The BMW X3 is one of the best compact SUVs on the market. Not only does it look similar to its bigger brother, the BMW X5, it also has its high level of quality, with the added benefits of smaller dimensions for better manoeuvrability. It looks rugged thanks to a chunkier body and roof rails, reflecting its off-road ability – and if you choose the M Sport model, the tyres and bumpers also get even bigger. There are three diesel engines to choose from, all of which offer decent performance combined with low running costs. The top-of-the-range 313bhp 3.0-litre xDrive35d can go from 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds, while the entry-level xDrive20d model returns 50mpg while emitting 149g/km of CO2, an impressive figure for a high-riding SUV thanks to BMW's EfficientDynamics stop-start technology. On the inside, the interior is very comfortable and constructed from high-quality materials, with lots of equipment and accessories. Plus, the boot is huge. Even entry-level SE models come fitted with plenty of equipment as standard, while the M Sport offers even more. All versions feel sporty – including cars fitted with the surprisingly good eight-speed automatic gearbox – and are very easy to drive. However, we do want to point out that the larger alloy wheels and stiffer suspension on the M Sport does make its ride far less comfortable. Overall, the X3 is a great compact SUV and a strong rival for the more flamboyant Range Rover Evoque.