While most sport-utes have seen huge nose inflation (all the more canvas for hideous outsized grilles) the X3's nose tapers more quickly, its kidney-shaped nostrils flaring more widely. The contours are more pronounced over its longer body, and capped by pert little LED taillamps that could easily fit on any BMW passenger car.
Inside, the dash arcs to envelop controls and angles them at the driver, adding to the more sedan-like air surrounding the new SUV. BMW says it's paid special attention to upgrading the interior materials, too, and it's immediately obvious. Tough textures have gone soft, in the proper ways. A large LCD screen links into the connected-driving zeitgeist, and there's a head-up display on offer that projects all the information essential to driving in a discreet section of the windshield.
It's a calming influence at work. Whether it's the big, clear dials in the instrument pod, the simplified audio and climate switches, or even the off-centered iDrive controller, the X3's cabin seems more rested, de-cluttered, and at ease with its mission.