Step inside the X3 (and it is stepping rather than climbing) and you’ll quickly understand what BMW evidently has, which is that buyers in this segment want a vehicle at the confluence of practicality and luxury.
Architecturally, there’s little to distinguish this car from its predecessor, but the detail changes have been executed with aplomb.
Much of the switchgear is now electroplated, the crisp dials are newly digital but cupped by physical chromed crescent decorative trims (stylish, although they do straitjacket the potential of the display) and the unusual trim finishings convey a level of lavishness hitherto unfamiliar to X3 owners.
The quality of build and materials seems to have been nudged forward, too, and there’s a softness to the cabin, with no discernible play in any of the fixings.
The feeling is that it has all come together with a laser-guided precision that wouldn’t feel amiss in an Audi Q5; and were it not for the raised ride height, you’d swear you were in BMW’s latest 5 Series.
Thankfully, the fundamentals remain unsullied, with the optional front sports seats of our test car being expertly positioned – they feel low enough to impart confidence but with enough perch to afford an excellent view of the road ahead – and nicely bolstered.
There can be no complaints about the amount of space on offer, either, especially along the rear bench, where head room feels endless and the X3’s lengthened wheelbase has liberated a useful tranche of additional leg room.