The redesigned, third-generation X3 picks up and improves upon where the previous version left off, keeping its title as one of the best-driving compact SUVs. The X3 proves itself to be impressively talented, thanks to its desirable blend of driving enjoyment, comfort, luxury, utility, and high-tech features. One of the first things you notice about the X3 is how quiet and pampering the cabin is, and how supportive the seats are. The new X3 also turns out to be slightly roomier and more fuel efficient than the model it replaced.
The BMW's turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers ample power that's polished and nearly immediate when you step on the accelerator. The superbly smooth and responsive eight-speed automatic transmission shifts quickly. This powertrain helps make this BMW SUV thoroughly engaging to drive, yet at 24 mpg overall, the X3 remains among the most economical in its class, albeit using premium fuel.
Right away, you'll notice that the X3's handling is taut and agile, making it engaging and confidence-inspiring to drive. Although its ride quality skews to the firm side, the X3 does a good job soaking up ruts, bumps, and other road imperfections.