BMW has launched the BMW X3 sDrive18d, the first rear wheel drive X3 and the new entry point in to the X3 range.
If Land Rover can offer a 2WD Evoque, then there’s no reason why BMW shouldn’t offer a 2WD X3. So we get the BMW X3 sDrive18d as the new entry-level X3 and the first rear wheel drive X3.
Due to go on sale in October, the X3 sDrive18d gets a 2.0 litre TwinTurbo diesel which can manage 55.4mpg on the official cycle and therefore offers CO2 emissions of 135g/km, a drop from the (admittedly more powerful) xDrive 20d of 14g/km, enough to put the X3 sDrive18d in band E with 21 per cent BIK rates.
With 143 horses on tap the X3 sDrive18d won’t win you the traffic light grand prix, but it will still manage to get to 62mph in 9.9 seconds (10.3 if you opt for the auto ‘box) and a top speed of 121mph.
At £28,580, the X3 sDrive18d is £2,890 less than the xDrive 20d and gets pretty much the same equipment levels, including start-stop, 17″ alloys, leather and iDrive with a 6.5″ screen. It does lose hill descent, but then that’s designed for 4WD cars anyway.
You can still make your entry-level X3 look more sporty by opting for the M Sport trim which adds 18″ alloys, a body kit, sports seats and sports suspension.
And as most BMW owners don’t seem to know which wheels drive their cars, it seems unlikely a RWD X3 will dilute perceptions of the (now very good) BMW X3 in any way.