My wife wanted a mid size SUV which was NOT front wheel drive or front wheel biased.
This pretty much directed us to Audi Q5, BMW X3and Mercedes GLK350.
Each had its strong points, but the BMW X3 had the most useable space and no real negatives.
We're very happy with our decision. Ours was pretty well optioned and had the highest sticker price of the 3, but with USAA and BMW incentives, wound up the least expensive.
The base engine has plenty of zip and is reasonably fuel efficient (not quite up to EPA estimates, but still not bad).
It handles nicely on the road.
If I did not drive a Mercedes E350 Sport, I'm sure I would be more effusive in my praise of the X3.
After 2-1/2 years, my original review is still accurate. I have never had to take the car to the dealership except for routine maintenance. My wife is the principle driver and she loves the car--excellent visibility, crisp handling, super functionality. She uses the car typically as a "grocery getter", but on 4 trips of about 500 mi. each, the car performed flawlessly. We have had no second thoughts about this purchase.
I recently "test drove" a pre-owned 2014 X3. The dealer was very knowledgeable and we ended up driving about 15 miles during my drive. The car had 34K miles on it, yet it still looked new. The leather seats were in great shape. I have read some articles that mention a firm ride. I have been driving for 45 years and the X1 has one of the nicest (and sportiest) rides of the many vehicles I have driven. The ride was certainly not overly firm. In fact, it was downright fun. When the rear seats are folded, there is a surprising amount for room. If you want to have a little fun while driving your small SUV, this is the one to get. I just wish the new models weren't so expensive. Forty-five to fifty-five thousand is a lot of money for a small SUV, regardless of how nice it is. BTW: I did not reply to all of ratings because I did not have the opportunity to try all of them.
Purchased vehicle about a month ago and have driven 2200 miles. Was nervous at first about 4 cyl engine but it has plenty of power. Recently got 27mpg on trip and that was better than Lexus 400h we traded in. Special ordered vehicle just the way we wanted with tech,parking assist, xenons, upgraded stereo and convenience package. Vehicle is very comfortable on long trips and heated steering wheel is a nice on cold nights. Build quality and dealer experience was first rate. We did purchase tire hazard warranty because of the run flats.
I have now owned my car for three months.
Over-all I really like it and love the way it looks.
It is $10,000 less than the Mercedes and I think it's a better deal.
However, the back seat is very uncomfortable on trips.
I also disagree with those who say there is plenty of room in the back seat.
I wish BMW would offer an option for the same quality of seat contract in the back as they have in the front.
Other than that, I can find little wrong with this car.
I also love my dealership (Daytona Beach Fields BMW).
This x3 is an agile and fun ride. Zero to 70 mph in seconds, quiet even after rattling around farm to market roads with farm or remodeling supplies. The color is very nice and even when I might exceed the posted speeds, no tickets so I am (tongue in cheek) thinking it is stealthy too! It is very cool looking and I've had lots of positive comments from both men and women so not much of a "chick ride" in my opinion. Only drawback is the built in safety feature that I dislike... If the driver or front seat passenger doesn't hit the unlock button positioned dead center of the dashboard then your passengers must "double tap" the door handles to open, which roughly translates to them trying to jerk the darn things off of the doors even if you remind them repeatedly!!! I wish that feature could be disabled but my service advisor tells me it can't.