With some reservations, reviewers are quite positive about the driving experience in the BMW X3.
Standard in the 2009 BMW X3 is a 3.0-liter inline-6 that spins out 260 hp, says Edmunds. Cars.com dubs the engine "potent" and reports it gets "much stronger at higher revs." Edmunds reports it "always has plenty of smooth thrust on hand." MSN Autos contends it issues "immediate engine response." Motor Trend says it has strong low-end torque, and that helps it hit 60 mph in 6.9 seconds.
BMW offers a 6-speed manual or automatic. MSN Autos praises its automatic as "responsive" while Cars.com found it "bogged down in lower gears," which made for "bursts of unsolicited power."
As for gas mileage, the automatic X3 is rated at 17/24 mpg. The manual X3 just gets 1 mpg less, according to Edmunds.
Handling in the 2009 BMW X3 is almost universally praised. A key feature in the 2009 X3 is an all-wheel-drive system closely connected to the X3's stability and traction control. Motor Trend says the system "allows the driver to choose a higher threshold of wheelslip."
Cars.com says the X3 has "top-notch" handling and "more road feel" than in some passenger cars." Edmunds likes the "ultra-communicative and precise steering" while MSN Autos says it's among the "sharpest-handling SUVs." Additionally, the "X3 readily swallows mile after mile," reports MyRide.com. The reviewer goes on to note that "it feels confident in the wet."
Cars.com calls the brakes "surefooted at their limits", though it finds the brake pedal feel "is on the grabby side." Edmunds, meanwhile, proclaims that the 2009 BMW X3 has "strong" brakes.