Since BMW launched the new, third-generation X3, it’s been taking on its rivals from Mercedes-Benz and Audi quite often. Considering that those are its two main rivals, it makes sense that fans and customers alike are interested in how it stacks up with them. In most tests, the BMW X3 has come out on top of its German rivals, providing a better balance of comfort, fun and practicality than either the Mercedes GLC-Class or the Audi Q5. However, how does it stack up against its less traditional and more outside-the-box competitors?

In this new test from Auto Express, the BMW X3 takes on the Jaguar F-Pace and the Volvo XC60. While not its traditional rivals, many journalists actually think that those two SUVs are better than both the Mercedes and Audi. We’re inclined to agree, actually.

This test consists of the volume models of each car; so it’s the BMW X3 xDrive20d versus the Volvo XC60 D4 R-Design and the Jaguar F-Pace 2.0d 180 R-Sport AWD. That means each car sports its turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder diesel engine. They each make similar power, too. The BMW and the Volvo both make 187 bhp and 400 NM of torque (295 lb-ft), while the Jag makes 178 bhp and 430 NM (317 lb-ft). All three also use eight-speed automatic gearboxes. So, at least in terms of powertrains, all three of these cars are about as evenly matched as it gets.

Despite that evenness, the BMW X3 is the fastest of the bunch, getting from 0-60 mph in 8.0 seconds, rather than the 9.0 seconds of the Volvo and the 9.4 seconds of the Jaguar. The Volvo is the heaviest car in the test, by about 100 kg, while the BMW and Jaguar weigh about the same. So the Jag is the real under-performer here, while the BMW is the overachiever.

In terms of driving dynamics, the Jaguar F-Pace is the best car to drive, with the BMW X3 coming in a very close second. The Volvo XC60 is very comfortable but isn’t engaging to drive. However, the BMW X3 is more comfortable than both of them. While it’s not quite as soft as the XC60, it’s more composed and deals with bumps better, while just being more comfortable overall than the Jag. So considering it’s the most comfortable while being almost as much fun to drive as the Jag, the BMW X3 is the best overall driving car of the bunch.

It also packs the best interior. The Volvo is really nice and its design is very sharp but the BMW X3 has it beat on quality, albeit only slightly, and in technology. The Jag’s cabin is good looking and sporty by seriously lacks in terms of both quality and technology. So the BMW X3 was also deemed to have the best cabin of the bunch.

Overall, the BMW X3 came in first place, as it’s by far and away the best combination of all things. We said this when we drove it recently, that there’s really nothing it does poorly. It’s pricier than its competitors but only just and it’s worth the small premium. In second place was the Volvo XC60, which is a superb SUV but it’s just not quite as fun to drive as the Bimmer, nor is its cabin as good. That leaves the Jaguar in last place, as it was deemed to be lacking in comfort, luxury and technology, even if it was the most fun to drive and the best looking. To be honest, all three of these cars are great but the BMW X3 is the cream of the very excellent crop.

[Source: Auto Express]