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
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 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

"When sitting at a specific slope, i.e., on my drive way, rainwater leaked into the vehicle and puddles in the floorboard."

Chris H., IN (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"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)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"This is the same issue as previously described as a water leak."

Chris H., IN (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaks or rattles

"I have a squeak/rattle in the back hatch area whenever the road is rough or I put the car in a frame twisting situation, (turning into a driveway at an angle)"

Anonymous, AL (2016 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Strut assemblies were loose"

Robert G., CA (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Numerous trips to the dealership ended up having us have a rear hatch locking mechanism replaced."

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

"trunk hatch latch....locks but rattles...2 attempts by dealer to repair...occurring again"

John G., NJ (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"numerous trips to the dealer to fix rattles in tailgate"

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

"The rear door did not totally seal with the frame, causing the door to rattle at times. Adjustment has reduced the problem. However, when the car is at an angle, sometimes the rear door will not completely shut."

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

"Squeaks come from the moon roof when the weather is cold. No problem when the weather is warm."

Cary K., MD (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Makes noise when driving. Drives my wife crazy. BMW can not find the source."

Anonymous, NC (2016 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"In the dash. BMW can not find it."

Anonymous, NC (2016 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"We have the dual pane sunroof. The sunroof creaks CONSTANTLY, to the point that we have to close the shade portion to just dull the noise. It has gotten louder over time. The dealers have done nothing to quiet this problem and seem to ignore us when request a fix. This is my wife's car, and she says she can live with it. If I drove it daily, I would have replaced the fricking car. BMW does not want to admit there is a problem."

Thomas K., MD (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Air noise from sunroof"

G H., VA (2016 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"Rattles in the rear of the vehicle"

Anonymous, CA (2016 BMW X3)

"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

"Wind noise is much more noticeable than in my 2006 Lexus RX400h, that has 188000 miles. This is not a quiet vehicle."

Thomas K., MD (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"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)
Display screen goes blank

"Rear camera failed-fixed under warranty"

Shepard B., FL (2016 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"One time the screen and entire entertainment system went out. It took 3 or 4 times shutting off and restarting the car for the system to come back on. Took it to the dealer and they could find no issues."

Anonymous, AL (2016 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"the commands are too late (for example the direction to make a turn takes place after the street is already passed). The BMW dealer noted this to be a software issue but it never was resolved."

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

"it never quite worked right - oftentimes the instructions come after I have already passed the intersection. The BMW dealership notes that this is a software issue that they are unable to correct."

Anonymous, CA (2016 BMW X3 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"BMW's customer service (specifically the company) is the worst ever. When the dealer could not fix the problem, I contacted BMW and was basically told... too bad and they blamed it on Apple. Proving my phone worked on other showroom BMWs didn't matter. The issue; my iPhone 6 plus, paired fine, but when a call was made or received, the handsfree feature would fail. It became a safety issue for me as I could not rely on the car's handsfree, which required fumbling with the phone to get it to work. After a multiple trips to the BMW dealer. they refused to write it up any longer. With the assistance of a different dealer's sales person, I was able to fix it. It proved to be a problem with multiple phones paired on the system. Clearing all paired phones and re-pairing just my phone seem to solve it. Given BMW's poor attitude and handling of the issue, I don't plan to ever buy a BMW again."

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

"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

"The voice control never worked on this car as on most european cars I have driven"

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

"we have been unable to get the voice control feature to work for me or for my husband - the responses have been non sensical"

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

"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

Body control module

"rear hatch opens partially. will not close sometimes. dealer says no CODES?"

Anonymous, PA (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Third brake light leak"

G H., VA (2016 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"rear lights on right side required replacement"

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

"left head light went dead and had to be replaced"

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

"Needed to be replaced. Bulb burned out"

Peter C., OH (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Heated or cooled seats

"Two profiles were set up with the seat and mirror positions to be changed automatically when the other driver uses his/her key to unlock the car. This rarely works. On one occasion the seat moved from the rear of the track to the front with me in it crushing me against the wheel."

Anonymous, CA (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Tire pressure monitor

"The run flat tires that came with the car are useless unless if you live next to a tire place in the big city. In Wyoming, the ability to go 50 miles on a flat tire just gets you 50 miles to nowhere from nowhere. Also the tires are an oddball size and not available in the small towns across these sparsely populated states and when I needed to replace the tires after only 30,000 miles they had to be ordered in from Colorado. I had experience issues with the TPM and the dealership said they don't warranty or service the tires or the TPM. Again, this same dealership is useless. Thinking the tire was bad I bought on new one but it was the TPM that was bad. I will walk before I ever buy another BMW or anything else this dealership may sell."

John C., WY (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Warning lights

"Engine light continually on, with IVM module failure and also battery drain."

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

"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)

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)

"EGR recall.. made strange noises that would come and go they finally solved the problem after nearly 2 weeks in a loner vehicle"

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

"Problem related to Diesel Emission Fluid (DEF) tank."

Thomas F., PA (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"For the last two years the add coolant light kept coming on and all the dealer did was add coolant and claimed that was normal to use coolant. Then about one year ago there was a recall on this model for a defective EGR valve and a tell tale sign of problems was the coolant would be used and the light would come on. A total of six trips were made to the dealer over this issue, the last 6000 miles the light would come on after their added coolant but they claimed there was nothing wrong with the EGR valve. With 3000 miles left on the warranty they kept the car and determined that all was wrong the whole time was a bad sensor in the tank. Total Total incompetence by the dealership and hundreds of miles wasted since I live in Wyoming and the nearest dealership is in Colorado. Last winter when I was going to take a trip to California they said just to bring a gallon of water and add it to the reservoir when the light came on. Mind you this is the middle of winter with below freezing temperatures and I am adding water not coolant to a system that is loosing water. As info I did escalate this to BMW corporate which is a complete waste of time. The people there I don't think knew the difference between a BMW and a airplane. One advisor admitted he knew nothing about engines/cars and was just writing down what I was saying. Total incompetence by BMW corporate and the dealership."

John C., WY (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Fuel injection system

"malfunction of one injector. diagnosed by bmw while driving. replaced under warranty"

Charles T., FL (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"particulate filter sensor failed"

Robert L., ON (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"flagged an SES light which the dealer scanned and replaced sensor at time of routine oil change"

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

"false change the diesel additive warning system wasn't functioning properly"

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

"Check Engine Light came on several times, required $1700 repair to replace NOx sensors. Covered by warranty"

Anonymous, MA (2016 BMW X3 xDrive28d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Loose/rattling heat shield

"From the time I bought the vehicle it would make a loud rattling noise in the morning when the engine was cold. Apparently it was some kind of flap inside the muffler. BMW installed a new muffler under warranty."

Terri M., BC (2016 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Muffler

"Excessive carbon build-up at exhaust tip"

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

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"During a oil change with about 7000 miles on the car they found a oil leak from the transmission. The issue was a bad mold from the factory. The had to replace the whole transmission"

Anonymous, MI (2016 BMW X3 xDrive35i 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

Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"A short developed in the electronic trunk door opener. This might have related to body work previously performed, but we do not know since it did not start immediately after. In any case repaired under warranty and has worked perfectly since."

Kelly T., CA (2016 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.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"IVM module failure, causing failure of power to injectors and low voltage on rest of lines. IVM had to be replaced."

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

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Squeaking

"cold weather squeaks. Brakes grab and noisey until warm"

Anonymous, PA (2016 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

Refrigerant leaks

"Refrigerant leak found after vehicle passed CPO checklist"

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

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Transmission leaks

"Completely sealed system. Drain plug gasket leaking."

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

Engine Major

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

Drive System

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

Paint/Trim

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

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

Engine Cooling

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

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.

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