Want a small upscale SUV that does it all? The BMW X3 emphasizes driving fun and melds luxury car attributes with the traditional utility of an SUV. Athletic handling and eager power make the X3 enjoyable to drive. Cabin finish is impeccable and passengers benefit from supportive seats and a hushed interior. All of these attributes help the X3 rank among the top-rated vehicles in the compact luxury SUV class.
Alerts
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
NA
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Front side and head protection air bags standard; rear side available.
Road Test

Want a small upscale SUV that does it all? The BMW X3 emphasizes driving fun and melds luxury car attributes with the traditional utility of an SUV. Athletic handling and eager power make the X3 enjoyable to drive. Cabin finish is impeccable and passengers benefit from supportive seats and a hushed interior. All of these attributes help the X3 rank among the top-rated vehicles in the compact luxury SUV class.

Part of what makes the X3 experience feel premium is a comfortable, steady ride and a quiet cabin. The standard run-flat tires tend to be a bit stiff however, this is especially noticeable in bumpy, urban environments. Although the controls can take a steep learning curve to master, they eventually prove logical with the ability to perform many functions through either the center controller or steering-wheel mounted buttons. Versions with the cold-weather package come with handy heated front and rear seats as well as a heated steering wheel. The large oversized sunroof brightens up the cabin.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 8-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (240 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbodiesel (180 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 turbo (300 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2015 BMW X3 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

"Backup camera would stop operating in heavy rains"

Anonymous, MD (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Camera was incorrectly indicating a hazard. Car has been at dealer for 10 days and still not fixed!"

Susan M., VA (2015 BMW X3 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"I have had proximity sensors replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, MA (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"frontal collision warning deativates"

Michael L., TX (2015 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Back up camera stopped working and it took 3 attempts over several months to resolve the issue."

Anonymous, CO (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen goes blank

"The display screen went blank one day. The dealer repaired it at no cost (under warranty)"

Anonymous, MA (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Started the car and the display screen did not light up. Ignored it and at some later point after starting up it worked as expected."

Anonymous, MB (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"It went blank and have a message stating "no signal""

Anonymous, CO (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Within days of delivery the entire computer system including radio and camera displays did not work. The screen gave a message of "no signal". This occurred after cold start. After about 15 minutes it went on. I returned the car to the dealer for rep"

Anonymous, NY (2015 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"Display shows "NO SIGNAL" in red text and doesn't do anything else. Had to shut car down, and start up again for the iDrive system to initialize and work again. Took car to dealer, they had to reprogram the software to make work again"

Anonymous, CA (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"Cannot use Audible audiobook over bluetooth after upgrading phone to Android 5.0. Phone bluetooth works with all other bluetooth devices (e.g., headphones, earbuds)"

Anonymous, NJ (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Stopped working and had to be replaced under warranty"

Rob R., NC (2015 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"keeps forgetting our phones so we have to re-connect often"

Terrence K., AB (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Phone does not transmit through Bluetooth. Cannot make calls through voice command"

Ronald K., FL (2015 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Software issue with BMW and Apple OS. pairing and phone control is intermittent at best"

Allen T., AL (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Radio

"Amplifier failed and was replaced."

Anonymous, NC (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Steering wheel controls

"software issue causes control problems on electronics"

Allen T., AL (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Voice control commands

"almost impossible to speak an address and the car to understand and then display the address. takes forever to type in an address manually"

Terrence K., AB (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"It appears that the phone is not connected to Bluetooth. Neither my phone or my wife's phone"

Ronald K., FL (2015 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Voice control frequently doesn't recognize what I say"

Loftus B., CT (2015 BMW X3 xDrive35i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Water acumulated in the doors and the roof leaks"

Anonymous, NY (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaks or rattles

"The panoramic moon roof squeaks non-stop, when the glass part is exposed - So much so that I have to close the roof part so I dont have to listen to the squeaking"

Anonymous, MA (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"After having a safety recall on seatbelt anchors there has been a "boom" when hitting a bump. I haven't taken it back to the dealer since the "repair.""

Anonymous, NJ (2015 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"very annoying rattles on every bump, appears to be mainly from moon roof & cover, but always seems to be a new body noise if one disappears"

D R., MA (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i)

"rattle in sunroof visor when open"

Anonymous, CT (2015 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"rattle in moon roof assembly"

Philip A., LA (2015 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The moonroof constantly squeaks, so much to the point that you have to completely close it (so that the glass is not visible. There are also other squeaks and rattles in other places, but that is the most prominent."

Anonymous, MA (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Sunroof noise."

George K., KS (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wind noise

"Terrible wind noise from the Driver's Side Window"

Martin S., ON (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Driver side front window rubber seal replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, ON (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Had a warning light that my engine would shut down in 200 miles due to emission and unsafe engine problems. I live about 100 miles from nearest dealer. I was told BMW would pay to pick up car, fix car, deliver car back. When it came time to deliver car back to me, BMW told me I would have to pay for it. It was a defaulty sensor that had to be replaced. I later convinced BMW to pay for delivery back to my home. Not pleased BMW flipflopped and that I had the stress of fighting for what was f"

Anonymous, WA (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Check engine light came on about every 15000 to 20000 miles. Car had to be taken to dealer to repair. Although I had extended warranty I was told that the fix in each case could run to $2,000.. not something I planned on."

Jurgen E., ME (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"I have a diesel BMW. I got a notice that the ERG valve had a problem, and that it would be replaced and the warranty extended. BMW, however, has not come up with a fix yet."

Anonymous, NM (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Fuel pump

"The fuel pump had to be replaced because it failed to respond to accelerator input to increase acceleration. I did, however, misread the question because this problem happened in 2016. Was replaced under warranty."

Anonymous, NM (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"This vehicle is a diesel, and have had NOX sensor replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, MA (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Same as previous comments because the repair included O2 sensor and other diesel exhaust components."

Jurgen E., ME (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Warning light on dash required vehicle in for service to replace an emmission sensor. Had to keep vehicle overnight to reprogram. Had low battery earlier in winter, possibly caused by electronics not turning off"

Anonymous, ON (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Car engine light came on - O2 sensors were replaced several times - car at BMW four separate visits with car unavailable for total 15 days. One more visit and BMW will replace the vehicle under Arizona lemon law"

Anonymous, AZ (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Sensor replaced by BMW at no charge."

Anonymous, CT (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Check engine light on on dashboard. Computer analysis at BMW garage indicated O2 sensor bad. Par cost $250 and labor was about the same. Replacement fixed the problem, but cost was, in my opinion, pretty high."

David M., WY (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"Car was aligned at dealer on multiple occasions due to premature tire wear."

Anonymous, FL (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Bushings

"Also considered a wear item"

Peter W., MA (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Electronic or air suspension

"A sensor that controls suspension tuning failed and had to be replaced."

Randall R., TX (2015 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Power steering pumps and hoses

"The power steering unit stopped working. The car could be driven and steered but with great difficulty and hard work to move the steering wheel to steer the X3. The entire power steering unit had to be replaced."

Anonymous, MA (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Tie rods

"Suspension repair is the first I’ve ever had to do I over 60 years of driving. I was told it was a wear item that was not covered by the extended warranty"

Peter W., MA (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wheel bearings

"Right rear wheel bearing. Progressively making more noise. Replaced under warranty."

Steve S., AZ (2015 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Headlights

"one headlight assembly fogged"

Anonymous, AZ (2015 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"One of the adaptive headlights stopped tracking correctly. The dealer fixed it under warranty."

Anonymous, WA (2015 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Keyless entry

"Rear hatch is supposed to open when I kick below it. It didn't. They replaced the control module"

Loftus B., CT (2015 BMW X3 xDrive35i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"switching the car off requires a double push on the start/stop button. Otherwise the battery continues to be drawn down. Once the battery is less than 80% some of the electrical features don't work and you cannot charge up the battery back to 100%. BMW wants $400 for a new battery"

Terrence K., AB (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Warning lights

"After a routine oil change at the dealership, I noticed the gear position indicator lights (on the gear lever) randomly do not illuminate at all. Sometimes the properly lit indicator blinks as if there’s a loose wire. Consulted with dealership and the service person seemed to know right away what the cause is...as if this is a frequent problem. They ordered a replacement cable and I have to leave the car with them for a day or two. Looks like this is something I will have to pay for."

Anonymous, AE (2015 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveshaft or axle

"Noise used bearing rear wheel Changed rear axle and wheel bearing"

Anonymous, NB (2015 BMW X3 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Transfer case

"The transfer case was leaking fluid."

Roger K., VA (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Transfer case was leaking fluid."

Roger K., VA (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose interior trim or moldings

"Trim pieces, like the covering over glove compartment door come loose, also trim pieces around rear tail lights and trim under hood. Wiring covers in door jamb are white with what looks like white mold... very concerned about on going fit or rubber pieces in this vehicle."

Rob R., NC (2015 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Small area of paint pealed off front bumper. Dealer repainted at no cost to me"

Anonymous, NC (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Paint peeling off of driver-side roof rail. Dealership recognized this was a defective in the paint process. BMW HQ agreed and BMW is paying parts and labor to replace roof rail even though car is out of warranty."

Anonymous, AE (2015 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Premature brake wear

"My brakes were jumping. they changes my brakes pads after 11,000km!"

Pierre P., QC (2015 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Pulsation or vibration

"Premature brake rotor warping"

Dean J., ON (2015 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Squeaking

"brakes scream on most (but not every) stop; inspected by BMW shop 3 times & always told "brakes are fine, no problems found - discs & pads are all good. Must be because we live by ocean or damp weather or that's the way they are (so go away)". NO satisfaction on this in 2&1/2 years. Body noise & rattles are also annoying"

D R., MA (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Cylinder head

"Oil Leak requiring replacement"

Anonymous, NY (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Engine rebuild or replacement

"Timing belt broke just out of warranty and the engine had to be replaced"

Anonymous, TX (2015 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Head gasket

"Oil Leak requiring replacement."

Anonymous, NY (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

"It is difficult to adjust so you can get air to blow through the vents from outside when you want fresh air but do not want to turn on the A/C"

Susan M., VA (2015 BMW X3 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The air conditioner does not cool to my satisfaction"

Anonymous, NY (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Blower (fan) motor

"Fan surging. Was replaced under warranty"

R H., CA (2015 BMW X3 sDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Mirrors

"Mirrors clicking when retracted, sometimes get stuck."

Rob R., NC (2015 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"Tailgate started to pop open, and now closes irregularly and the automatic open system does not work"

David G., CA (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Battery was faulty and had to be replaced"

Martin S., ON (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Battery shorted out and window electronics failed while parked. Continues to have undiagnosed recurring battery drain problem"

Robert W., CT (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"Front proximity sensors alarm during wet weather when there is no obstacle."

Anonymous, WI (2015 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Thermostat

"Replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, MA (2015 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

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