BMW X3 versus the Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60
BMW X3 vs Audi Q5
The Audi is clearly the better looking of the two. It looks racier both inside and out. However, in terms of equipment and space picking one over the other is impossible as these are very close.
In terms of dynamics again, both the BMW and the Audi are pretty close. Both have quick steerings, sharp turn-ins and if pushed too hard into a corner, both are quite prone to understeering.
If it's comfort you seek, you'd be better of with the Audi. As we mentioned earlier, the comfort and convenience equipment is nearly the same on both, but the Q5 rides better and has more comfortable seats, particularly at the rear.
Overall then, buy the Audi if you want a energetic looking car and need to be transported in comfort. As for the BMW, it's the better of the two as a car to drive around everyday. It has better visibility, easier and more logical controls and better ergonomics.
BMW X3 vs Volvo XC60
The Volvo again is the more flamboyant looking of the two city SUVs here. Inside too with the play of light colours and metal inserts the cabin feels more cheery. It's also better equipped of the two here, mainly when it comes to safety features.
However, when you begin driving, the new X3 impresses more. It feels more agile be it around a set of quick corners or just managing your way through crowded streets. The 2-litre engine on the BMW feels more refined as well and there's also no denying that when it comes to automatic gearboxes (the conventional torque convertor kinds), no one does it better than BMW.
The X3 8-speed auto is no different. Compared to the Volvo's auto 'box, the X3's feel alive, quick and very predictable. And with it, great fun to use.
The BMW then remains the city SUV to buy, if it's a fun to drive vehicle you want, be it for everyday use or for a quick blast around the hills.