Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3

The Parkers VerdictShould you buy a BMW X3?

As an all-round family car, there’s an awful lot to recommend the X3, thanks to its blend of spaciousness, comfort and keen dynamics. It’s enough to make you think carefully about just how much you need the larger X5, but you should also question if the cheaper 3 Series Touring wouldn’t fulfil your needs equally well. Against its rivals, this BMW is certainly more interesting to drive than the Audi Q3, but you might be better off trying this rival first if you value comfort high up on your list of priorities. The Volvo XC60 is certainly more stylish while the Mercedes-Benz GLC is a little underwhelming.

You shouldn't have many issues here sourcing an X3, either. BMW has an extensive dealer network nationwide. Bear in mind, however, that the X3 will be a very popular car indeed, so it's worth haggling to get a good deal, but in reality you're more likely to find better discounts at online car supermarkets or brokers, assuming they can supply the spec of car you're after.

’Smooth, spacious, well-built and superb to drive. A polished and thoroughly well-rounded premium SUV.'

James Dennison

We'd suggest the best X3 for most buyers will be an xDrive20d M Sport, which features a powerful yet efficient diesel engine and a smart, sporty trim level brimmed with standard kit including the feature-laden Professional multimedia system. Tick the box for the acoustic windows and you’ll have a seriously quiet ride, too. All the better to make the most of the excellent sound systems on offer. As always, the sharp-looking M Sport spec adds a strong dose of kerb appeal.

What’s more, if you’re not doing many miles or don’t fancy a diesel then check out the xDrive20i – this is an engine that has impressed us in other cars such as the MINI Cooper S Hatch. Those looking for more performance will be interested in the petrol or diesel performance derivatives, namely then M40d and M40i. Both deliver exceptional performance, yet not quite as much as the X3M. Producing over 500hp and 600Nm of torque from a straight-six 3.0-litre engine, it’s one of the fastest SUVs that money can buy.

Further reading:

>> Lease a BMW X3

>> Our star ratings explained

>> Get a free valuation for your car

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>> Our Parkers star ratings explained