10,000 Miles - 2012 BMW X3 Long-Term Road Test

2012 BMW X3 Long Term Road Test

2012 BMW X3: The Rise of the Compact SUV

January 22, 2013

2012 BMW X3

The sales numbers are in for 2012 and things look pretty good for the compact SUV segment.

As usual, the list is dominated by brawny trucks, practical midsize sedans and frugal compact four-doors. But this year, the lineup sees a growing number of small SUVs, with both the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape logging strong sales. It's a development that shows just how popular compact SUVs are becoming with the average American car buyer.

Of course, from its striking red leather interior to its atypically brisk acceleration, our sharp X3 is a cut above these more mundane choices (and no, the X3 isn't in the top 10). It's also, of course, a lot pricier. But it boasts many of the traits that make this segment so appealing: versatility, decent cargo capacity and a pleasantly tall seating position, all contained within a footprint that's small enough to ensure easy maneuverability.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor

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