What is it like on the inside?
The X3’s basic cabin is pretty good, actually, because it predates some of the more recent BMW tech that’s started to ruin its cockpits. So, although the dials are digital, they’re the older circular style, so you can actually read how fast the engine is revving and how quickly it’s propelling you along – even with the jarring ride. That’s some achievement.
The seats have plenty of adjustment, as does the overly thick steering wheel, so you’ll not struggle to find a comfortable driving position. Visibility is par for this class – and much better than in the coupe-ish X4, which is reason enough not to waste extra money buying the ugly sister. You also get more room in the back, and a more practically-shaped boot. Overall, the materials are much better than BMW’s last-gen fare, and it seems well-assembled. The gap to Audi has been closed right up.
One of the odd own-goals concerns those curious M mirrors complete with an extra spar that doesn’t actually hold the casing onto the car. They generate a huge amount of wind noise, which is a pity when the engine settles into such a quiet cruise at speed.