I had a similar impression when I tested a X3 2.8 M Sport a few months ago. I was in the market for an X5 variant and drove the X3 on a whim . Wow - not only comfy but quick, compliant, and responsive. The X5 just felt "trucky" and heavy in comparison - even the very desirable X5 5.0 I was considering. Given my long held prejudices regarding the X3, I questioned my own senses, and thought it prudent to take the X3 out for an extended test. Well the rest is history, I am now the owner of an X3 3.5 M Sport. Perhaps the highest compliment I can offer is that my X3 feels like it might have been fine tuned by the same engineers at M who were responsible for my M3 - a car I adore.