With no exaggeration, probably the best feature to be liked (if not even loved) about the BMW X3 3.0sd resides under the hood. The sequentially turbocharged three-liter diesel develops 286 hp (that's about 95 hp per liter!) and 580 Nm (427.8 lb-ft) of torque available from just 1750 rpm. If that wasn't enough to get you startled about this car, also take into account that its engine suffers from one of the least noticeable lag in the world of turbodiesels. Sure, everytime you press the “pedal to the metal” and you're below a certain rpm level (let's say, 1300-1400 rpm), there's bound to be some late responsiveness, but nothing to give you headaches like in most other turbodiesels.
Apart from the obvious high price tag, the worst part about a BMW X3 3.0sd (or any X3 for that matter) has GOT to be its exterior design. Sure, BMW fans might feel that we're just jerking their chains, but we don't think there's a sane person in this world who would say that the X3 is a handsome automobile. It has somewhat of a practicality ring to it (remember, we're only talking design-wise here), but all the details are mixed up and just plain unattractive. The only elements you can add to make it more bearable are some nice wheels and probably a good color-coded paint job.
The ugly thing about driving a performance diesel (yes, we're well aware how these two words sound together) is that you're expecting something that isn't quite there. You're expecting it to be slow (hey, it's an oil burner, right?) but the X3 3.0sd is exactly the opposite, and you're also waiting for some good mileage (again, it's a freaking diesel, right?), which the 3.0sd doesn't deliver. It's not going to make a lot of room in your wallet compared to a gasoline model with similar specifications, but it still drinks more than you would expect from a three-liter diesel. Continue reading