If there’s one area in which BMW has made good progress with the X3, it’s the ride quality.
Indeed, normally we might dissuade you from specifying 19in wheels – as fitted to our M Sport test car – but in this case there’s still a good chunk of Michelin sidewall on offer so the X3’s ability to absorb ruts and coarse surfaces remains unsullied.
There’s grip, too, meaning the suspension has a solid base on which to operate and can by and large elude the lateral see-sawing sensation you sometimes get when tall but under-tyred SUVs struggle for purchase with the road.
The result is a deep-seated composure that’s impressive even for a marque that, with the first-generation X5, proved SUVs really could do ‘handling’.
A Q5 riding on air suspension isolates its occupants from the road better still, as does a like-for-like Mercedes-Benz GLC, but in doing so, both sacrifice the perception apparent in the BMW that you can barrel into bends as keenly as if you were in a much lower, lighter car.