Long-Term Update: 2005 BMW X3 2.5i
Crisp and responsive
Opposing, often resounding, opinions are forming among the ranks on this one. Many of the early logbook entries note that our X3 costs too much money ($44,945) for too much weight (4103 pounds) with too little horsepower (184); the 3.0-liter version is more powerful and costs even more. One editor even mentioned how a $25K Ford Escape V-6 has "more beans," with another stating, "For $20K less, the Honda CR-V offers better room, performance, and fuel economy within the same exterior dimensions and almost the same equipment levels (sans nav) and some engaging road manners." Several editors have commented that the sport suspension's ride quality is oversprung, jouncy, and abrupt on anything but glass-smooth tarmac--one editor adding, "It's a hoot to drive, though I did need a kidney belt." We've also noted that the X3 is crisp and responsive. "I wouldn't mind the buns of steel so much,"one editor notes about the seats. "But I prefer not to sit on them. Good lateral support is one thing, but those chairs are punishingly hard." It's been a runner, though, with no major service issues to report.