December 8, 2006

BMW X3 tops Consumer Reports tests of sporty SUVs

2007 BMW X3
2007 BMW X3. Click image to enlarge

Yonkers, New York – Consumers Reports has rated the BMW X3 the best overall in tests against the Acura RDX and Mazda CX-7 for its January issue. The X3 received a “Very Good” score in tests conducted at the magazine’s Auto Test Center; the RDX and CX-7 also received the “Very Good” rating, but with lower overall scores.

The ratings emphasize a comfortable ride, well-appointed interior, and quickness, agility and responsiveness for sporty SUVs.

Separately, Consumer Reports also tested the new Toyota FJ Cruiser and the redesigned 2007 Jeep Wrangler. The magazine says SUVs with low-range gearing such as these should be capable off-road, but still have a compliant ride, good road manners and comfortable accommodations. (Off-road capabilities are not factored in to the overall scores for these vehicles.)

“The X3 offers the versatility of an SUV with the sportiness typical of a BMW,” says David Champion, senior director of Auto Test Center. “The 3.0-litre inline engine is smooth and powerful, handling is agile, and steering and braking are excellent.”

Consumer Reports recommends only the Acura RDX, based on the vehicle’s predicted reliability. The X3 has below-average reliability in Consumer Reports’ subscriber surveys, and there is not sufficient reliability data on the CX-7. The FJ Cruiser and Wrangler scored too low to be recommended. It is the second time in recent months that a new model from Toyota has scored too low to earn a recommendation, following the Yaris, which received a “Fair” overall score.

Consumer Reports only recommends vehicles that have performed well in its tests, have at least average predicted reliability based on a survey of subscribers, and performed at least adequately if crash-tested or included in a government rollover test.

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