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This is one of the best upscale SUVs, melding utility with luxury-car attributes and driving fun. It has precise handling and a composed ride, although the body tends to rock side to side on uneven pavement. The 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder returned a very good 23 mpg overall, and the eight-speed automatic shifts seamlessly. But this engine is a bit short on refinement, with a diesel-like clatter. The six-cylinder in the 35i is silky smooth. The interior is beautifully finished, with firm and supportive front seats, and though the rear seat is roomy, cargo capacity is modest. Once mastered, the iDrive control system proves logical. Despite the X3's price, the must-have rearview camera is optional. A diesel and rear-drive versions are available.

Road Test

Want a small upscale SUV that does it all? The BMW X3 not only emphasizes driving fun, but it melds luxury car attributes with the traditional utility of an SUV. Athletic handling and eager power make the X3 enjoyable to drive. Cabin finish is impecc...

Highs

  • Retains BMW's trademark agility despite being a SUV
  • Combines strong acceleration and good fuel economy

Lows

  • Stiff run-flat tires compromise low-speed ride
  • So-so rear visibility but a rear camera is optional

Best Version to Get

We would get a 2.8i with all of the available safety gear, which requires the confusingly named Driver Assistance and Driver Assistance Plus packages. This includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, a surround-view camera, and blind-spot warning. We would also add th...

Specifications

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Rear
Warranty
  • Basic: 4 year/50,000 miles
  • Powertrain: 4 year/50,000 miles
  • Rust through: 12 year/unlimited
  • Roadside aid: 4 year/unlimited
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 8-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (240 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbodiesel (180 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 turbo (300 hp)

Ratings

Safety
Performance
Comfort / Convenience
View Full Test Results