Let's face it, the evil-hobbit look of the X3 isn't quite the most appealing thing on four wheels out there. BMW designers somehow acknowledged customer feedback and completely redesigned the front bumper to look more elegant but at the same time more menacing. The model we tested was also equipped with the Motorsport Technik package, so the X3 lost all its exterior black bits and confronted us with an angrier look.
The headlights received the pretty cool looking “Angel Eyes” treatment, while the stoplights were upgraded with the trendier (and safer) LEDs everybody seems to be having nowadays. The overall shape of the car reminds us of a 1 Series with the M-technik package on stilts and, unlike some other cars, its beauty/ugliness resides in the details. The ever-present “kidney grille” and the Hofmeister kink situated at the base of the C-pillar tell everyone that this is unmistakably a BMW, even though it couldn't ever win a beauty contest.
The X3 has a nice sporty stance from the distance, unlike other compact SUVs, too bad that the second you take a closer look at it it reveals its ugly side. The shape of the headlights can scare little children, while the stoplights look like they came off a LEGO car. Like we said earlier, the side view takes some cues from the 1 Series hatchback , although in a more elongated, uglier form. Even though you wouldn't tell just by looking at it, the X3 sits pretty high, the ground clearance being 20 centimeters (8 inches).
As a whole, especially taking into account the questionable design detalis, the X3 might very well be the ugly-duckling in the BMW range, but the facelift together with the addition of an M-technik package can make it look more bearable. Of course, looking at its number one contender from Mercedes-Benz (the GLK), the X3 wins a few points in the look-department since the front and the rear are a bit more synchronized.Continue reading
Hold on, Sir May B. Bach would like to say something...
I have avoided the SUV frenzy as much as I could... ahem... until Land Rover equipped the Range with a decent interior. Since that moment, every SUV... ahem... I drive is automatically compared with my British Racing Green Supercharged Range. You have really insulted my intelligence by giving me this... ahem... what is it exactly? A BMW X3?
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