Consumer Reports are conducting a long-term test of the new BMW X3, as they have just bought an xDrive30i model.
Despite its 30i badge, this version of the premium compact SUV is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 248 horsepower and not a 3.0-liter six-cylinder, but it's supposed to offer the same performance with better fuel economy, so that explains the confusing designation used by BMW.
Out in the open, the 2018 X3 was found to be quite comfortable even with the somewhat firm suspension and 19-inch wheels. Its handling is sharp and agile, the steering is direct, and you also get a quiet ride inside, as road and wind noise are kept to a minimum.
Speaking of the cabin, CR praised the premium materials used throughout and the good build quality. They also gave extra points the infotainment system, which comes with a 10-inch+ display as an option, as it is easy to control, be it from the rotary dial or straight from the touchscreen.
CR will compare their new BMW X3 with other SUVs in the segment, including the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, as they have bought an example of Alfa's first SUV in Ti trim, which is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 280hp.