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 3 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. Many functions can be controlled through either the center controller or steering-wheel mounted buttons. The electronic shifter can be unintuitive at first, and lacks some desired safeguards to prevent rollaway if the driver fails to engage Park.

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)
  • 3-liter 6 turbo (300 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2017 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

"Park Assist Sensor Failure"

Anonymous, VA (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The backup camera worked but a light kept turning on stating that it had malfunctioned. They replaced the whole camera system which took about 5 days"

Anonymous, CA (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Front camera had to be replaced"

Anonymous, NJ (2017 BMW X3 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen freezes up

"Like I said before, the screen would freeze, go blank, then restart. BMW took care of it."

Kristeane K., TX (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen goes blank

"Several months ago the screen would simply crash and restart. There was a two day period there it spontaneously did this about every five minutes. They completely reinstalled the electronics software and no more issues. BMW is great at addressing issues."

Kristeane K., TX (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The system has frozen on me - typically after heavy rain"

Anonymous, NY (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"3 instances the display screen rebooted while driving, and a 4th where it went blank and did not reboot, disabling the sound, climate control, infotainment and navigation, it restarted upon restarting the ignition"

Anonymous W., CA (2017 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"USB port is a problem. It does not connect properly to Apple products, like IPhone, IPod. In previous BMW X3 model (2014) everything was working fine. I went to BMW service and technician there said their system is not working smoothly with Apple products. They turned away from Apple. It is more in line with Android products now."

Anonymous, NY (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Due to software upgrades, we were not able to do so via the USB device that we were told would work. It must be taken in to the dealership to rectify. The navigation is not working at all !"

Fabian I., ON (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"sometimes won't accept voice input, ; sometimes on a trip using navigation system will give very wrong directions off a freeway. Has taken us off a freeway and then immediately back on"

D R., BC (2017 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"There is no rhyme or reason to the phone pairing...Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't"

Anonymous, TX (2017 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"While the phone pair fairly easily, the system is less than reliable. Sometimes, while playing, the audio shifts to Pandora, even though, I was simply listening to an audiobook. Or from time to time the system will move from Apple Music to Pandora without me doing anything."

John R., NJ (2017 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"I have Apple CarPlay and the phone and iDrive system fight for control. CarPlay changes things, such as switching audio away from the radio because an app launches. Sometimes it will launch Spotify for no specific reason other than an app in the background is doing something. I also can not use the native bluetooth phone, because carplay always takes over"

Anonymous, NY (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"inconsistent connection. Bluetooth/phone connection will work fine for days then suddenly fail requiring me to pick up phone manually and press 'speaker'. Will sometimes fail on one leg of a drive but not the same return route"

Jaime A., CA (2017 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Radio

"Sirius radio stopped working, then navigation system failed, The entire system needed to be replaced, which took a week, but was completely covered by warranty."

Anonymous, NJ (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Routine software updates

"Of the two driver's profiles (governing seat and side mirror positions), the car related we believe to softwarde updates, gets our driver positions confused upon getting into the car from a locked state. I get my husband's seat position and he gets mine."

Anonymous, (2017 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Noise is coming from the sun roof seal. It has been fixed by the dealer three times. Still there."

Lonnie S., AZ (2017 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaks or rattles

"A loud rattle coming from the inside rear. I have had the dealer look at and fix it three times. Every time it has returned. Very annoying."

Lonnie S., AZ (2017 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Rattle in the sunroof. Repaired twice, and will be going in for the third time."

Arden W., UT (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The door seals on all doors on the car began to squeak when the body flexed as the as a break/rise in the road was passed. The problem has been greatly diminished by using gummi pledge."

Ramiro J., CA (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The sunroof squeaks excessively."

Thomas C., MA (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Rear lift gate rattles. Can’t fix it"

Steve B., IN (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The passenger door, when opened, makes a horrendous noise. Bolt is loose. Has been in the shop 3 times. It is fixed and a few days later starts happening again. It sounds like the door is coming unhinged."

Anonymous, CA (2017 BMW X3)

"My X3 has a panoramic sunroof and over the time it started to squeak on bumps. 1 visit to dealership fixed the problem."

Andrey P., IL (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Tailgate rattles. Eventually fixed under warranty (supposedly a technical bulletin was issued."

Marek D., ON (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Rear hatch latch developed a body flex squeak."

Ramiro J., CA (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Annoying rattle in back of car. So far owner and dealer have been unable to fix it."

Anonymous, NJ (2017 BMW X3 2.0-L 4 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

Glass defects

"windshield had a small defect"

Anonymous, NJ (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Seat controls - movement

"Memory seats do not work correctly. By Key or by user."

Anonymous, TX (2017 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"Hydraulic rods that lift tailgate did not work smoothly, made stuttering noise; replaced under warranty. No problem since."

Anonymous, CO (2017 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

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Rear hard stop brake light socket was defective"

Anonymous, CA (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Headlights

"One of the fog light will go off from time to time."

Anonymous, GA (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Keyless entry

"The rear hatch foot sensor does not work properly"

Anonymous, TX (2017 BMW X3 sDrive28i)

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

"Thermostat did not work properly, causing air conditioning to not function after driving for a distance."

Anonymous, OR (2017 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Evaporator

"Resistors needed to be installed at evaporator temperature sensor. A/c would stop working on longer trips. Took several trips to various dealers to diagnose"

Anonymous, FL (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

Shocks or struts

"On large bumps at high speed, the shocks would complete their full travel and hit a hard stop when they couldn't travel anymore. This resulted in a hard and loud bang in the cabin and a jerk to the passengers."

Anonymous, MA (2017 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Springs or torsion bars

"Significant noise from rear of car"

Dean H., VA (2017 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

Fuel pump

"Car has had failure in fuel pump twice within 45 days. Both times when o. Trips away from home area"

Bob P., WA (2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Fuel sensors in gas tank were not working. Dealership replaced tank"

Anonymous, TX (2017 BMW X3 xDrive35i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Engine Major

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

What Owners Say

Turbo or supercharger

"The turbo went out and when you drive the car down the highway it feels like it going to tip over"

James R., FL (2017 BMW X3 sDrive28i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"Failed sensor in front bumper. Dealer corrected in a timely manner."

Anonymous, VA (2017 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.

Transmission Minor

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

Brakes

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

Engine Cooling

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

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

Drive System

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

Engine Minor

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

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