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Thread: BMW X3 'off-road' ability?

  1. #1

    BMW X3 'off-road' ability?

    Looking for a new car.

    What I am after doesn't exist, with a budget of less than £10k I want a smart (as it will be my only car), comfortable, reliable 4x4 that does not cost the earth to run and does around 40mpg.... What I want is a Land Rover Disco that meets the above criteria - so until they come up with something I will have to keep dreaming!

    Narrowed it down to a Freelander 2, but thats on the small side, willing to compromise there though as I have seen how good they are off road, especially with the addition of AT tyres.

    Does anyone have a BMW X3 and if so could they comment on what its like 'off-road'? I am not talking full on green laning etc, just the average shoot field perimeters, muddy rutty tracks and some inclines and more mud.

    It needs to be a family car (well not so much family as a dog when I get one later in the year), good on long runs both comfort and economy wise and also be a lamping/shoot truck too - so all in all I am asking a lot but willing (read as having to!) compromise somewhere.



  2. #2
    You're right that machine doesn't exist.
    However if you find one that comes anywhere close to that spec please let me know.
    In the meantime good luck with the hunt.


    ps you might want to look at petrol engines and get them converted to gas

  3. #3
    Subaru Outback

  4. #4
    I can only comment on the X5 (I don't know if the X3 is more 'off roady' or not but I wouldn't have thought so) which is near on useless off road due to all the traction control settings designed to keep it on road when driven hard. Basically it cuts power to any wheel it thinks doesnt have traction so on a slippery field of wet grass or mud it will just sit there and if you're lucky only one wheel will be spinning but more often than not none of them will turn. Brilliant engineering to make such a big unbalanced car feel nice at speed on the tarmac but no capability off road.

    Only downside with the freelander is permenant 4 wheel drive so MPG is lower, which is why my friend in the same position as you went for a Nissan X-Trail. He averages 40mpg whilst general driving, a little better on a run and a fair bit worse round town or little back roads.

  5. #5
    The X3 is just a small estate car on stilts, with an unsupported price tag. Nissan Pathfinder is a much better option but won't give the same yummy mummy kudos on the school run.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not using it in a fruit salad.

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  6. #6
    Thanks guys.

    I looked at the Outback, and have not discounted it if I manage to find one to have a play with.

    I hadn't thought of the X-Trail, I'll have a gander. They OK off road does your friend know?

    Sounds like the X5 should have an override for that if you want to hit the rough stuff, but then I guess it is a chelsea tractor!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by long_range_rob View Post
    The X3 is just a small estate car on stilts, with an unsupported price tag. Nissan Pathfinder is a much better option but won't give the same yummy mummy kudos on the school run.
    Pathfinder is a superb 4x4, and with all the trimmings really quite comfortable.
    30 mpg is more realistic though... Fantastic off road.

  8. #8
    Have a look at the Jeep range. Exceptional off road, but might fall short on MPG
    Sako 75 6.5x55 - Z6i 3-18x50. Sako 75 .308 Habicht 2.5-10x56. Beretta 690. Benelli M2.
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  9. #9
    My mother had a similar dilemma and settled on a Renault Koleos, hugely overlooked in this country due some pretty poor marketing by Renault, does somewhere in the region of 37mpg, very comfortable on the road, pulls brilliantly and real pleasure to drive. Ive taken it off road and it has selective 2/4wd with a diff lock as well as hill descent control that actually works (slight clenching involved) and has handled everything i have asked it to do as well if not better than my fathers Mk 1 Freelander, not to mention being a 1000 times better than the Freelander on the road. It is also a similar size to the X3

  10. #10
    Have a look at Suzuki Grand Vitara
    I had a Suzuki for years, very reliable machine

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