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Editorial: What SUV did we buy – Land Rover, Lexus NX, BMW X3?

September 25, 2015

For our more regular readers you might remember our editorial last month about buying a premium SUV. It was between the Land Rover Discovery Sport, Lexus NX, and BMW X3.

BMW X3 Land Rover Lexus NX

This was one of the longest decision-making processes my wife and I had ever made. I think it was so difficult because there really is so many very good options on the market at the moment. After long thought, we decided not to go for the Lexus NX. Even though I will continue to recommend the NX to anybody else just because I know it is likely to be the most reliable option out of these three, perhaps offering the best build quality too, we just couldn’t agree with the sharp design (it’s a petty excuse, I know). We also really wanted a turbo-diesel.

So then it was down to the Land Rover and BMW. We started out by walking into a BMW dealer and Land Rover dealer to have a chat with the sales people – we thought maybe this will help trigger a decision. The initial BMW dealer was helpful but didn’t seem too fussed on what spec vehicle we wanted – he just wanted to sell us a car. The Land Rover dealer on the other hand – Macarthur Land Rover – was extremely helpful. He pointed out some options that are popular, which could help with resale, and advised us on options that wouldn’t be necessary for our needs.

It was at the Land Rover dealer that it was pretty much decided. The wife liked the design of the Discovery Sport, especially with the fashionable ‘Black Pack’ option (pictured above), and, to a high degree, I agreed. It is the better-looking vehicle. It’s nicer inside and comes with more technology for the price. The price itself is also considerably lower than the xDrive30d variant of the BMW X3 – the only one I would go for.

Just before signing the dotted line on a new grey example – with the Black Pack of course – our car buying team partners brought a demonstrator xDrive30d to our attention. It was out of our price range initially but we decided to proceed further with the enquiry. We ended up travelling out to Col Crawford BMW on Sydney’s North Shore to check it out for a closer inspection. The dealer was extremely helpful and did its best to understand our needs and understand our situation and budget.

I won’t say the price we paid as it will probably cause issues if the dealer can’t quite repeat the offer on another example, but we ended up getting a very good deal. The fact that this example, with just 800km on the clock, in our preferred colour combination and specification, was available right there and then made the job so much easier. If we went for the Land Rover we would’ve been looking at a January delivery date, at the earliest.

2015 BMW X3 xDrive30d

So far it has been a very satisfying purchase. The torque of the 3.0 turbo-diesel is addictive, and the handling is at the top end of the class. We’ll put together a review and video of the car in our usual format soon, and report on the ownership progress as a long-term-style test to give you further insight.

Thanks for all of your comments on the initial editorial. Feel free to comment on any other article in the future as well, particularly car reviews as sometimes the most valueable insight (good or bad) for a buyer considering a car is the feedback and ownership experience of an another buyer.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.