For 2007, the BMW X3 undergoes several enhancements, including more powerful performance. Instead of the 2.5i and 3.0i of 2006, the X3 line-up is now the 3.0i and 3.0si, with both making more horsepower than the models they replace.

The X3’s Dynamic Stability Control system has been enhanced, and now includes hill-start assist, brake standby (which reduces stopping distances in an emergency), brake drying, brake fade compensation, and dynamic traction control. The optional transmission for 2007 is a six-speed automatic, which replaces the five-speed of 2006.

Inside, there’s a new standard three-spoke steering wheel, integrated map pockets, new speaker grille design, upholstery inserts on the door panels, new dash materials and climate vents; outside, there’s a fully painted tailgate, new bumper design with integrated fog lights, and Xenon headlamps.

Both X3 models use a 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder that makes 215 hp in the 3.0i, and 260 hp in the 3.0si; both engines are mated to a six-speed manual transmission that can be optioned to a six-speed automatic. Both use xDrive all-wheel drive, a torque management system that switches seamlessly from rear- to all-wheel drive when necessary, and uses information from the dynamic stability control and other sensors to determine the possibility of wheel slippage, and power up or brake a specific wheel before any start to lose their grip. It also locks the differentials on take-off until the vehicle reaches 20 km/h, for maximum traction.

Features on the 3.0i include 17-inch alloy wheels, six-way manually-adjustable heated “leatherette” seats, air conditioning, cruise control, tilt and telescopic wheel, automatic Xenon headlamps, adaptive brake lights, heated mirrors, rain-sensing wipers with heated washer jets, and tire pressure warning system.

The 3.0si adds eight-way power adjustable seats, automatic climate control, and roof racks.

The improvements to the X3 address many of the problems of the previous model, which was underpowered in 2.5i form, and which sported a plasticky, cheap-looking interior. It’s still an expensive player in the small SUV market, but now you’re getting more for what you’re paying.

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