BMW X3 SUV - MPG, running costs & CO2
Fuel economy competes with rivals, but most BMW X3 running costs won't be low
The BMW X3 uses modern mild hybrid petrol and diesel engines shared with other models in the BMW line-up, while the xDrive30e is a plug-in hybrid. Fuel economy figures are broadly comparable to premium rivals. An all-electric BMW iX3 is also available, and the plug-in hybrid model has impressively low running costs, especially compared with the more powerful X3s.
BMW X3 MPG & CO2
The facelifted third-generation X3 models are powered by electrified petrol and diesel engines with mild hybrid technology, or a mixture of petrol and electric motors in the plug-in hybrid xDrive30e. The smallest diesel is the 20d, a 2.0-litre, 187bhp engine that returns up to 48.7mpg, measured using WLTP test methods that more accurately reflect real-world driving. Claimed CO2 emissions are 152-156g/km, placing it towards the top of the Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) bandings for business-car users, depending on trim level and specification.
A bigger 3.0-litre 30d diesel is also offered, upping power to 282bhp but reducing economy to a best of 44.8mpg and increasing CO2 emissions to 164-175g/km. This puts it in the top BiK bracket, which is the same banding as the 3.0-litre diesel Jaguar F-Pace occupies. The most potent diesel, the M40d, has 335bhp and returns around 40mpg with CO2 emissions of up to 184g/km.
The entry-level petrol model is the 20i SE and it’ll return up to 37.2mpg with CO2 emissions of 173-177g/km, which also makes it expensive for company-car drivers. The performance flagship is the M40i, whose 355bhp 3.0-litre petrol returns 31mpg – a far lower figure than the diesels, but perhaps unsurprising for an SUV that can do 0-62mph in less than five seconds. CO2 emissions of 206-210g/km make the M40i an intimidating prospect for business car users, though.
Those business users should prefer the innovative BMW X3 xDrive30e plug-in hybrid. Thanks to its battery pack (that can be charged at home or using a public fast-charger), it can travel for up to 30 miles on electric power alone. This helps it achieve efficiency figures of 117.7-141.2mpg and 45-54g/km of CO2, depending on the trim and the alloy wheels fitted, although fuel economy will vary wildly depending on how often you charge the battery and your driving style.
Charging the battery takes around 2.5 hours using a 3.7kW home wallbox. It's also possible to charge from a three-pin socket but this will take a while longer, so it’s most convenient to top it up overnight. Crucially, the CO2 figure is low enough to slash BiK liability.
An entry-level X3 xDrive20i xLine costs just over £44,000, so on top of the standard annual VED (road tax) it will also attract a further luxury car surcharge the first five times that road tax is renewed.
Insurance classifications follow the pattern set by the previous model. The X3 starts in group 28 for the petrol xDrive20i and 33 for the 2.0-litre diesel xDrive20d, rising to 41 for the 3.0-litre diesel. Despite its extra performance, the M40i sits in group 40, but the diesel M40d is three groups higher. In comparison, the similarly powerful Audi SQ5 is listed in insurance group 42.
On-board indicators are used to determine BMW service schedules, so maintenance is only suggested when necessary. However, this doesn't necessarily mean low running costs, and BMW servicing does tend to be on the steep side. To reduce the risk of unexpected bills, BMW offers service plan packages – starting at around £400 for three-years or 36,000 miles – that help you to spread the cost of maintenance over a number of service appointments.
All BMW cars sold in the UK are supplied with an unremarkable three-year/unlimited-mileage warranty that matches that offered by Mercedes but trumps Audi's warranty, which is limited to 60,000 miles in the third year.