, ,. Click image to enlarge

Uncharacteristically of BMW, I wasn’t loving the actual seats, either. They felt too flat, unyielding and lacked lateral support. I was loving the standard heated steering wheel, though.

You can’t talk about a BMW without speaking of handling, and this one had me scratching my head. Last year I tested the 300-hp turbo-six X3 xDrive35i and loved it. This four-cylinder X3 felt tippy, the ride was busy and there was a lot of lateral jostling. It just never really settled down, although when leaning on it, it would dig in and take a set. And yes, this X3 was on snow tires.

Interior space in the X3 is good. There is plenty of headroom front and back, and three adults can fit in the back for short periods. The load space is generous, and the optional ($200) Through Loading System gives a 40/20/40 split folding rear seat, opening up more possibilities. No powered liftgate on this tester.

As with any BMW I’ve tested, the package and option list here was comprehensive. The $3,600 Premium Package (a prerequisite, it seems) adds X-Line trim, panoramic sunroof, interior and exterior auto-dimming mirrors, front and rear park distance control and xenon headlights.

If you want navigation, the $2,200 Technology Package also includes text to speech, and BMW Assist (like GM’s OnStar) with Extended Bluetooth. The $300 BMW Apps Package plus Vermillion Red Metallic paint ($800) and SIRIUS tuner ($450) swelled the X3 xDrive28i’s price to $50,000.

See how this luxury mid-size crossover stacks up against the competition in our upcoming group test.

Pricing: 2013 BMW X3 xDrive28i
Base price:
Optional equipment: metallic paint $800; SIRIUS tuner $450; 40/20/40 split rear seat $200; Premium Package $3,600; Technology Package $2,200; BMW Apps Package $300
Destination charge: $2,095
A/C tax: $100
Price as tested: $52,095

Acura RDX
Audi Q5
Infiniti EX37
Land Rover LR2/Range Rover Evoque
Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
Volvo XC60

Crash test results
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

Connect with Autos.ca