2007 BMW X3

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2007 BMW X3 Review

Small SUV performs like a sedan for a steep price.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2007 BMW X3 sport utility vehicle (SUV) is a small crossover built on the 3 Series platform. This sport activity vehicle (SAV) is about serious performance and handling. The X3 is not for families needing comfort and diversions on long trips; it won't handle the rigors of off-roading, especially since it is not built on a truck platform. Call it the answer to the American wagon stigma; it gives far more cargo space than a sport sedan while actually handling like one.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 3.0-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: Sportmatic automatic six-speed, six-speed manual
Models: BMW X3 3.0si

What's New

For 2007, the BMW X3 crossover SUV/ SAV has undergone its first significant update after four years of existence. All the models have been whittled down to just one trim, the X3 3.0si that uses a three-liter, inline six-cylinder engine. This year also sees changes to the front and rear exterior styling, along with new wheel designs and alterations to the interior, including a new three-spoke steering wheel, a new hood over the instrumentation, and revised leather and plastic materials. ""Brake Fade Compensation,"" ""Brake Drying,"" and ""Start-off Assistant"" technologies have been added to the stability control system.

Exterior

The 2007 BMW X3 small crossover SUV/SAV comes in one trim called the 3.0si. Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic moonroof, automatic headlights, and heated mirrors. For the exterior, there is a Sport package that tightens the suspension, upgrades the wheels to 18 inches, and includes sport seats and an aerodynamic body kit for the body. Stand-alone options include 19-inch wheels and tires, and adaptive xenon headlights. Heated headlights and a ski bag can be added with the Cold Weather package.

Interior

For standard features, the cabin has automatic climate control, vinyl upholstery, full power accessories, keyless entry, power front seats, and a CD player with an auxiliary input. Buyers can add in the Cold Weather package that features heated front and rear seats. The Premium package throws in a universal garage door opener, upgraded interior lighting, leather upholstery, and lumbar supports for the front seats. Stand-alone gear for the interior includes park assist, an upgraded sound system, a navigation system, and new 16-way ""comfort"" seats.

The interior is well-designed with high-quality parts that make the cabin beautiful without being opulent or ostentatious. This is an interior geared towards serious driving, not entertainment for the family.

Performance & Handling

The only available power plant for the 2007 BMW X3 3.0si is a three-liter, inline-6 engine that produces 260 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque. That inline-6 can be mated to either a manual or Sportmatic automatic six-speed transmission, sending power to the X-Drive full-time all-wheel-drive system. Tests have shown that the manual-transmission X3 3.0si goes from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, while the Sportmatic makes the same run in 7.1 seconds.

Handling is especially sharp for a crossover. Aside from the Acura RDX, nothing in this segment comes close to the reflexes, amazing steering, and all-around curve swallowing abilities of the X3. This driving joy comes at the cost of a stiff ride and means the X3 is not the vehicle for hauling the family cross-country comfortably.

Safety

The X3 uses BMW's Intelligent Safety and Information System, a set of safety equipment that places redundant systems throughout the vehicle so even if some are damaged the various safety technologies aboard will function properly. The aforementioned safety gear includes front and rear side curtain airbags, two-stage airbags in front, front-seat side impact airbags, and an aggressive stability control system that now includes brake fade compensation, brake drying, brake standby, and start-off assistance. There are similar airbags to the front-seat side impact airbags that are optional for the rearward seats. Buyers will have to take this impressive list of features at face-value since there have been no government crash tests to give solid data on the overall safety of the X3.

EPA Fuel Economy

BMW X3 3.0si: 16/24 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Sharp reflexes
  • Steering
  • Power delivery
  • Quality
  • Cargo capacity

You Won't Like

  • Stiff ride
  • Pricier than rivals

Sum Up

Small SUV performs like a sedan for a steep price.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Infiniti FX
  • Lincoln MKX
  • Acura RDX
  • Cadillac SRX
  • Chevrolet TrailBlazer
  • Nissan Murano

See the New 2014 X3.

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