The X3 has no equal among small luxury SUVs when it comes to arcing around a curvy road. Its superb steering feel, ideal suspension tuning and eager engine power delivery make this one of the most fun vehicles in its class to drive. However, if you're planning to carry rear passengers regularly, the BMW's stiff ride might make it less comfortable on rough roads. Plus, the X3 is priced higher than some rivals.
The 2009 BMW X3 is an improved version of its 2nd-generation model. Its engine is more fuel-efficient than the previous model and it gets a better reliability rating. In fact, Consumer Reports gives it a 4 out of 5 overall reliability rating, which is excellent for a BMW.
As with all BMW models, the X3 is loaded with luxury features. Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers and a self-charging keyless fob. Optional extras include a navigation system, leather seats and a cold-weather package with front and rear heated seats. In addition to the premium interior, the X3's large cargo hold can accommodate up to 71 cubic feet of gear when the 60/40-split rear seat is folded down.
There are several problems to look out for with the X3. For example, according to Car Complaints, some owners experienced brake failure while driving. In some cases, the X3's brakes would squeal or fail completely. Another issue is that the X3's cooling system is prone to leaks.