Agility, powertrain, fuel economy, fit and finish, braking.
Controls, low rear seat.
The X3 is one of the best compact upscale SUVs. Its taut ride is composed and does a good job isolating bumps, but the X3 tends to rock from side to side on uneven pavement. Handling is agile and secure. The base 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder returned a very good 23 mpg overall, but it falls a bit short on refinement, with a diesel-like sound at times. The eight-speed automatic shifts seamlessly. The cabin is beautifully finished and comfortable, with firm and supportive seats up front. The rear seat is roomy, but the cushion is a bit low. Some controls are overly complicated. We have insufficient reliability data for the new 28i four-cylinder, but the 35i version is much below average.