Those who value the athleticism of a sport sedan, but also need the room and versatility of a small SUV, may find the answer in the 2010 BMW X3. With its excellent power delivery and road manners, high-quality cabin, and impressive interior roominess and cargo space, the 2010 X3 remains a top choice in the compact luxury crossover SUV segment.
And this probably isn't surprising, given BMW's penchant for delivering an engaging drive in a well-made and luxurious package. But beyond this, the X3 also delivers the expected versatility of a crossover SUV as well as the storage capacity more typically associated with a larger vehicle.
It was actually the X3 that paved the way in this sement with its debut six years ago, and a host of new entries have joined the fray since. And while the X3 hasn't had a significant redesign since, it remains the standard bearer with much to appreciate.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The 2010 BMW X3 is available in a single trim, the xDrive30i, with standard features that include 8-way-adjustable power front seats, leatherette upholstery, automatic climate control, automatic headlights, driver memory functions, heated side mirrors, 17 inch alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a 10-speaker sound system with a CD/MP3 player, HD radio and an auxiliary audio jack.
Available optional features are primarily grouped into packages. Opting for the Premium package adds leather upholstery, Bluetooth, a panoramic sunroof, ambient lighting and auto-dimming mirrors. The Sport Activity package adds, a sport steering wheel, 18 inch wheels, running boards and rear privacy glass, while the Sport package includes a firmer sport suspension, unique body styling accents, sport front seats and a sport steering wheel.
In addition, there are a number of stand-alone options, including 19 inch alloy wheels with higher-performance tires, adaptive xenon headlights, navigation, a premium audio system, speed sensitive steering, 16-way power front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, and front and rear parking sensors.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
Under the hood of the all-wheel-drive BMW X3 xDrive30i is a 3.0 liter inline-6 engine that's good for 260 horsepower and 225 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with either the only six-speed manual transmission available in its class or a no-cost optional six-speed automatic with manual shift control.
The EPA-estimated gas mileage for an automatic X3 is 17 mpg city, 24 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg combined. Gas mileage for the manual version comes in the same except for a combined rating of 19 mpg.
Standard safety features includes automatic brake drying, antilock disc brakes (ABS), stability control, hill descent control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front-seat head restraints. In addition, rear-seat side airbags are an available option.
In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the 2010 BMW X3 received the highest rating of "Good" for protection in both frontal-offset and side impacts.
The X3's cabin is attractively designed and solidly constructed with higher-grade materials. The seating is comfortable and supportive, even for more sporty driving. That said, the optional sport seats are exceptionally comfortable with their 16-way power adjustments. Average size rear adult passengers are also well-accommodated, even on long trips, due to ample head and legroom.
Storage room is also abundant for a vehicle this size, coming in at 30 cubic feet when the rear seats are in use. This can be impressively expanded to 71 cubic feet by lowering the 60/40-split rear seatbacks.
With its exceptional inline-6 engine, finely-tuned suspension and responsive steering, the X3 is both smooth and athletic. Frankly, there's still none better on those back, twisty roads when it comes to small luxury crossover SUVs. However, drivers seeking soft and cushy comfort will likely be disappointed since the more sport-oriented suspension produces a firmer ride. This is especially true when equipped with the sport suspension. The 2010 X3, however, provides an alternative for driving enthusiasts who've been put off by typical SUV handling dynamics.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.
And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
In addition, you can also try a Public Auto Auction in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them at no cost in your own area.
2010 BMW X3 SUV:
xDrive30i, AWD: list price: $38,850, invoice price: $35,740