5 Series-Based X3 Has Become A Serious Car That Makes Serious Cash

Get used to BMW pouring money into Cluster Architecture-based crossovers.

It’s not just you, there really is a concerted effort to keep crossovers at the forefront of conversation. Most of those come from the automakers themselves, which take the liberty of constantly revising their most popular picks so that they can somehow stay competitive in this dog-eat-dog market. BMW, high off the success of its own family of crossovers and looking to regain its top sales spot from Mercedes, is no exception. It released the new X3 this past June and hasn’t looked back since.

As one of the industry’s benchmark picks, the X3 has to uphold BMW’s values of a creating a worthwhile driving experience while retaining the versatility and fleshed-out quality that we’ve come to expect from the Germans. That scatterbrained pursuit can partially explain odd (but total hoot to drive) cars like the X3 M40i.

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Not every soccer mom wants performance, though. So how does the regular X3, the one you’ll find dotted in every Whole Foods lot by next year, stack up? To find that out, Auto Express took it to Morocco where it subjected it to tests that take the midsize SUV past the point that most owners will. By that we mean it drove it off of paved road. Cynicism aside, one thing to keep in mind is that BMW has refined things quite a bit. No longer is the X3 just a distilled version of the 5 Series’ technology and platform. Given that there’s actual money to be made here, the X3 has been forced to grow up. But did it stay young enough for us to finally fall in love with it?

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