Slotting between the X1 and X5, the 2017 BMW X3 is the German luxury brand's compact sport utility vehicle or, as Bimmer likes to call it, "sports activity vehicle." That is apt, as the X3 prioritizes dynamics over ruggedness. The 2017 X3 remains one of the most fun-to-drive crossoverSUVs available. Being a BMW, the X3 also offers a long list of the premium amenities, though options easily swell the X3's nearly $40,000 starting price. Along with turbocharged 4- and 6-cylinder gasoline engines, the X3 stands out with an efficient yet powerful diesel option. The X3 remains a solid choice in the entry-level small luxury SUV space, but newer rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GLC and Jaguar F-Pace are equally if not more appealing.
Only minor updates are in store for the 2017 BMW X3 luxury SUV. They include optional wireless charging for select smartphones, a Wi-Fi hotspot and a new version of BMW's iDrive infotainment/audio control. Top-line xDrive35i models get keyless entry and lumbar support as standard.
BMW expands Bluetooth functionality for the 2016 X3 by offering dual connections and integrating Mobile Office, which expands connectivity to include email, calendar, texts and other functions through BMW ConnectedDrive.
The 2015 BMW X3 gets a new 2.0-liter diesel engine, promising excellent fuel economy without sacrificing performance. A new base model offers rear-drive only for the first time, lowering the entry price for the X3. The X3 also gets a new grille and headlights, among other styling updates.
After the introduction of the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine in the xDrive28i last year, there is little change in the line for 2014. The Technology Package now includes USB connectivity and Bluetooth with smartphone integration. The Navigation/iDrive system gets some further refinements. Some packages and availability are shuffled.
2013 sees the introduction of a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that replaces the naturally aspirated (non-turbo) inline-6 in past xDrive28i models. Although this engine is smaller, it creates the same amount of horsepower and more torque than the former 6-cylinder engine, while attaining better fuel economy: up to 28 mpg on the highway.
2011 BMW X3 offers more of everything: It's larger, more refined inside and out, comes with more standard equipment, more power underhood...and, in xDrive28i form, starts for less than the previous generation.
An available Sport Activity Package adds Star Spoke 18-inch wheels, running boards, leather-wrapped steering wheel and privacy glass. Active Headrests are made standard, while the Ambient Lighting Package is now part of the Premium Package.
The much-improved 2007 X3 has a new 260-horsepower in-line six-cylinder engine, a new six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission, enhanced Dynamic Stability Control, new standard and optional features and appearance updates front, rear and inside.
Pros: "Fast, quick handling, great driver position"
Cons: "Expensive maintenance items"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"I have the turbo and it is fast, when I want it. The Sport mode makes climbing hills with an automatic very smooth. Sport handling is good. This is my 5th BMW vehicle, including 2 motorcycles.
As a daily driver the suspension is a little harsh, controls are just 'OK', seating for anyone other than the driver is tight. After 4 years I still fumble with the stupid turn signal stalk, the steering wheel blocks the view of several indicator lights, and several entertainment and car-control features are buried in menus.
Two unforgivable flaws :
1) TPMS is sensitive to temperature and has been repaired multiple times. A lot of cars have figured this out...not BMW.
2) The water pump on X3's fails between 35K and 50K miles. And this has been a problem for years before 2012. It's become a regular maintenance item - a very expensive one."
"The 35i engine is smooth, powerful and well matched to the 8-speed transmission. I have averaged almost 25 mpg during my first 2800 miles. Front seats are firm but comfortable on my long 10+ hour trips to visit family. The ride is nicely controlled despite the run flat tires. My wife much prefers the X3 brakes and handling over her previous crossover. The X3 is generally quiet at highway speeds with an authoritative rumble from the exhaust when accelerated. I like the higher seating position than that in my 535i wagon. Drive Assistant (DA) and DA+ packages are worthwhile additions for safety. Cargo space is nicely shaped to accommodate the dog crates we often carry. Back seat is good for 2, but tight for 3 adults."
"I currently own a 2011 BMW X3 and am very happy with my purchase. After looking for 6 months and driving numerous vehicle, I went BACK to BMW. I previously owned a 2008 BMW X3 and when the newer model came out, I couldn't help but jump on the "wagon". It spacier than the 08 model and looks a lot more luxuorous than ever before. It's a comfortable ride. My only complaint is what some cars come with their basic models, BMW adds it as an additional option making the car slightly more expensive for the additional perks than the rest. With that said, well worth the money as you can expect to have this car for a life time!"