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STYLING | 7 out of 10
dark ash wood trim is now standard
the styling clearly says BMW
freshened visual athleticism
Experts at TheCarConnection.com find that the 2009 BMW X3 definitely looks like a BMW—but it's missing a sense of newness and excitement.
The BMW X3 was given refreshed styling in 2007, but since then, it has seen few styling changes. Motor Trend refers to the "freshened visual athleticism" introduced by that redesign. The 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. Overall, Edmunds says the X3 has an "athletic personality." 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. 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 BMW X5 "masks its compact dimensions well," says Cars.com, especially due to the "telescoping steering wheel and power adjustment driver's seat." Edmunds deems the cabin of the X3 "well thought out and beautifully executed." The reviewer notes that "function takes priority over opulence." MyRide.com points out that "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. Reviewers also like the redesigned gauge cluster and the three-spoke steering wheel on the BMW X3.
The 2009 BMW X3 is a decent-looking vehicle, but its exterior styling cues no longer match those of BMW’s latest cars.