The third generation of BMW’s X3, which was launched in Portugal, has managed to evade the ugly stick that seemed to have afflicted the second and first generations. For its new looks, you can thank exterior designer Calvin Luk, who was also responsible for the current X1, the 1 Series facelift and the Z4 concept first shown at Pebble Beach Concours a few weeks ago. We will bring you an interview with Luk in a forthcoming issue, but for now it is all about the new X3 and what we have gleaned from our drive in Portugal. The company’s latest raft of sport utility vehicles have featured bigger and more assertive grilles. The X7 concept, shown at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show, is a prime example and the new X3 follows that trajectory. While some might find it overwhelming, it’s impossible to ignore — which is arguably the whole point. That said, the new model’s proportions are every bit as agreeable and you would be hard-pressed to find an angle that looks incongruent with the rest of...

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