Previously a slightly disappointing small off-roader, the new BMW X3 has cured the complaints levelled at its predecessor courtesy of much-improved ride quality and a greater premium feel to the cabin.

However, the 258hp 30d model sneaking in below the 160g/km Capital Allowance threshold at 159g/km is particularly impressive given that it’s an automatic, while rival Audi‘s Q5 199g/km puts it eight Benefit-in-Kind bands higher at 32% compared with the X3’s 24%. Residual values are 1.5% better on the slightly cheaper Q5 3.0 TDI S-line, but it can’t pull back the cost per mile, and the BMW’s 80.9p per mile sees it beat the Audi by 3.7p.

The second-generation X3 is a much better drive than its predecessor, and also a much better all-round ownership proposition, even in this not-cheap range-topping specification.

BMW X3 Xdrive30d M-sport auto
P11D price £39,405
Model price range £31,140-£39,405
Fuel consumption 47.1mpg
CO2 (tax) 159g/km (24%)
BIK 20/40%
per month
Service interval variable miles
Insurance (1-50) group 33
Warranty 3yrs/unlimited mls
Boot space min/max 550/1600 litres
Engine size/power 2993cc/258hp
Top speed/0-62mph 130mph/6.2secs
On sale Summer 2011
Score 8/10
Verdict Not cheap, but emissions
impress when coupled
with this level of
performance in an X3 that’s
over its predecessor