Now with the odometer rolling past the 50,000 mark, my compliments to the chef. I hate numb steering, overweight and too-big SUV's. This SUV really is a 3-series with a lot of road clearance and a big boost to the rear storage space. It does suffer from a higher center of gravity over the lower riding 3-series but that can be offset with a Sport Pkg option that helps to reduce the suspension give and body roll. Also, the sport seats are the best with what may be the best in the industry. In a nutshell, the X3 is clearly the most fun to drive in this segment. It is almost 1,000lbs less in weight than its X5 brethren and only 4 cu ft less in cargo--the 3.0 is the perfect small SUV.
Gas mileage, 26-28 on the highway thanks to the 6-spd. Sport seats make long distance fun. Handling is remarkable and totally atypical for a SUV. Sport steering wheel is purely M design and a nice touch. Tires went 50K before replacement and never were rotated! 8" ground clearance avoids snow.
Maybe a bit wider in the cabin but with no weight penalty since the motor is perfectly suited for moving this weight. Better wiper blades but that can be said of most vehicles. Lose the silly rocker molding of the sport package and replace with the great rubber nubbed rocker panel option.