SOMETIMES I wait with bated breath for a vehicle to pull up on my driveway for sampling. That's certainly the case with the BMW X3 M Sport.
The fact that the 3.0-litre diesel engine can propel this larger-than-life model from 0-62mph in just 5.8 seconds and it has a top speed of 149mph is just a hint of the vehicle's capabilities.
And with its gorgeous lines, abundance of technical treats and comfort levels to match, the vehicle is an instant attention-grabber.
The X3 looks fabulous from any angle thanks to its bold, almost menacing stance, 19-inch alloys, M Sport aerodynamic body-styling, roof rails, twin tailpipes, distinctive kidney grille and tinted windows.
The interior is richly equipped with the finest leathers incorporated to give the vehicle an extremely premium feel.
Creature comforts include a head-up display, internet connection, ambient lighting, a DAB radio, a reversing camera with top view, a state-of-the-art media infotainment package to keep you connected on the move, auto start/stop to help maximise fuel efficiency and much more.
The spacious cabin can easily accommodate five adults with ample head, shoulder and leg room in the back.
Luggage will never be limited thanks to a generously-sized boot capable of holding up to 550 litres - which can be increased to 1,600 litres with the rear seats folded flat.
The tailgate can be opened automatically via the key fob which is a real bonus when approaching the car laden down with shopping.
So the X3 looks amazing and is packed with top notch wizardry, but how accomplished is its performance?
Well, you won't be disappointed - that's absolutely guaranteed.
As well as its incredible turn of speed and seemingly endless supply of power on tap, this Beamer is an absolute delight to drive.
The burst of acceleration, although fast, is incredibly smooth and motorway driving becomes a pleasure rather than a chore in this car.
The eight-speed automatic transmission is beautifully refined and the driver can opt to change gears via steering wheel-mounted paddles if desired.
The car really seems to hug the road like glue and tight bends are attacked and conquered with virtually no body roll. Even at higher motorway speeds the silence within the cabin is notable with almost no engine or road surface noise.
All-round visibility is flawless and the interior layout is relatively simplified with all controls and dials perfectly positioned for driver usability. This, of course, means less distractions and more concentration on the task in hand - driving.
The X3 boasts a comprehensive range of safety features which helped it secure a maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP safety ratings. These include anti-lock brakes, stability control, cruise control with brake function, cornering brake control, numerous airbags and plenty more besides.
And don't forget the vehicle's 4x4 capabilities which means you will always be prepared to take on the unexpected wintry storm.