I have to admit that not very often I come across articles that are praising the BMW X3. Always living in the shadow of its bigger, older brother, the X5, the BMW X3 has been one of the most controversial vehicles built by BMW in the last ten years.
From the beginning, the pessimistic did not give the X3 many chances of survival, many believed that a smaller SAV was simply a pointless option and some of the 3 or 5 series wagons could have filled that gap between a sedan and a Sports Activity Vehicle. Within my family members we own an X3 as well, so I can certainly say that I have tons of experience driving and manhandling the car.
While the X5 seems the perfect and safe choice when it comes to an SAV in the BMW series, the X3 fits the role of an inexpensive - when compared to the X5 - but safe xDrive ride, with decent room space and a tall ride. The ride and driving experience is fair for this smaller SAV, of course, not close to the performance and handling of a 3 Series Sedan and even Wagon version, but the all-wheel drive system makes a difference and handles well on wet or snowy road, keeping the rear in a tight line through turns.
The 3.0 liter engine delivers enough power even for the most picky family member and it seems to be the safe choice when it comes to choosing the engine for the X3. The 2008 version delivers 260 horsepower and 225-pound-feet torque.
While all of the above satisfy my "bimmer taste", not so easy usually, the interior design of the X3 simply lacks character. Everything is very blend and luxury was definitely not the thing BMW had in mind. An area that I hope BMW will improve in their second generation BMW X3.
So, before I let you go, I will let you read the extremely positive and favorable review the X3 received from Scott Burgess with Detroit News.