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BMW X3

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The BMW X3 is a luxury mid-size SUV that's a rival for vehicles like the Mercedes GLK, Cadillac SRX, Audi Q5, and Range Rover Evoque. Built in the BMW plant in South Carolina, the X3 slots in between the larger X5 and compact X1 in the automaker's lineup. MORE: Read our 2015 BMW X3 review As one of the anchors of the luxury crossover segment, the BMW X3 first showed up in U.S. showrooms with... Read More Below »
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New & Used BMW X3: In Depth

2015 BMW X3

2015 BMW X3

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The BMW X3 is a luxury mid-size SUV that's a rival for vehicles like the Mercedes GLK, Cadillac SRX, Audi Q5, and Range Rover Evoque.

Built in the BMW plant in South Carolina, the X3 slots in between the larger X5 and compact X1 in the automaker's lineup.

MORE: Read our 2015 BMW X3 review

As one of the anchors of the luxury crossover segment, the BMW X3 first showed up in U.S. showrooms with six-cylinder engines, manual and automatic transmissions, and an advanced all-wheel-drive system that used input from stability control to determine how to distribute its power. It also features a relatively small interior with inexpensive-looking trim and had a very firm ride.

In almost every model year, BMW tweaked the X3's looks or hardware. In 2007, the engines were updated, and ride and steering were revised, while the cockpit was refurbished with better materials--a noticeable improvement all around. Toward the end of its first generation, BMW dropped all engine variants save for the 260-horsepower, 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engine. A brisk performer, the X3 remained responsive and eager.

With the 2011 model year, BMW introduced the second-generation X3. Growing in all directions, this X3 -- largely carried over for the 2012 model year--also adopted the familiar BMW in-line six, in normally aspirated and turbocharged versions, with 240 horsepower and 300 hp, respectively. An eight-speed automatic transmission and BMW's sophisticated xDrive all-wheel-drive system are standard on either model. This X3's handling improved greatly while versions with adaptive suspension and driver-selectable steering gave drivers better comfort and precision than in the older version.

The current X3's styling has also adopted some of the latest BMW curves, though in this iteration, it's a much happier mix than in some of the early examples of this design theme--the 7-Series and 6-Series of the early 2000s, to be specific. Inside, the X3's upgraded interior brought new clarity and richer materials front and center.

BMW now offers a choice of three powertrains in the X3. The base setup is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, available with either rear- (sDrive28i) or all-wheel drive (xDrive28i). A 2.0-liter turbodiesel xDrive28d costs just a bit more and makes all-wheel drive standard while improving greatly on fuel economy. The top engine is a turbocharged inline-six in the xDrive35i.

With carlike ride and handling, and 0-60 mph times of 5.5 seconds on turbo models, today's X3 sits atop the luxury-crossover class in almost every regard. It's also a safety winner: the IIHS has named it a Top Safety Pick. And entertainment's finally on the menu: the options list includes an excellent navigation system, iPod integration, HD Radio, Bluetooth, and a big panoramic sunroof.

The 2013 model year marked a major turning point for the X3, as the base in-line six was dropped in favor of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with nearly identical power ratings to the outgoing six and improved highway fuel economy. Then 2015 marked the introduction of a rear-wheel drive base sDrive28i, as well as a new xDrive28d turbo-diesel model.

The 2015 BMW X3 also received a new headlight design and new grille, as well as some cosmetic changes inside and out, as well as an improved iDrive controller and a few more active-safety options.

Used BMW X3 Models

When the BMW X3 was originally introduced, for the 2004 model year, it was one of the first compact crossovers to be sold by a luxury maker—and the first to get a luxury badge. Since then the X3 has gone from niche entry to the luxury mainstream, and the competition has grown to include the likes of the Acura RDX, Mercedes-Benz GLK, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, and Audi Q5—yet the X3 has remained one of the sportiest picks in its class.
BMW X3 Related News
 
2011 BMW Z4 sDrive35is

BMW Recalls More Than 156,000 Six-Cylinder Cars

BMW is recalling some vehicles manufactured from 2010-2012. More than 156,000 vehicles equipped with in-line six-cylinder engines have aluminum bolts on their cam-timing... read more June 30, 2014 by 


 
Audi Q5 Vs. BMW X3

BMW X3 Vs. Audi Q5: Compare Cars

Compact luxury crossovers are testimonials to the new economic realities. Families still need a way to get around as a group--but shoppers that once digested huge sticker... read more January 27, 2014 by 


 
2013 BMW X3 xDrive28i  -  Driven, January 2013

2013 BMW X3 xDrive28i: Driven

Last year, in several of BMW's mainstream models like the 3-Series and 5-Series, the German automaker did what might have a few years earlier been the unthinkable for the... read more January 25, 2013 by  1


 
2012 BMW X3

2013 BMW X3 Gets New Turbo Four-Cylinder Engine

BMW calls it a “return to its roots” and with the announcement that the 2013 BMW X3 xDrive28i SAV arriving in dealerships this May will sport a new 2.0-liter... read more February 17, 2012 by  0


 
2011 BMW X3

Changing Your Oil Too Often? You Might Be Surprised

How many of us grew up with the admonition from our parents, usually from our dad, that the car’s oil needed to be changed every 3,000 miles? Actually, it was more like... read more December 20, 2011 by  6


 

Specs: Select a Trim

Style MSRP Invoice MPG City MPG Hwy
xDrive28d Specs $41,900 $38,550 N/A N/A
xDrive28i Specs $40,400 $37,170 21 28
xDrive35i Specs $45,100 $41,490 19 26
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