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MSRP: $41,000 - 54,650

8.7

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.7
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 8.3
Safety: 9.9
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2019 BMW X3 Review

The 2019 BMW X3 finishes in the top third of our luxury compact SUV rankings. While it’s not a class leader in any one area, it is a well-rounded SUV with good performance and few obvious flaws.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engines
  • Nimble handling
  • Spacious, supportive seats
  • Above-average cargo capacity
  • Rivals are more opulent inside
  • Above-average starting price

Is the BMW X3 a Good SUV?

Yes, the BMW X3 is a good SUV. It's one of the better performers in the class, delivering agile handling and plenty of power. It's also practical, with great fuel economy and cargo capacity. The seats are spacious and comfortable, and the technology is user-friendly. We named it a finalist for our 2019 Best Luxury Compact SUV for Families award for its combination of cargo and passenger space, safety and reliability ratings, positive reviews from automotive journalists, and available family-friendly features.

Should I Buy the BMW X3?

The X3 certainly makes a compelling argument for itself, and nobody will fault you for buying one. However, because of its above-average base price, you could argue that some competitors are a better value. If you decide to shop around, take a look at the Jaguar F-Pace, Acura RDX, and Audi Q5.

Compare the X3, F-Pace, and RDX »

Should I Buy a New or Used BMW X3?

The 2019 BMW X3 is part of a generation that began with the 2018 model year. There are only a few changes for 2019. First off, BMW introduced the rear-wheel-drive sDrive30i trim. Second, there are several new standard features for 2019, including front and rear parking sensors, driver drowsiness monitoring, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and traffic sign recognition. There are new available features too, like lane keep assist, front cross traffic alert, and more.

The X3 was redesigned for 2018, which brought about several new changes. 2018 and newer X3s have more powerful engines and more features, including a surround-view camera and pedestrian detection. You can potentially save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used X3 instead. Just know that getting a used model from 2017 or earlier means you'll miss out on the new features – particularly if you get a pre-redesign model.

If you're interested in a used model, visit our overviews of the 2017 BMW X3 and 2018 BMW X3. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 X3 »

We Did the Research for You: 11 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current X3 generation, which includes 2018 and 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much Does the BMW X3 Cost?

The X3's base price of $41,000 comes in above the median starting price for the class, but it's still comparable to many rivals' base prices. You can get the performance-oriented X3 M trim starting at $54,500. That’s also a bit higher than average for a top trim in this class, but it’s not unreasonable.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local BMW dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our BMW deals page.

BMW X3 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: BMW X3 or Jaguar F-Pace?

The Jaguar F-Pace is one of the few luxury compact SUVs that can claim to be more athletic than the X3. The Jaguar handles extremely well and provides several engine options, including a turbodiesel powertrain that's more fuel-efficient than any X3 offering. The F-Pace has a little more cargo space, but both SUVs have two rows of spacious seats and similar build quality. At the end of the day, these SUVs are closely matched, and the right choice boils down to your personal preference.

Which Is Better: BMW X3 or Acura RDX?

The Acura RDX is redesigned for the 2019 model year, and it's one of our highest-ranking luxury compact SUVs. The RDX has a more powerful base engine, though it gets worse gas mileage and doesn’t offer a performance variant like the X3 M40i. The RDX feels more upscale inside, offers a longer features list, and has a lower base price. Both SUVs have above-average cargo capacity and two rows of spacious seats. In the end, these are both fine vehicles, but the Acura is the better choice.

Which Is Better: BMW X3 or Audi Q5?

The Audi Q5 is similar to the X3 in terms of performance. Both SUVs handle well and offer two engines (with similar horsepower ratings), though the BMW gets better gas mileage. Inside, the Audi stands above its German rival. The Q5 is more upscale and offers more tech features. In terms of passenger room, cargo space, and starting price, these two are essentially tied. Both are good SUVs, but the Audi is the better choice by a hair.

Compare the X3, F-Pace, and Q5 »

X3 Interior

How Many People Does the X3 Seat?

The X3 seats five across two spacious rows. The front seats deliver plenty of space and support, leaving no reason to complain. The rear seats rate highly as well; they provide plenty of room for two adults or three children.

X3 and Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for installing child seats, but the system earns a Marginal rating (the second-lowest) for ease of use from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

X3 Interior Quality

Climb inside the X3, and you notice high-quality materials throughout the cabin. However, despite the cabin's good looks, the design feels a bit simplistic, and some rivals are more opulent.

X3 Cargo Space

This BMW ranks among the class leaders in cargo capacity. With the rear seats up, you’ll get nearly 29 cubic feet of space. That’s enough room to pack all your gear for a day at the beach. Fold the rear seats down, and you’ll get nearly 63 cubic feet of room.

X3 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the X3 include Bluetooth, a USB port, a 12-speaker audio system, and the iDrive infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touch screen. Available features include a panoramic moonroof, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, satellite radio, navigation, wireless device charging, Apple CarPlay, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

The iDrive infotainment system's controls are user-friendly, but they do have a bit of a learning curve. The center-stack controls are easy to reach from the driver's seat, and there's an optional gesture control feature that lets you adjust settings by simply waving your hand in front of the screen. Unlike some competitors, the X3 doesn't offer Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

X3 Performance

X3 Engine: Power to Spare

There are two powertrain options in the X3, and both will put a smile on your face. Even the 248-horsepower turbo-four base engine feels energetic, regardless of the driving situation. But if you really want a thrilling drive, you should opt for the 355-horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder powering the M40i, which lets this BMW sprint from zero to 60 mph in under 5 seconds.

X3 Gas Mileage: The Envy of Rivals

The X3 gets great gas mileage for a small luxury crossover, earning 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Compared to the Acura RDX, which gets above-average gas mileage in its own right, driving the X3 will save you about $150 per year in fuel costs.

X3 Ride and Handling: A Strong Performer

The X3 may not be the best-handling luxury compact SUV on the market, but it's certainly in the running thanks to its accurate steering and adept handling. It also rides comfortably.

Read more about performance »

X3 Reliability

Is the BMW X3 Reliable?

The 2019 X3 earns an above-average predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

BMW X3 Warranty

The BMW X3 comes with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty.

Read more about reliability »

X3 Safety

X3 Crash Test Results

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2019 X3 a Top Safety Pick+, which is the organization's highest honor.

X3 Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, driver drowsiness monitoring, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and traffic sign recognition.

Available features include a head-up display, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, front and rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, parallel park assist, and a surround-view camera.

Read more about safety »

Which BMW X3 Model Is Right for Me?

You have two main decisions to make when choosing an X3: whether you want rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, and whether you want the added athleticism provided by the high-performance M40i trim.

Most buyers should stick with the sDrive30i or xDrive30i trims, which provide plenty of driving enjoyment and have starting prices in the low $40,000s (compared to the M40i's mid-$50,000 price tag). You can get pretty much every feature the X3 offers in any trim, so you won’t miss out on any comfort or convenience features by sticking with the lower trims.

BMW X3 sDrive30i

The X3 sDrive30i carries a base price of $41,000. It comes with a 248-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive. For a starting price of $46,300, you can get the M Sport design variation of this trim.

Standard features include tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a USB port, a 12-speaker audio system, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, driver drowsiness monitoring, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and the iDrive infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touch screen.

You can add tiers full of extra features. The Convenience tier ($2,850) includes a panoramic moonroof, satellite radio, and proximity keyless entry. The Premium tier ($6,250) includes the Convenience tier features plus navigation, Apple CarPlay, a head-up display, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel. The Executive tier ($9,750) comes with the lower-tier features, plus parallel park assist, a surround-view camera, and more.

There are multiple option packages as well. The Driving Assistance package ($500) adds blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning. The Driving Assistance Plus package ($1,700) adds lane keep assist, front cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and more. The Parking Assistance package ($700) adds parallel park assist and a surround-view camera. You can also get the Dynamic Handling package ($1,300), which includes multiple performance upgrades.

BMW X3 xDrive30i

The X3 xDrive30i starts at $42,650. It’s the same as the sDrive30i, but with all-wheel drive instead of rear-wheel drive.

BMW X3 M40i

The X3 M40i has a starting price of $54,500. It comes with a 355-horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. In addition to the lower trims' standard features, the M40i comes with an M Sport suspension, M Sport brakes, a panoramic moonroof, 14-way power-adjustable front seats, and satellite radio.

You can add the Driving Assistance, Driving Assistance Plus, and Parking Assistance packages to the M40i. You can also add the Premium package ($2,950), which includes heated seats, navigation, a heated steering wheel, and a head-up display. The Executive package ($2,550) adds parallel park assist, a surround-view camera, and more.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local BMW dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our BMW deals page.

See 2019 BMW X3 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 BMW X3 brings a lot to the table, which is why this small crossover finishes in the top third of our class rankings. Whether you're looking for a fun-to-drive SUV or something practical for hauling the family around, the X3 delivers.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The 2019 BMW X3 is one of the coolest kids in one of the coolest classes among cars: the compact-luxury-SUV segment. … Beyond its aspirational badge and German pedigree, the 2019 X3 is a real-deal BMW. It touts the brand's dynamic performance and fun-to-drive manners while also boasting the latest technology and a cadre of creature comforts. The BMW X3 is hardly the least expensive compact-luxury SUV, but it's still among the most desired." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "In the end, the BMW X3 xDrive30i is the X3 you buy if you want a high-quality, engaging crossover but without the compromises. Sure, it's not as powerful and sonorous as the M40i version, but it also isn't going to vibrate you apart on nasty roads nor wake your neighbors. It does everything well, even if it's not the best in any one area, and that easily makes it the best choice for most people." -- Autoblog (2018)
  • "The redesigned X3 isn't a revolutionary departure from its massively successful predecessor. From that vantage point, the 2018 BMW X3 might seem like a bit of a disappointment. But as the old adage goes, you don't fix what isn't broken. This newest X3 remains one of our top recommendations for a luxury crossover SUV." -- Edmunds (2018)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: June 27, 2019

Rising Sales: The BMW X3 is selling 29.4% better in 2019 relative to the same span in 2018. Sales of the X3 sit in the top third of the luxury compact SUV sales rankings, and it’s currently outselling its sibling, the BMW X4, by over 9 to 1.

Research more buying advice »
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