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FEATURES | 8 out of 10
steering column tilt and telescope movements are still managed by a simplistic single-lever release instead of the power adjuster
a seemingly endless list of high-priced options
8.8-inch navigation display includes an Internet connection with voice-read e-mails
enough features to make your iPhone jealous, including the ability to display e-mails when the vehicle is stationary, as well as a text-to-speech functionality that reads messages through the audio system while on the go
BMW’s head-up display will be on the options list for the first time
Car and Driver
While you won't be able to fault the 2014 BMW X3 for being short on features, it's like a number of other BMW vehicles in that if you want some of the top technology, infotainment, or performance features, it adds dearly to the bottom line.
All X3 models have a power tailgate; power front seats; automatic climate control; a garage-door opener; fog lamps; rain-sensing wipers; dynamic cruise control; Bluetooth; and an audio system with 205 watts of power, 12 speakers, a USB port, HD and satellite radio. BMW's iDrive system is standard, too, and for 2014 it gets a significant upgrade, to version 4.2--which has many navigation improvements, plus easier menus, a new split-screen layout, improved voice recognition, and 3D city maps.
Many of the desirable extras are in major packages. For instance, a Cold Weather Package brings a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, heated rear seats, and headlight washers, while the Dynamic Handling Package includes the Dynamic Damper Control and variable sport steering. A Driver Assistance Plus package pairs Lane Departure Warning and a speed-limit info feature, while xenon headlamps and adaptive light control are paired in a Lighting Package. And for those who want to keep their eyes on the road, there's an available head-up display on offer that projects all the information essential to driving in a discreet section of the windshield.
The Technology Package brings many of the top-tech items, including navigation, the head-up display, real-time traffic info, Remote Services, and BMW Apps.
For 2014, the M Sport Package is offered with a wider range of interior-trim choices, and the Cold Weather Package is offered with Premium Package or Nevada Leather seats. USB and full Bluetooth smartphone integration are newly included with the Technology Package, and all 35i models include trailer pre-wiring.
The 2014 X3 isn't cheap, or even very affordable; even on four-cylinder models, ticking all the option boxes can send the price over the $50k mark.