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:

    Manual transmission
    Starting the engine 1. Depress the brake pedal. 2. Press on the clutch and shift to neutral. 3. Press the Start/Stop button. The ignition is activated automatically for a certain time and is sto ...

    Switching on/off and interrupting cruise control
    Switching on Press the button on the steering wheel. The indicator lamps in the instrument cluster light up and the mark in the speedometer is set to the current speed. Cruise control can ...

    The concept
    The Check Control system monitors functions in the vehicle and notifies you of malfunctions in the monitored systems. A Check Control message is displayed as a combination of indicator or warnin ...