The 2011 BMW X3 is a five-passenger compact luxury crossover SUV available in two trim levels: the xDrive28i and the xDrive35i. Standard features on the 35i include 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, foglights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, eight-way power front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, automatic climate control, cruise control, Bluetooth, BMW's iDrive electronics interface and a 12-speaker audio system with a CD player, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod interface.
A 3.0-liter inline-6 engine powers both 2011 BMW X3 models. The engine in the xDrive35i comes equipped with direct injection and turbocharging to increase power to 300 hp and 300 lb-ft. A new eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode is standard on both models, as is AWD. In Edmunds testing, an xDrive35i accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, a very quick time for this segment. BMW estimates the x35i's fuel economy at 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway.
Standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, automatic brake drying (useful in rainy weather), front airbags, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, active front-seat head restraints, stability control, and hill descent control. In Edmunds testing, the xDrive35i stopped from 60 mph in a short 116 feet.
About an inch wider than its predecessor, the 2011 BMW X3 offers the driver a little more elbow room between the door and the front seat passenger. While still considered a compact crossover, the X3 has swelled to proportions similar to the previous-generation X5. Rear legroom is likewise generous. The additional room is welcomed, allowing occupants to feel cocooned within the high-quality materials covering the seats, consoles and dash. The fourth generation of BMW's iDrive -- the system that controls settings, information, navigation and entertainment -- now offers better intuitive control, although the hybrid dial/joystick selector still requires some practice and patience. Thankfully, it falls to hand easily next to the gearshift, like a television remote.
With its weight distributed almost equally over its front and rear axles, the 2011 BMW X3 is an adept handler. And when your foot's request is finally approved by the electronic governors, the engine catapults you through the transmission's eight gears. Once at cruising or highway speeds, acceleration is swift and effortless. The chassis feels light and the speed-sensitive steering gives the X3 a nimble quality that makes you want to swing it around.
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Exterior: The exterior of this unit is in excellent shape with no major flaws.
Interior: The interior is in excellent condition.
Mechanical: This vehicle is "Insight Certified" with no known mechanical defects after completing a 144 point mechanical inspection with required maintenance performed.
Tires: The tires are in excellent health with plenty of tread life remaining.
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