2011 BMW X3 – 8-speed automatic transmission

Dear Doctor: I’ve seen a lot of commercials on the new “built-in-America” 2011 BMW X3. Living in the Snow Belt, I have a great interest in a new sport utility vehicle. What are your thoughts on the BMW? Barry

Dear Barry: The new 2011 X3 is deserving of a good test-drive. The new X3 has an 8-speed automatic transmission. This puts the engine in its “power range” at any speed. The combined gas mileage on our X3 all-wheel-drive tester was in the 20s. The EPA ratings are 19 mpg city 25 mpg highway. The ease of entry was a big plus for my wife. On a cold New England morning, the engine warmed up fast, not to mention the premium comfort we experienced with heated front seats and the steering wheel. The much talked about iDrive is very user-friendly, unlike the earlier models. Base price was $36,700, and the as tested with options, including the extra large panoramic sunroof was $44,165.

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