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STYLING | 7 out of 10
The styling clearly says BMW
Freshened visual athleticism
The 2008 BMW X3 is BMW’s compact crossover. Derived from the 3-Series lineup, it’s a four-door with a wagon back, a taller ride height, and all-wheel drive. It’s built in South Carolina, and it takes on the likes of the Acura RDX and the Land Rover LR2 as BMW’s entry-level off-roader.
Edmunds says the X3 has an “athletic personality” and notes “this crossover sport-ute shares its platform DNA with BMW's perpetually praised compact sport sedan.” Cars.com notes “the styling clearly says BMW, but it's the multi-paneled look of earlier models and it's beginning to show its age.” They add that the X3 is slightly shorter than its prime competition, the Acura RDX. Motor Trend refers to the “freshened visual athleticism” that came with a redesign in the 2007 model year; for 2008, there are only a few minor changes. Last year also brought a "new front bumper that frames a new, slightly larger twin-kidney grille," according to MyRide.com, and the grille now has “chrome vertical slats" to match the "chrome strip along the base of the side windows" and new LED taillights, according to Autoblog. Still, compared to brand-new entries from Acura and the coming Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLK, the BMW X3 is “aging,” Cars.com suggests.
Inside, "the cabin of the X3 is well thought out and beautifully executed," says Edmunds, adding “function takes priority over opulence.” MSN Autos calls it “quiet, airy and upscale.” This BMW 2008 model "masks its compact dimensions well," says Cars.com, especially due to the telescoping steering wheel and power adjustment driver's seat. "Dark ash wood trim is now standard," but you can also get gray poplar or light natural poplar at no extra cost on the BMW X3, according to MyRide.com. The new "three-spoke steering wheel" and "the new look around the gauge cluster with the instrument hood integrated into the dash" are noteworthy style choices on the BMW X3.
The 2008 BMW X3 bears all the hallmarks of BMW styling, but it’s beginning to show its age.