken sales leadership in the $60,000 plus medium SUV market this year – dynamically impressive with great steering, brakes and handling – ride comfort on 20-inch alloy wheels and run-flat tyres my only disappointment. This latest BMW X3 has an impressive interior with great head and legroom front and rear, and a very workable and user friendly dash with 12-inch digital instrument display. The colour head up display is worthy of special mention very comprehensive and a real safety plus. Parking sensors front and back and a rear view camera are augmented by a 360-degree camera. Driver assist technology is high on the list as are items like wireless phone charging and a 6.5-inch Navigation system with real time traffic updates and speed limit recognition. It’s very easy to see why BMW’s X3 is doing so well in the market. Drive-ability from the 2.0-litre turbo engine and 8-speed automatic is excellent – a great performer and part of the reason is the 350Nm of torque. Permanent all-wheel-drive aided by manual gear shift paddles mean it offers a great drive experience, nice electric steering and impressive handling especially when you select sport mode, but as I said, ride quality on the 20-inch optional alloy wheels and low profile run-flat tyres suffered – especially on poorer road surfaces. This second generation X3 is however an impressive SUV. I’m David Berthon

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