Although it has not been publicized, the 2005 X3 got a completely new suspension making it a much smoother reider than the 2004. Mine has the standard suspension and it is hard enough. The choice of tires is also important and the OEM Michelins ride far better and soother than the OEM Bridgestones which were rated as less than safe in the wet by Tirerack. Note that the cars are delivered with less than perfect alignment and when checked at an independant source, it was found so out of alignmemnt that it took the dealer hours to realign under warranty. Other than that the car has performed flawlessly and the assembly quality is better than on the X5, very much Austria built! Great car.
Outstanding Austrian build quality. BMWCar like handling and better over holes and bad roads than the BMW cars. Perfect size in an urban environment and a blast to drive. My wife loves it and finds it easy to drive. Truly a 21st Century vehicle. Properly configured the interior is fine as is.
At close to 4000 pounds, the 3,0 liter motor is a must. Those black bumpers are very practical and I for one find them attractive.