BMW X3 4x4 driving position
SUV fans will be glad to hear that the traditional lofty driving position is present and correct.
The driver’s seat supports well at the sides to keep you in place through bends – even more so with the sports seats in M Sport trim and the M40i. Furthermore, the seat lines up nicely with the pedals, so you don’t have to sit awkwardly.
There’s a good range of adjustability to the seat and steering wheel, although it remains frustrating that BMW doesn’t include adjustable lumbar support as standard. It’s a relatively cheap option, though, and one that we’d definitely recommend adding.
You’ll also have no issues using the functions of the car, with a well-designed dashboard that leaves everything nicely to hand.
BMW X3 4x4 visibility
Seeing out of the X3 is easy in all directions, because its windows are deep and their pillars relatively thin. This makes it easy to judge roundabouts and T-junctions, and a quick glance over the shoulder allows decent sight of what’s going on behind.
Even so, BMW has thrown in front and rear parking sensors, as well as a rear-view camera, as standard on all trim levels to make things even easier. You can upgrade this on every engine and trim combination to include a more advanced 'surround 3D view' on the infotainment screen.
BMW X3 4x4 infotainment
BMW’s iDrive infotainment system and Audi’s MMI have been battling for years, but the former continues to have the edge.
In the X3, entry-level SE cars get a 6.5in touchscreen that can also be controlled via a rotary dial between the front seats. This system is equipped with Bluetooth, a DAB radio and a USB port. M Sport and M40i models are fitted with BMW’s optional Professional iDrive system, which features a 10.3in screen. This is visually more impressive and its menus can be customised to your taste.
Both systems are extremely easy to navigate. It’s just a shame that BMW still doesn’t include Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring as standard, while Android Auto isn’t available at all.
BMW X3 4x4 build quality
By the end of its life, the previous X3 was starting to lag behind its rivals for interior quality. But BMW has done a brilliant job at returning the current car to being among the best, with softer dashboard plastics, sturdier trims and slicker switches.
Indeed, the X3 has been treated to materials seen in the current 5 Series – our 2017 Car of the Year – and benefits from them immensely. However, while it’s extremely close, the Audi Q5 is still the class leader in this regard, although the margins are small.