More carlike and more attractive, the new X3 is longer, wider, more physically impressive, and more closely related visually to other BMW vehicles than its predecessor, not to mention the larger X5.
Rugged and blocky are out, insofar as the X3 is concerned. The sweeping character lines that distinguish its doors now wouldn't be out of place on a 3-Series wagon. The nose tapers low, gently, avoiding the tall, blocky trap set by some other compact crossovers as they attempt to ape "real SUV" cues. The tail is capped with small, LED-lit taillamps shaped like those on a 5-Series or 3-Series sedan. It's infused with more attention to detail and more attention to surfacing than before, without going overboard on functionless style, as BMW's seen in its recent past.
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.