There is a lot of complaining about the automatic transmission version of this machine. I bought an x3 manual with 6000 miles on it in February 2008 and have put 8000 miles on it since then. This is a great vehicle if you like driving. Fantastic low-end torque. Great acceleration in 2nd, 3rd and 4th. 5th and 6 are highway overdrives. Corners flat in aggressive driving. Have never had better brakes. Pulls a utility trailer loaded with stuff for the dump like its not there. I was skeptical about BMW reliability. No issues so far and the 100,000 mile warranty should have me covered. It doesn't have all the cup holders and storage that a Japanese vehicle has... drives much better though.
The engine! This thing wants to be revved and driven. Handling is great. AWD is better in Vermont winters than a 2003 Land Cruiser and 2006 Honda Ridgeline, both sold. Performs great in all weather conditions. Passes cars on highway like they are standing still, like a four cylinder liter bike.
If the X3 got 30 miles per gallon I would never want another car. I'm getting 18-19 overall, flogging it. 6 cd changer should be standard equipment. Overall, best vehicle I have ever had so far. All the pluses outweigh the so so gas mileage, even at $4.50/gallon.