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BMW X3 2.8i (2011)

  • Slightly bigger and wider than the old BMW X3, making it acceptably comfortable.
  • Best feature? Great, flat-cornering and sporty handling that’s peerless, like all BMWs.
  • Powerful, smooth engine.
  • All-wheel drive.
  • Feels very solid.
  • Nicely appointed interior.
  • Driver’s seat is as adjustable as any we’ve ever seen.
  • Good looking.
  • Comfortable up front.
  • Huge double moon roof goes all the way to the back seats.
  • Automatic headlights.

  • Acceptable amount of cargo room in the back, though not capacious. More space, of course, if you lower the seat.
  • Very thick C pillar and a small back light combine to make it difficult to parallel park.
  • No rear backup camera in the base model, which is a necessity in this car.
  • BMW’s overly complex, distracting iDrive control system. iDrive is better than in past years—which makes it just an annoyance now, but no longer a reason not to buy the car.
  • Hard to start off or come to a complete stop, without the vehicle being a bit jerky.
  • Remote keyless entry is a bit quirky, and doesn’t always work exactly as you might anticipate. For example, you need to pull the handle twice to unlock it.
  • Fairly pricey: Even the base model goes out the door at about $45,000.

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