Interior

Even though it's relatively unchanged for 2009, the X3's interior remains very upscale for this segment. My test car's dark brown leather upholstery and black dashboard made for an especially classy color combination. As usual, BMW's leather is of a higher grade than you'll find in other vehicles.

The front seats are comfortable and supportive, and even the backseat isn't terribly uncomfortable. Backseat legroom overall is about average for the class, coming in at 35.8 inches, compared with 35.1 in the GLK350, 36.4 in the XC60 and 37.4 in the Q5.

The best part of the X3 is its utility. The cargo area is exceptionally tall compared with others in the class, which means you can stack things upright that you'd otherwise have to lay flat, like golf bags. The load floor is also nice and low, which makes Costco runs a lot easier on your back. The X3 bests the three models above in overall cargo room, and it only trails the Volvo when the rear seats are up.

    See also:

    Ventilation in rear, center
    Thumbwheels* for adjusting the temperature, arrows 1. Toward blue: colder. Toward red: warmer. Lever for changing the air flow direction, arrow 2. Thumbwheels for opening and closin ...

    Onboard vehicle tool kit
    The onboard vehicle tool kit is stored below the floor mat in the cargo area. ...

    Front
    Seat heating The temperature setting progresses one step through its control sequence each time you press the button. The maximum temperature is reached when three LEDs are lit. To switch of ...