In November 2018, BMW South Africa added two new base models to its locally produced X3 range, expanding the line-up from four to six derivatives. And now a further two diesel derivatives have been slipped into the line-up in the form of the entry-level sDrive18d and the flagship M40d.
The X3 sDrive18d is priced at R651 403, which makes it the least expensive variant in the range, undercutting the petrol-powered sDrive20i by some R9 795.
Powered by a 2,0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine that sends its 110 kW and 350 N.m to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, the sDrive18d will hit three figures from standstill in a claimed 9,7 seconds, before running out of puff at 198 km/h. The Munich-based firm says this model will sip diesel at just 5,3 litres per 100 km.
And the X3 M40d? Well, this M Performance derivative starts at R1 034 963, which renders it the second-most expensive variant in the line-up (the X3 M40i, of course, will cost you slightly more at R1 038 126). For the record, the M40d’s 3,0-litre turbodiesel inline-six sends 240 kW and 680 N.m to all four corners via an eight-speed automatic, hitting 100 km/h in a claimed 4,9 seconds and topping out at 250 km/h.
In April 2018, BMW Group South Africa officially announced the start of production of the X3 at its Rosslyn plant near Pretoria, completing the switchover from building the 3 Series sedan.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.