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      05-21-2016, 06:43 PM   #1
ianfp
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30D or 20D?

I have found a 6 month old X3 30D M sport at a dealer some distance away. The price for the 30D is equivalent to the price I would have to pay for a 20D in my town. I am very tempted as it has covered just 1k miles and has a very high spec.

Just how much better is the 30D compared with the 20D? Is the 30D a quieter car to ride in? I know the new 20D engine is quieter than the N47, but how does the 30D compare. Any opinions would be appreciated!

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      05-21-2016, 08:04 PM   #2
brissim
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I'm probably a little biased because I've had the 30d for nearly 5 years. Did test drive the 20d but found it was simply no contest against the performance of the 30d. Many would find the 20d more than adequate, but you really have to work it to get much in terms of performance out of it. In contrast the 30d is just effortless. This is my first BMW and if the 30d hadn't been available in the Australian market at the time we would have ended up with the XC60 D5 rather than the X3 20d.

With the 20d, the old N47 engine wasn't the quietest or smoothest (almost as bad as Volvo's 5-cylinder D5 engine). The 30d sounds almost like a petrol engine at times particularly under load. As part of the 2015 LCI update of the X3, the N47 engine was replaced by the much quieter B47 engine. But still its no match to the refinement of the 30d (admittedly based on test drives of the B47 engine in the new X1 and LCI 3-series rather than the X3).

Bottom line - if you can afford it - get the 30d. You will not regret it.

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      05-21-2016, 08:09 PM   #3
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I tried both LCI diesel versions before buying the x30d.
It was a lot better in midrange acceleration and sounded better under load. The bigger lump is quieter as it doesn't need the higher revs to deliver the power, and when it does, the sound is a very pleasing growl. The 20d was more a whine. The x20d needed more revs to get the best from the engine, whereas the bigger lump needs very little input to start feeding in the torque. It was more linear.
In everyday town/commute driving, there isn't a whole lot between them, but once you demand more from the X3 in terms of towing or carrying 4 people + luggage, or some spirited fun driving - then the 30d gives you more of that X factor.
Fuel economy wasn't a major concern for me, and in real world consumption i get 36mpg with a mixture of city (central london commuting) , and semi rural driving.
The x20d is adequate for just getting about, but the 3.0 engine turns the X3 into a formidable vehicle.
Lastly, the subjective part of the equation for me is "knowing" i have the power/acceleration on tap at all times. This is going to be my car for the next 7-10 years, so i wanted the better performing engine.

As above - get the bigger engine, you won't regret it. I don't see many X3's on the road, and when i do, they invariably are the 20d versions.

Last edited by Pinewood; 05-21-2016 at 08:22 PM.
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      05-22-2016, 06:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinewood View Post
get the bigger engine, you won't regret it. I don't see many X3's on the road, and when i do, they invariably are the 20d versions.
Hear, hear!
30d hands down!
I've had both. Had an X4 20d for almost a year before trading it in for a 30d.
The difference is huge IMO. The 30d is much smoother, quieter and a blast to drive if you are a spirited driver.
Official 0-100 kph numbers for the X3:
20d 8.1 sec
30d 5.9 sec
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      05-22-2016, 11:29 AM   #5
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I can't disagree with anything above. Even if you are not too bother about the performance differential, the six cylinder engine is so smooth and works well with the 8AT. For me, real world driving gets me mid 30's mpg (UK gallon). The 30d/35d engines are rare in the UK, and should hold the price premium.
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      05-22-2016, 11:47 AM   #6
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I agree with all the comments above. In my view after test driving the 30d after the 20d it is a no brainer. It is just like driving a different vehicle. Not to say that the 20d is not good, it is just that the 30d is a different experience that gives a more relaxed drive.
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      05-22-2016, 03:23 PM   #7
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I suggest you evaluate what your intent is with the vehicle. I opted for the 2.0d here in Switzerland because of a variety of factors, including high road tax, efficiency tax, fuel prices, etc... It simply didn't make any sense for me to get the 3.0d as a daily driver. I need something efficient that will get me there comfortably, and the 2.0d fulfills that more than adequately.

If you are looking to have a vehicle that fulfills a sporty/daily driver purpose, the 3.0d is surely for you. If you are like me, and value efficiency and low taxes/costs on a daily basis, the 2.0d is a consideration.

Besides, a little M235i or M2 down the road will satisfy my weekend hooning if I decide to get one, but for now, the X3 remains a purely utilitarian vehicle.
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      05-23-2016, 05:22 AM   #8
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When first looking at the X3 I drove the 3.0d and then took out a 2.0d. The salesman said the drive in the 2.0d was the shortest test drive he'd ever been on as I turned back round at the first roundabout and headed back to the dealers. For me the 3.0d is the perfect engine for the car yes it gives mid 30's MPG but I only do about 12k a year in it so for me the extra fuel is a price worth paying.
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      05-24-2016, 12:31 PM   #9
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Emphasise what's been said by all. The six cylinder really changes the character of the car and brings a lovely torquey feel.

I started on a 2.0d, changed that for a 3.0d and now have a 35d - 100k miles across all 3

I'm now watching for s/h XD3s.......
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      05-24-2016, 03:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger 6 View Post
I started on a 2.0d, changed that for a 3.0d and now have a 35d - 100k miles across all 3
I've never had the chance to test the 35d.
Is it a big difference between 30d and 35d regarding performance (acceleration) and mpg?

Last edited by Scandic24; 05-24-2016 at 05:06 PM.
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      05-24-2016, 03:21 PM   #11
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I agree with all of the above. A six cylinder is always going to be more pleasing to drive than a 4 banger.

Never tested a 30D X3, but I once had a 5 series 30D for a day. Naturally the bigger engine felt better especially on the autobahn. It had that extra power, which I occassionally miss in my 20D. As already pointed out by honeybadgerch, there are a variety of factors to consider. Living here in Switzerland the difference in costs between a 30d and 20d is crazy (about USD15k more for the vehicle and about 50% more annual road tax and insurance). I opted for the 20D because it just didn't seem right to spend so much more money for a 30D especially as I was going to buy it, and not lease it. The 20D is a great daily driver and family car: Economic, got decent power and that engine is hassle-free and bomb proof.

Despite being a spirited driver, I only must have had a handful of occassions, where I missed having the extra power of the 30D. But it wasn't the lack of power of the 20D, but more so my ego which was bruised, when ****heads dont let you onto the autobahn on the on-ramp, and you end up slowing down to 80km/h eventhough you would rather want to accelerate to 130km/h. But that is - what we call in Switzerland - a "Luxusproblem".

If running costs are neglectable for you, and considering the fact, that the price is the same, then you should definetly get the bigger engine. You won't regret it.

Personally I do sometimes wonder though, which would be more fun: 35i or 30d. Going forward, I think that my next car may be a 35i and not a 30d. I think a petrol engine just seems more lively and get's your emotions going more.
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      05-24-2016, 03:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atrueb View Post
Personally I do sometimes wonder though, which would be more fun: 35i or 30d. Going forward, I think that my next car may be a 35i and not a 30d. I think a petrol engine just seems more lively and get's your emotions going more.
Well, the Original Poster is in the UK and does not have the option of the 35i, so it is either one of the diesels already mentioned.
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      05-24-2016, 05:23 PM   #13
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Guys, thank you all very much for your valuable opinions. I sort of guessed that all those with a 30D would suggest it is a better engine. I also note the comments about how valid the 20D is and indeed the 20D has been adequate for me since buying the X3. My only complaint is the relatively noisy N47 and therefore I would like a quieter engine. The B47 may well be fine for me, but as I have said, the car I am thinking about has a far higher spec and lower mileage than the equivalent 20Ds on sale at dealers in East Sussex.
I have now to find out how much the dealer will give me for my car and see if it all works out!!

Thanks again everyone!
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      05-24-2016, 08:38 PM   #14
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You only live once ;-)
Keep us posted!
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      05-25-2016, 08:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scandic24 View Post
I've never had the chance to test the 35d.
Is it a big difference between 30d and 35d regarding performance (acceleration) and mpg?
It's certainly a big difference from my old E83 3.0d, however the difference from an F25 is less noticeable. I'd say it's like a healthy remap on the 30d.

Economy is ok - 33mpg average no matter how fast or slow I go.
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      05-25-2016, 08:51 AM   #16
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Had both, 3.0d is excellent 35 mpg plenty of acceleration on hand
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      05-25-2016, 11:22 AM   #17
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Just to chime in, I opted for the X3 2.0D as at the time there were very few 3.0D examples with the spec I wanted. Mine is pre-LCI. I agree the engine is louder and rougher, but the car is pleasing and cheaper on insurance, tax etc and is a good cruiser. It does have a kick, but it's gradual not instant, but I'm more than happy with it. For me the X3 has the perfect blend of economy (eco mode) and when you want some fun (Sport mode)

Looking to keep this until the new shape x3 is unveiled later this year and perhaps change next year.
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      05-25-2016, 04:15 PM   #18
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I drive the 20D but have never driven the 30D. However I can sense how more power would make the car even more brilliant whether it's low speed response or motorway performance.

As others have said, it comes down to much how you can afford to spend.
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      05-25-2016, 05:41 PM   #19
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Interesting to read comments from Sharpharp and Crassus! When I bought my 2.0D, there were very few F25s full stop. There are now many 2.0Ds in stock with a very small proportion of 3.0D cars. The new B47 engine passes Euro 6 emissions, but does anyone know if the 3.0D passes?

I am not sure that the G01 will be released this year. The big downside of waiting until next year is the prohibitive car tax that is going to hit everyone buying a new car above 40K in value.

I still haven't made that final decision to go for the 3.0D yet as I am awaiting a valuation on my existing car. Then I must consider if it is too early to allow the G01 to influence my decision.
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      05-25-2016, 05:51 PM   #20
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The 3.0d LCI engine passes Euro 6 regulations. It was the driving force in my spending more and buying one. My job requires me to drive in/out of central london, so the last thing i wanted to do was have the hassle of buying another car before september 2020 when the ultra low emission zone comes into force.
Many family members thought i was crazy buying a nearly new diesel, but they ain't laughing now. The depreciation on euro 5 models will be inversely proportional to the 2020 date for those that require london centric vehicular transport.
If your looking at the tax payable on new cars in 2017, my advice would be to go for a LCI x30d. The G01 is at least a year away, and even then in true BMW traditional - only the 2.0 SE will be released. It will be closer to 2018 before you can get your hands on an M Sport derivative.
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      05-26-2016, 08:33 AM   #21
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I second getting a 3.0D LCI. From what I have been informed, G01 production won't start until August next year.

You can get great discounts on MY2016 X3s now - especially if you are willing to buy one up north. I bought mine I April at a 4,000 discount. The G01 will unlikely be discounted at launch and BMW will likely still charge arm and leg for every option.

The 20D was excellent in my F30 3-Series. In the X3 that's firmer and heavier, its good but a 6 cylinder engine would have made the X3 perfect: more responsive and smoother power delivery.

The 30D with the options I wanted was a bit out of my budget but in 2-4 years when I trade up. I will stretch my budget for a 6 cylinder SUV.
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      05-26-2016, 09:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crassus View Post
........................
You can get great discounts on MY2016 X3s now - especially if you are willing to buy one up north. I bought mine I April at a 4,000 discount. The G01 will unlikely be discounted at launch and BMW will likely still charge arm and leg for every option. ...................
Perhaps only slightly related to the topic of this thread but after nearly 5 great years in our X3 30d we are seriously looking at trading for a another F25 (30d of course) and not waiting for the G01 X3. And the reason is the availability of the 30d in the current F25 X3 and the rumoured possibility it might not be made available for the G01 X3 in the Australian market.

Here in Australia we don't get all the engine and drivetrain variants of many BMW (and other car makers) models that are available in other markets. For example for the F25 X3 we don't have the 35i or 35d with both being "reserved" for the more performance orientated X4. In the Australian market most of the X3's competitors (GLC, XC60, Discovery Sports etc) have 4-cylinder engines only. The current model Q5 does have 6-cylinder engines but it is also strongly rumoured that when the new Q5 arrives later this year, it too will have only 4-cylinder engines (again I'm talking about the Australian market). The 6-cylinder engines will be for the SQ5 (and possible RS Q5) only. So BMW Australia may take a similar path and restrict the G01 X3 to 4-cylinder engines only and keep the 6-cylinder engines for the next generation X4.

And its because of this possibility - and that I'm so impressed with the 30d engine in my current X3 - that we may end up getting another F25 X3 just to be able to get the 30d engine.

Tony
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