SE-trim models ride fairly well, smoothing over smaller imperfections skillfully and staying relaxed and composed at speed. Uneven roads cause some side-to-side shimmy, but the same is true in most of the X3's high-riding rivals, including the Land Rover Discovery Sport.
However, M Sport-trim cars have overly firm suspension that we'd strongly recommend avoiding. You're jostled around far too much along pockmarked roads and the ride doesn't even settle down too much on the motorway. The standard 19in alloys don't help matters. Fortunately, if you're desperate for the aggressive looks M Sport trim brings, you can have the softer 'SE' suspension for no extra charge.
Optional variable damper control suspension if our preferred option, though. This allows you to slacken the dampers (by pressing a button) to soak up potholes and broken road surfaces around town, or stiffen things up for more composed handling along twistier roads (see handling section).