2012 BMW X3 xDrive20i

In the eyes of many car buyers, Consumer Reports (CR) has a nearly sterling reputation for unbiased automobile reviews and ratings. The company goes as far as purchasing its review vehicles from dealerships and does not receive test cars from manufacturer press fleets. This consumer market clout means that a poor review from the organization has the potential to negatively impact sales. In some instances, the results of a CR review have sent automakers scrambling. So, it was with no small amount of interest that CR announced that the BMW X3 trounced the Range Rover Evoque Pure in the publication’s road tests. 

CR on the X3 vs. Evoque

The BMW X3 xDrive28i (xDrive20i pictured) scored 80 points and received the highly coveted “Recommended” flag from the company. CR’s editors noted that the X3 offered a sporty drive, a smooth eight-speed transmission, a well-finished interior, good braking, large cargo area, and a quiet ride. In total, the X3 outscored eight previously tested compact luxury SUVs, coming in second only to the Audi Q5 3.2. 

Due to the Evoque’s slot-like windows, the limited visibility issue has been mentioned in almost every review written about the Range Rover Evoque.

The Range Rover Evoque scored just 60 points, putting it near the bottom of the compact luxury SUV category. The publication cited a cramped cabin, noisy interior, small cargo area (51 cubic feet vs. the X3’s 63), an artificial feel to the steering, choppy ride (the Dynamic trim offers an Adaptive Dynamics package with MagneRide), limited visibility, and poor emergency handling characteristics. Due to the Evoque’s slot-like windows, the limited visibility issue has been mentioned in almost every review written about the Range Rover Evoque. CR praised the Evoque for style, acceleration, braking, interior finish, and the full-length glass roof.

MSRP As Tested

Looking at the as-tested MSRPs, which came in at $43,374.00 for the X3 and $45,745.00 for the Evoque, it looks like CR put a mid-range X3 xDrive28i up against a a near-base Evoque Pure. However, we don’t see anything on the list of pros and cons that would have been significantly impacted by upping the trim level to Prestige or Dynamic, other than perhaps ride quality on the Dynamic. Of course, the X3 also offers additional umph if you move higher up the trim ladder, namely a high performance variant that the Evoque currently lacks. To see a specifications comparison, you can read our side-by-side of the Range Rover Evoque Pure and the BMW xDrive28i

East Haddam, CT

Incidentally, the Consumer Reports test track is located in East Haddam, Connecticut, which is also home to Overland Experts. Just last week we interviewed Bruce Elfstrom, CEO of Overland Experts, to get an insider look at the state of recreational 4×4 driving and overlanding. 

2012 BMW X3 xDrive20i

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