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Old 10-19-2010, 11:20 AM   #1
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Name: scooter
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First Drive: 2011 BMW X3

Filed under: Crossover, BMW, First Drive, Reviews, Luxury

Refined, Not Redefined

2011 BMW X3 - Click above for high-res image gallery

Long before the segment-bending X6, BMW's crossover strategy was simple: offer the utility of a traditional SUV but in a package that's not only luxurious, but fun to drive. The original X5 Sport Utility Activity Vehicle kicked things off in 1999, and only a few years later, the smaller X3 arrived.

Now, luxury crossovers are a dime a dozen, and automakers are clamoring to be a part of the small CUV segment. In just the past few years, we've been introduced to the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLK, Volvo XC60 and Infiniti EX35, among others. But as the X3 aged, its unusually harsh suspension and not-so-great interior plagued sales. In 2004, BMW moved roughly 35,000 X3s off dealer lots, and just last year, that number dropped to less than 10,000. Things aren't looking good for 2010, either.

Instead of trying to reinvent the formula, BMW has improved on the X3's original idea by offering more refinement, top-notch driving dynamics and heaps of technology focused on efficiency and connectivity. The end result is a compact crossover ready to regain its spot at the head of the class. Find out if BMW succeeded after the jump.


Gallery: 2011 BMW X3: First Drive



Photos copyright (C)2010 Steven J. Ewing / AOLContinue reading First Drive: 2011 BMW X3

First Drive: 2011 BMW X3 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 19 Oct 2010 11:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.



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