BMW makes some excellent vehicles. Unfortunately, the X3 isn't one of them. After spending a week with this vehicle, I found little to like about it, and much to dislike. My negative opinion about the X3 was magnified even more after I spent only about an hour in the comparatively-priced Infinity EX35, that I drove immediately afterwards.
First, let me clarify something. The X3 isn't a bad car. Nobody makes a bad car anymore. (I take that back, I drove a Smart fortwo, and that's a bad car). The X3 is still a BMW, which means the fit and finish are good, it runs well, it handles capably and it feels solid. It's just overpriced, and it under-delivers in so many areas. And on top of that, it just has so many annoyances that put me off.
The X3 is billed by BMW as an SAV, or Sport Activity Vehicle. That's BMW's not so clever way of trying to make it seem different from the rest of the competition of small SUVs, or Sport Utility Vehicles. Tomayto, tomahto – potayto, potahto, it's all the same thing. In fact, it's more of a utility vehicle than some of the competition because its taller roofline offers more cargo space.
More: 2009 BMW X3 xDrive 3.0i