The BMW X3 Guide

Introducing the BMW X3

Guide Version: 1.0. This guide was created on 08-28-2015 and updated monthly with new information.

For an extremely capable SUV with efficient engines, a roomy interior, and a greater driving experience in general, the BMW X3 is as close as you’ll get to driving a vehicle with an unmatched utility and efficiency.

The legendary 3-series, as we all know, has the sophistication and fun in driving that we all once again seek out in our cars. By combining the utility of a crossover with the strong points of the 3-series, the BMW X3 is born. It possesses three turbocharge engines—a 2.0- liter four-cylinder engine that produces 240-hp; a 3.0-liter inlined-six with 300 hp; and finally, a 2.0-liter diesel four that’s capable of 180-hp, that has less refinement but with an improved economy. The eight-speed automatic comes standard for all the models. The only xDrive in the BMW X3 is their base, which is a rear-drive. Although their list of options can be extensive, the Dynamic Handling package is one package you must fully consider and prioritize when it comes to add-ons.

The off-road capability and workaday sound of the BMW X3 doesn’t quite hold a bearing as BMW touts this as a Sports Activity Vehicle. It changes pitch when you rev up the engine, and that’s not an unpleasant sound entirely. As the X3 accelerates into speed briskly when in city asphalt, you’d be quite burdened by the lot of shifting in the gearbox. Although they consider this an industry benchmark in terms of its transmission, it still can’t be said despite the still-infuriating gear selector.

What You Need To Know About the BMW X3


A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine of the BMW X3 28i produces 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. A standard eight-speed automatic transmission and an automatic stop-start system are standard in the X3. Its automatic stop-start system– however undeniably frustrating it can be sometimes—actually saves you fuel. It works wonders: it shuts off the engine when you take your foot off the brake and then starts it once you hit the gas again. In terms of BMW, sDrive means rear-wheel drive, while xDrive means all-wheel drive.

xDrive 28d is a four-cylinder 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine that produces 180 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0-60 mph in 7.8 seconds, as estimated by BMW. Albeit slow for the typical segment, it’s appropriate enough for its diesel-engine powered counterparts. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 30mpg.

The BMW X3 xDrive 35i, on the other hand, is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6, which can produce 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. According to several reviews, it hits a peak of 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds. EPA estimates the fuel economy at 21 mpg, actually better than some of X3’s rivals.


Despite its classification as a high-riding off-roader, the BMW X3 still handles brilliantly as would any car. It possesses an agility and poise that puts some sedans to shame. There is an option of either xDrive four-wheel-drive-system-standard for high-spec models or the real-wheel driven sDrive that’s solely available for the 18d model. The former offers traction and impressive grip on both on and off road, while the latter is an economical yet fun drive. For everyday driving but with the same grip, the sDrive may be your best bet.

BMW’s four-pot diesel engine is evident in both models, both also having 2.0 liter-models. Refinement has been significantly improved thanks to their coupled manual or/and eight-speed automatic gearboxes.

If you’re looking for that blend of refinement though, keep your eye on the 3.0-liter six-cylinder model.


The exceptionally roomy seats and well-laid out, quiet cabin is praised by several reviews, claiming the BMW X3 is an excellent piece of work that is ergonomically designed. Audio and climate controls as well as the infotainment system are easily operated after a few miles driven. Overall, the X3 has a great cargo space above its class.

Leatherette upholstery and power-adjustable front seats come standard with the BMW X3 that seats 5. Heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, and leather upholstery are also available as add-ons. The plentiful of legroom and ample seating space is praised by reviewers, adding that the X3’s spacious and comfortable cabin makes a great option for families.


Aside from the solid occupant safety that the BMW X3, and all other Bavarian-made vehicle in the market, there is an extensive line of safety-options that you can add as well.

Safety features that come standard with the X3 come as usual: anti-lock brakes, active front head restraints, the usual airbags, and a stability system. For varying levels of stability, a Sport mode is also active. This system includes a higher threshold of interference when it comes to traction in the snow.


ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve diesel inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection

HORSEPOWER: 180 hp @ 4000 rpm

TORQUE: 280 lb-ft @ 1750 rpm

FUEL ECONOMY- 27/34 mpg

TRANSMISSION- 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode


DRIVE TYPE: 4-wheel-drive,

TOP SPEED- 125 mph

0-60MPH- 7.9 sec

Price: $42,850 (base)


Being one of the sportiest and most fuel-efficient crossovers in its class, the BMW X3 doesn’t try too much to be rugged. To get that line up techier and those active-safety options even more extensive, the sDrive and diesel models have been heavily packed with features missing from its predecessors.

The styling is suave and smart; an ideal for the usual drive around town.

Layout is versatile; a lean and clear-crisp design that most would opt for.

Road performance is responsive; a buildup in steering wheel when turning corners doesn’t seem to happen, and on-road handling is excellent—some would say even better than most saloons.

Fuel efficiency is very impressive; with a peak of 27/34 mpg, the BMW X3’s diesel engine is an economically stand-out crossover.

At its heart, superior handling and performance of the BMW X3 is its main appeal. Though the typical luxury SUV has been generally known as uninspiring on winding canyon roads, the BMW X3 manages to break the mold with its sharp reflexes that makes it the best for driver engagement.

But whichever X3 you may want to choose, you really can’t lose. Being one of the most desirable 4×4, it’s not only great to drive but it can also accommodate the whole family.

Overall, the BMW X3—albeit a bit higher in the price range—still shines the true excellency the German automaker had promised since the start. For those who want a driving experience that’s enjoyable but comes in a luxurious crossover, the BMW X3 is a compelling choice.


√ Economically efficient

√ Decent handling and grip

√ Spacious interior

√ Comfortable engines


× A bit higher in the price range

× Lazy brakes

× Unimpressive acceleration

× Plain dashboard layout