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 12 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.
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.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
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.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).

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
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
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. FCW and AEB standard from 2020.
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
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

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 hybrid (288 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (248 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 turbo (473 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 turbo (382 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 turbo (503 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2020 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

Apple CarPlay

"The car repeatedly failed to identify one driver's phone/profile with that drivers' key fob. For instance, husband parks car then wife goes for drive (without husband) and car remains 'paired' to husband's phone/profile. Dealer had to re-install car's software. Took several days. Note: several BMW staffers thought the car wasn't 'supposed' to do that. More senior staffers said it was (and made it happen)."

Anonymous, CA (2020 BMW X3 M40i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"The Car play does interact well with the BMW system. It does not always connect and sometimes does not work at all"

Anonymous, (2020 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The issue was present from the beginning as Apple Car Play was a new feature, BMW Genius tech support finally was able to resolve the problem with a software update"

Anonymous, FL (2020 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Backup or other camera/sensors

"car would repeatedly activate its' emergency 'stop' while backing up over uneven terrain. It was a known issue that the dealer fixed with a software patch."

Anonymous, CA (2020 BMW X3 M40i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"see previous post"

Anonymous, NY (2020 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"It is the position of camera lens; the dirty water will cover the lens in the rain."

Anonymous, NC (2020 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"Jumps from one entertainment source to another spontaneously ( I.e. Sirius radio to Pandora; Apple Carplay to some other system where it is very difficult to find the same source of what you were listening to, and the point on the source where you were listening. The sync of my Apple phone to the hands free car app is lost on a regular basis and requires resynching, but means you have to pull out the phone and hold it to your ear...very aggravating, and potentially dangerous."

Anonymous, TX (2020 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"DOES NOT SUPPORT ANDROID PHONES YET AND BMW APP FLAWED"

Anonymous, (2020 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Real time traffic did not work out of the factory."

Anonymous, CT (2020 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Street names are tiny and require one to take ones eyes off the road and stare at the navigation screen to read them. Dangerous."

Anonymous, (2020 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"I discussed that with my previous comments...but my phone regularly becomes "unsynched" with hands free system, requiring handling the phone. Very distracting and dangerous!"

Anonymous, TX (2020 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Routine software updates

"The system is supposed to reboot and update when you hold down the power button. Mine did not work and I had to have the dealer update the system overnight and get a loaner car."

Anonymous, (2020 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Software update fixes

"within 1-2 months of picking it up from the factory, i needed to return the car to the dealer for a software update. I had to take it to the dealer again a week ago for another software update."

Anonymous, MD (2020 BMW X3 M 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"There is a major problem that the X3s are having, as well as the 40i. When it is a cloudy day, the screens go dark. So dark that you can hardly see backing up, parallel parking, etc. You also can hardly see the radio or navigation. On a sunny day this does not happen. It is a serious flaw that affects the instrument & control panel and back-up camera. It seems no one knows how to fix the issue. I have contacted BMW USA who were very nice but had no idea of a fix, as well as a survey that was sent to Germany with no reply. My dealership is aware but has no way of fixing it. They lent me a 40i while checking my vehicle and it had the same problem. This is a dangerous safety issue! These issues have been posted on Bimmerspost with others throughout the country having the same problem. I bought a small headlamp which I put over my steering wheel to turn on so I can see backing up etc. You'd think BMW would be embarrassed. This is a serious problem. I guess it will take running over a pet or god forbid, a child/person for them to wake up & fix this issue! Maybe there's not enough complaints yet so why bother? This is my 3rd BMW & will be my last. BMW will not acknowledge this problem! The greatest driving vehicle that you need a $12.00 headlamp pointed at the instrument panel to see where you're going! I am appalled. I just wonder how many others are going through this & what will it take for BMW to fix the problem?"

Anonymous, NY (2020 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Several features did not work out of the factory - digital speedometer in KMH not able to convert to MPH"

Anonymous, CT (2020 BMW X3 xDrive30i 2.0-L 4 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

What Owners Say

Electronic ignition

"At 300 miles on the car the starter faulted required a tow to the dealer and a replacement took several days"

Anonymous, MA (2020 BMW X3 xDrive30i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Ignition switch

"Starter went bad"

Anonymous, MA (2020 BMW X3 xDrive30i 3.0-L 6 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

Alarm or security system (excluding aftermarket systems)

"the alarm has spontaneously gone off about 3 or 4 times. once when I exited in a parking lot and the other times, in my garage."

Anonymous, (2020 BMW X3 M40i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Keyless entry

"I experienced intermittent lack of response with the keyless entry system."

Anonymous, (2020 BMW X3 M40i 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

Automatic climate control

"The climate system doesn't cool the car sufficiently. An agent at the dealership showed me how to change the settings to make the car cool more quickly, but it was complicated and I'll never remember how to adjust it. When the car idles and the engine shuts down at a traffic light, etc., the climate system turns off. The climate system does not operate as easily and efficiently as vehicles I have owned in the past."

Anonymous, TX (2020 BMW X3 sDrive30i Unsure)

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

Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"WHEN IN A TURN AT INTERSTATE ROAD HIGH SPEEDS THE CAR WILL TRY TO DART ACROSS THE TO THE OTHER LANE AS THE SUSPENSION UNLOADS OUT OF THE TURN THE STEERING WHEEL SEEMS AT TIMES ALMOST INCH OF FREE PLAY ALMOST ALWAYS HAPPENS COMING OUT OF TURNS ALMOST SIDE SWIPED CAR"

Anonymous, (2020 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

Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Upon vehicle purchase the check engine light turned on in the parking lot of the dealer. There was a bad sensor and also the valve cover was installed improperly causing misalignment/crushing of a tube that is used to vent the turbo into the valve cover."

Anonymous, (2020 BMW X3 M40i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Body Integrity

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

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.

Drive System

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

Exhaust

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

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.

Engine Major

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

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 Minor

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

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