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2009 BMW X3 Review

The 2009 BMW X3 is one of the sportiest 2009 compact SUVs available, making it a top choice for driving enthusiasts. However, its sporty ride may be too firm for those in the market for a comfortable family or commuter car.

Pros & Cons

  • Sporty handling
  • Outstanding safety ratings
  • Cavernous cargo area
  • Manual transmission available
  • Sport-tuned suspension can feel too firm




Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 8.6
Interior: 7.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 BMW X3 Overview

When it was new, reviewers called the 2009 BMW X3 one of the best-handling 2009 compact SUVs on the market. Still, some cautioned that those looking for something that soaks up road imperfections may not be thrilled with the X3’s stiffly-sprung suspension. Otherwise, critics mostly found the X3’s seats comfortable and its cargo area one of the biggest in the class.

Powering the 2009 X3 is an inline six-cylinder engine that produces 260 horsepower. Critics liked the power it makes, especially when paired with the available manual transmission. With it, the X3 achieves 16/23 mpg city/highway, while those equipped with an automatic transmission net 17/24 mpg, both of which are typical for the class. The X3’s maximum cargo capacity of 71 cubic feet with the back seats folded is best-in-class.

Inside, most reviewers said the seats were comfortable and the interior well-made. The X3 comes standard with leatherette seats, though full-grain leather is available. Other standard features include a panoramic sunroof, automatic climate control and a 10-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack. Various option packages add features like Bluetooth, 16-way power front seats, navigation, parking sensors and HD radio. Also available is a sport package that stiffens the suspension and adds more supportive seats and exterior and interior cosmetic enhancements. The X3 is mostly unchanged since 2004, so you may be able to save some money by looking for an older model.

See the full 2009 BMW X3 specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you like the X3, you may also like the 2009 Infiniti EX. Critics considered the EX to be one of the fastest, most athletic SUVs in the class, thanks to its powerful engine. However, its cargo area is also one of the smallest in the class, so it may not be ideal for those looking for practicality.

Another 2009 compact SUV you may like is the 2009 Audi Q5. Critics said the Q5 also has good handling, but most said it rides a bit smoother over imperfect pavement, which is a plus if you find the X3’s ride too harsh. Keep in mind that the Q5 can’t carry as much cargo as the X3, but reviewers preferred the Q5’s interior overall.

Compare the X3 to the EX and Q5 »


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