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 6 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 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 , 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 (248 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 turbo (355 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2019 BMW X3 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

"The vehicle does not maintain the set temperature. Dealer found that the refrigerant was low and recharged the system. Temperature still varies and at times the fan speed slows for no reason along with warm air output. Worse BMW A/C system in all that I've owned."

Russell O., CA (2019 BMW X3 M40i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"In addition to driver assistance features not working, my AC does not work. Apparently, the radiator freezes so must be replaced. My new car has spent most of the last month in the dealer service department."

Anonymous, CA (2019 BMW X3 sDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Refrigerant leaks

"System should not leak since it's brand new."

Russell O., CA (2019 BMW X3 M40i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"Small leak apparently which took 2 weeks to fix. Another time A/C was blowing hot air on passenger side only. It was in shop for another 2 weeks."

Julia J., FL (2019 BMW X3 sDrive30i 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

"remote operated lift gate was too sensitive in opening and opened when the garage door opened because of the movement of the door opening.. Dealer deactivated inferred opening mechanism."

Anonymous, PA (2019 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"They didn't shut off for hours."

Anonymous, NJ (2019 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Keyless entry

"too often the system does not recognize my FOB. I must reintroduce the FOB. Various systems are not consistent enough to rely on. Blind spot, retracting mirrors etc."

Anonymous, NM (2019 BMW X3 sDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Sometimes we could not lock the door with the fob in a purse or pocket. Sometimes we could not UNlock the door with the fob in a purse or pocket. Sometimes we could not start the car with the fob in a purse or pocket."

Anonymous, NJ (2019 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"All driver assistance features do not work, which is a safety hazard for me. My car is brand new and spends most of the time at dealer. For my lease payment of $825/mo I get to drive a dealer loaner car, not mine."

Anonymous, CA (2019 BMW X3 sDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The vibrating steering wheel feature did not work, had to have the device replaced. Even now the vibrating wheel is active but is extremely subtle"

Wayne H., CA (2019 BMW X3 sDrive30i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"The warning is supposed to be vibration through the steering wheel, but even when turned up high the vibration is hardly noticeable. Therefore it is not a warning at all. The same is true for the blind spot warning. According to BMW this is as designed and they don't have a fix."

Anonymous, FL (2019 BMW X3 xDrive30i 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

Software update fixes

"Software update should of been done before I took possession."

Anonymous, TN (2019 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Slipping transmission

"When going up hills the transmission doesn't shift. The car revs high, even at low speeds. I took it into BMW twice, and they said that it works, as designed."

Anonymous, CA (2019 BMW X3 M40i 3.0-L 6 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.

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.

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 Minor

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

Body Integrity

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

Engine Major

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

Paint/Trim

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

Drive System

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

Engine Cooling

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

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.

Brakes

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

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