First released onto the market in 2003, the BMW X3 is a popular compact luxury crossover SUV that provides drivers with the class and performance they crave. Regardless of which year’s model you get, you will be buying a vehicle crafted with precision handling and engine efficiency in mind. Currently in its second generation, the X3 still stands out among its ever-growing list of competitors.

Pros to Driving a BMW X3

One of the biggest reasons to get a BMW X3 is that it gets excellent fuel economy and a stellar performance from all of its engine options. Both the xDrive28i and sDrive28i get an estimated 24 mpg combined (21 city mpg/28 highway mpg) on a 2.0-L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that generates 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, the xDrive28d gets approximately 30 mpg combined (27 city mpg/34 highway mpg). The xDrive28d is powered by a 2.0-L 4-cylinder diesel engine that gets 180 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque.

Also, you won’t be left to question the quality of the X3’s interior design. This vehicle screams “luxury” and is truly crafted from high-quality materials. The interior style is restrained and classical yet has a fantastic touchscreen interface and infotainment system with the iDrive. The integrated touchpad is incredibly useful and easy to navigate.

If you are looking for something that has high safety ratings, the BMW X3 consistently performs well in its crash tests. The 2017 X3 has received five out of five stars on its government crash tests. The optional BMW Remote Services system provides a plethora of helpful safety upgrades as well and is worth the cost to purchase.

You won’t find more precise handling on anything in this class and would have to spend a lot more money on something much sportier. The X3 feels incredibly nimble while handling difficult turns and glides effortlessly over bumpy surfaces.

The amount of cargo room and cabin room make the BMW X3 one of the most spacious cars in its class. Up front, you have plenty of leg, shoulder, and headroom. In the rear, you have more than enough space to comfortably seat several bigger adults. When you fold the rear seats down, you get a total of 63.3 cubic feet of space, which is quite generous for this class.

Cons to Driving a BMW X3

While there are many wonderful reasons why you should consider buying or leasing the BMW X3, this car does have a few drawbacks that you should be aware of. First and foremost, you are paying for the BMW brand, so expect to shell out more money for this car than you would for one of its similarly-equipped competitors.

Second, some of the controls can feel counterintuitive and are therefore difficult for many drivers to learn and engage with. Once the driver learns the functions of the controls, however, they start to make more sense.

Additionally, the rearview camera is optional, not standard. Many lower-priced vehicles now come equipped with a standard rearview camera, so this could be a major turn-off to any driver looking for this particularly helpful feature.

Finally, the BMW X3’s adaptive cruise control is not very responsive and seems finicky when compared to systems found on other cars in its class. It isn’t exactly a deal-breaker, but it needs refinement in order to keep the X3 up-to-par with its competition.

The Overall Verdict

There are a lot of great aspects of driving a BMW X3. Regardless of which year or trim level you opt for, you are getting a comfortable and luxurious vehicle that is capable of generating a lot of power. Compared to other cars in its segment, the X3 is a well-rounded vehicle. However, its few drawbacks need to be addressed by BMW to keep it ahead of the competition in years to come.