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Want a small upscale SUV that does it all? The BMW X3 not only emphasizes driving fun, but it 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 2 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
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
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
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
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 not only emphasizes driving fun, but it 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, 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 2016 BMW X3 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

“Trailer hitch installed by dealer had leaks at the electrical connectors passing into the body. During the rainy season these leaked causing all (100%) of the sensors to go out requiring replacement. This took about 2 weeks as the dealer couldn't find the leaks. I was provided with a loaner”

Anonymous, CA (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Water from the roof is supposed to drain off through tubes but BMW shrunk the size of these tubes a few years ago and now they get clogged and water enters the car through the headliner”

James R., NC (2016 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaks or rattles

“Rattle of interior covering of moon roof when it is slid back. Does not rattle if closed and covering the moon roof”

Anonymous, MN (2016 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

“There seems to be an inordinate amount of door gasket squeaking whenever the body flexes. i.e. when driving on uneven surfaces, speed bumps, potholes, etc. The back hatch door latch always sounds as though it is not locked in place tight enough”

Anonymous, BC (2016 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

“The following things needed to be brought to the dealer due to squeaks and rattling: Windows side mirrors hatch locks doors. This car has been to the dealer 8 times for a total of 60 days due to various problems”

Anonymous, NY (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Sunroof squeaked”

Anonymous, IN (2016 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Wind noise

“At highway speeds the wind noise is much more noticeable than other vehicles I have owned”

Anonymous, BC (2016 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

“Drivers window resealed the door not an issue anymore”

Pamela H., NJ (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

“Stopped working was replaced”

Pamela H., NJ (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

“Jetter-bug can not be paired thru there system. I found this out about 1 year after perchase”

Walter F., OH (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Intermitent loss of connectivity. Need to re boot the phone for the bluetooth to work at least once a week”

Anonymous, NY (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Radio

“The AM radio is bad, At night, it cannot get distant station that my Chevy Impala received clearly”

Elliot A., PA (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Voice control commands

“Cannot use this and dealer never showed me. Was never a problem with previous (GM) car”

Elliot A., PA (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 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

“Needed to be replaced. Bulb burned out”

Peter C., OH (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“rear lights on right side required replacement”

James G., CA (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Warning lights

“See previous response. The sensors went out due to moisture intrusion (roughly one gallon of water) and the warning lights came on! Additionally had check engine light sensor which came on randomly. BMW fixed they said it was defective”

Anonymous, CA (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Muffler

“Excessive carbon build-up at exhaust tip”

Anonymous, CA (2016 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Climate System

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

What Owners Say

Refrigerant leaks

“Refrigerant leak found after vehicle passed CPO checklist”

Anonymous, CA (2016 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

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

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.

Engine Major

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

Transmission Minor

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

Engine Minor

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

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.

Drive System

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

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.

Engine Cooling

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

Brakes

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

Paint/Trim

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

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