2011 BMW X3 vs. Its Competition

2011 BMW X3
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

The new 2011 BMW X3 is closer in feel than its ever been to BMW's cars, and that's a good thing.

Compared to other more carlike luxury crossovers like the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, and Mercedes-Benz GLK, the X3 manages to feel light and responsive, even if it's still quite hefty.

It's the Audi Q5 that the new X3 has in its headlights.

Compared to the others, the RDX's rather coarse turbo four lacks refinement and gets worse mileage than some of the sixes but is up to snuff in other areas.

Sturdy in feel, amazingly quick on its feet, and finally un-punishing on everyday roads, the X3 gets our nod—and not just because it's a fellow countryman.

In its new incarnation as something more than a compact luxury crossover, with something more than casual off-road capability, the X3 a real pole-vault ahead of a crowded class overstuffed with the Cadillac SRX, Audi Q5, Volvo XC60 and a slew of other multi-mission utes.

For those who still want a utility vehicle that's good for off-roading yet nimble enough for the city, the Land Rover LR2 is another good possibility.

2011 BMW X32011 BMW X3
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2011 Acura RDX AWD 4-door Tech Pkg Angular Front Exterior View2011 Acura RDX
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2011 Audi Q5 quattro 4-door 3.2L Premium Plus Angular Front Exterior View2011 Audi Q5
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2011 Land Rover LR2 AWD 4-door HSE Angular Front Exterior View2011 Land Rover LR2
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2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK Class RWD 4-door Angular Front Exterior View2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK Class
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2011 Volvo XC60 FWD 4-door 3.2L Angular Front Exterior View2011 Volvo XC60
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Quick Specs
BMW finally has a crossover that's as good as its cars. The 2011 BMW X3 looks fantastic; performs like a sport sedan; and has a comfortable, top-notch interior.
The 2011 Acura RDX is delightfully frisky and nimble, but it doesn't feel as lavish as other luxury crossovers.
The 2011 Audi Q5 is one of the best upscale picks in a compact crossover, thanks to its sleek lines, practical interior, responsive feel, and city-savvy size.
The 2011 Land Rover LR2 has the hallmarks of SUV styling, with a much more street-friendly driving feel than other big Rover utes.
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class has the rugged look U.S. shoppers want, in a sensibly sized package. We only wish it were a little more fuel-efficient.
The 2011 Volvo XC60 offers top in-car tech and luxury features, in a secure package that's big enough for small families.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
19 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 22 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 22 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy
Gas I6Turbocharged Gas I4Gas I4Gas I6Gas V6Gas I6
EPA Class     
4WD Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility Vehicle4WD Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility2WD Sport Utility Vehicle4WD Sport Utility Vehicle
Style Name     
AWD 4-Door 28iFWD 4-Doorquattro 4-Door 2.0T PremiumAWD 4-DoorRWD 4-Door GLK 350AWD 4-Door 3.2L
All Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveAll wheel driveAll Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveAll Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
4 Door Sport Utility4 Door4dr SUVSport UtilitySport Utility Vehicle5 Door Wagon
Automatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/manual shiftAutomatic w/ODAutomaticAutomatic,
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2011 BMW X3 vs. 2011 Acura RDX2011 BMW X3 vs. 2011 Audi Q52011 BMW X3 vs. 2011 Land Rover LR22011 BMW X3 vs. 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK Class2011 BMW X3 vs. 2011 Volvo XC60