X3 in the Market

At $38,000, the X3 starts substantially higher than its nearest competitor, the Acura RDX. Save for its problematic transmission behavior, the BMW offers a more buttoned-down driving experience than the Acura. For some, that's worth every penny.

As BMW surely knows, the X3 can't sit on its pedestal forever. Land Rover's entry-level LR2 is on the way, and so are the Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60. If the X3 is to remain a desirable car, BMW will have to fix a few things so buyers need not weigh the good against the bad — because there will be plenty of very good alternatives soon.

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