Boston Globe Top Drives for 2012
The former baby of the BMW lineup has grown up, morphing into a very nice mid-sized SUV. Its almost the exact same size as the original X5 that was introduced in 1999.
The standard 3.0-liter inline-six (also available in a turbocharged version) is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and the xDrive all-wheel-drive system. Performance and handling are outstanding and refined, and the interior is pure BMWrelatively plush with a few hard-to-understand controls for non-BMW owners.
As with most BMWs, there are plenty of optional packagespremium, cold weather, technology, sport, convenience, sport activityto quickly drive up the price. While the X3 was introduced as a 2011 model, it flew relatively under the radar after its introduction but has started to catch on: Its one of three finalists for the prestigious North American Truck of the Year Award which will be announced next month at the Detroit Auto Show.