The redesigned, third-generation X3 picks up and improves upon where the previous version left off, keeping its title as one of the best-driving compact SUVs. The X3 proves itself to be impressively talented, thanks to its desirable blend of driving enjoyment, comfort, luxury, utility, and high-tech features.
Alerts
There are 8 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

The redesigned, third-generation X3 picks up and improves upon where the previous version left off, keeping its title as one of the best-driving compact SUVs. The X3 proves itself to be impressively talented, thanks to its desirable blend of driving enjoyment, comfort, luxury, utility, and high-tech features. One of the first things you notice about the X3 is how quiet and pampering the cabin is, and how supportive the seats are. The new X3 also turns out to be slightly roomier and more fuel efficient than the model it replaced.

The BMW's turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers ample power that's polished and nearly immediate when you step on the accelerator. The superbly smooth and responsive eight-speed automatic transmission shifts quickly. This polished powertrain helps make this BMW SUV thoroughly engaging to drive, yet at 24 mpg overall, the X3 remains among the most economical in its class, albeit using premium fuel.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD
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 (248 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 turbo (355 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2018 BMW X3 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"The rear cross traffic warning is slow to respond and often doesn't warn at all. It is far inferior to the system in the Subaru Outback"

Stanley F., NY (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"Sometimes the car issues a fault warning that the driver assistance has failed and the lane keeping and related features have shut down. The car is still drive-able and the system seems to work normally after stopping and shutdown. The dealer says the camera overheats; he has seen it on multiple similar cars and has no fix for it."

Dennis B., NM (2018 BMW X3 M40i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"The steering wheel vibrator to warn of blind spot and lane departure does not work and cannot be fixed."

Anonymous, CA (2018 BMW X3 M40i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"Lane keep is hit and miss. Sometimes it can't seem to find the lanes even though they are clearly marked. Recently, a newly paved and line-painted road was unrecognizable to lane keep. Finally, many times iit works but decides to stop working for no apparent reason. Very unreliable at best."

Anonymous, CA (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"lane departure warning was not sufficient to alert me - brought in to service and could not fix"

Richard B., MA (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"False alerts. Car braked suddenly when there was no hazard in front."

Anonymous, BC (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"airbag sensor in steering column malfunctioned and had to be replaced"

Richard A., MD (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"This function stopped working and we got a diagnostic warning on the console."

Robert, CA (2018 BMW X3 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

Apple CarPlay

"IDrive keeps turning off Apple CarPlay and I have to reset it up almost every time I start the car"

James H., OR (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Backup or other camera/sensors

"On a couple of occasions when I put the car in reverse the screen maintained the driving directions maps and did not show show the rear camera images."

Anonymous, NY (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen freezes up

"Many problems such as rear camera not working when in reverse and even working when going forward. Electronics are messed up and unpredictable. Also the key fob works poorly sometimes not unlocking the door until I retrieve it from my pocket and press the buttons. They can's fix it because it never seems to happen when it's in the shop!!!"

Anonymous, CA (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen goes blank

"screen goes black with frequency increasing over time. Most of the time able to restore using the dial between the seats"

Anonymous, NC (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"When setting a destination the map starts at a very high distance making it impossible to begin the route immediately. The map is supposed to go to a closer distance automatically but sometimes it takes a long time before that happens. The knob to change the level of the map can be unresponsive at times. Each turn should alter the distance up or down, but sometimes I have to turn it multiple times before it responds. Essentially, almost every activity in the car takes multiple efforts to respond, including the windows. I am not a fan of this car!!"

John W., CA (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Routine software updates

"The “over the air” update of the navigation maps is supposed to occur quarterly, automatically. It hasn’t yet, after a year, and the dealer has been unable to correct it."

Anonymous, BC (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Software update fixes

"emmisions light came on. Needed to be re-set."

Anonymous, CO (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"On two separate occasions the transmission shifted itself from Drive to Park when I was in stop and start traffic. It got stuck in Park and it took a while to be able to get it back into Drive. I took car to dealer and they reprogrammed it. The other thing that happened at the same time was alarms on my front fenders going off spontaneously and not being able to be stopped. The dealer was informed of this, too."

Anonymous, NY (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 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

Gauges

"erratic intermittent electrical problems side mirrors fold at highway speeds, check engine light goes on and off when there is no actual problem, remote lock failed to lock, etc. As these are such disparate problems they have to be code related as schematically are unrelated"

Anonymous, CA (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Interior lights

"Interior lights would not go out after stopping the engine. Servicing dealer advised to wait several seconds after stopping the engine before opening the door to exit."

Anonymous, FL (2018 BMW X3 M40i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Keyless entry

"Keychain remotes were not being recognized by the car. New batteries didn’t fix the problem, so the dealer is going to replace the control module in the car itself under warranty"

John M., NM (2018 BMW X3 M40i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"Sometimes does not work"

Anonymous, CA (2018 BMW X3 M40i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"The car continues to use my profile when my wife is with the car miles away from my key. When we manually change the Profile, the seats move to untenable positions that have to be corrected via saved seat locations."

John W., CA (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 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

Air or water leaks

"?Radiator leak. Replaced with new per warranty."

Christopher S., WI (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"sunroof squeaks"

D G., NY (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaks or rattles

"Too many squeaks and rattles in the back of the vehicle with such low mileage"

James H., OR (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"I have begun to notice some rattling sounds in the interior cabin of my 2018 BMW X3"

Anonymous, AZ (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 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)

"Some type of shutter system not operating correctly"

Frank T., CT (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"see earlier comment as this ties in with it."

Anonymous, FL (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"The sensors were defective"

Anonymous, MN (2018 BMW X3 M40i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"Emissions light kept coming on. Dealer replaced sensor 4 times to no avail. Finally kept it for 12 days (gave me a loaner) and BMW engineers determined that fuel tank had to be replaced. There is a vent that is supposed to capture fuel fumes that is part of the gas tank. It was faulty and whole gas tank was replaced. No problems with it afterwards.gas fume"

Anonymous, FL (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 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

"Freon leak, passenger side blowing warm, driver side blowing cool not cold, when set on AUTO fan only blew on low"

Anonymous, FL (2018 BMW X3)
Refrigerant leaks

"from factory, leaking coolant sent back twice for fix waiting to see if AC will work now"

Anonymous, MI (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Vehicle was leaking coolant. Dealer said they were waiting on new parts to fix. Vehicle displayed low coolant warning once and was brought in while waiting for new part."

Joseph W., VT (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 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

Locks and latches

"Rear tailgate latch mounting bolts became loose preventing the tailgate from latching closed."

Peter M., MA (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Seat controls - movement

"Drivers seat back has to much movement at the hinge area. Dealer is ordering a new seat back frame from BMW."

Anonymous, CA (2018 BMW X3 M40i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"Key fob has too much range. If in ones pocket and pressed accidentally it opens the rear hatch or sets off alarm. Due to this, the hatch opened in the garage causing scratches to the paint. I asked the dealer to reduce the range the fob can transmit. Advised this cannot be done. While some range is nice, too much is a problem."

Evan M., TN (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 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 exterior trim or moldings

"Recall for innapropritely installed rear hatch deflector. Finally the deflector on my vehicle was w/o defect."

Roger B., QC (2018 BMW X3 M40i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"The LED lighting strip on both front door panels had some defects that looked like bubbles in the plastic. It took nearly a year for the dealer to get the right parts to replace them. This was the first time this dealer saw this defect and they’ve only seen it once after they fixed our car."

John M., NM (2018 BMW X3 M40i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"Molding on side of drivers side seat detached."

Evan M., TN (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 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

"Air intake curtain malfunctioned"

Richard A., MD (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 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

Electrical failure

"Vehicle said “Drivetrain Malfunction” and when accelerating the vehicle had very slow acceleration. The vehicle did not stop running but felt that it was about to. Brought it to BMW Service. After 2 days of diagnostics it was determined to be a software problem. Software was updated and haven’t had a problem since. Happened in April 2018 and I bought vehicle Dec. 2017."

Anonymous, CA (2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i 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

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.

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.

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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