2008 BMW X3

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2008 BMW X3 Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 BMW X3 was new.

The 2008 BMW X3 delivers very competitive all-wheel drive performance, though some may find its suspension a little too stiff and the price a bit high for its class. Exterior styling is becoming dated, but the interior is widely seen as comfortable and of BMW-level quality.

Pros & Cons

  • Outstanding overall performance
  • Comfortable, well-designed interior with quality materials
  • Excellent all-wheel drive system
  • Designated an IIHS "Top Safety Pick"
  • Excellent fuel economy for its class
  • Dated exterior styling
  • Some find the suspension too stiff and unforgiving
  • Considerably more expensive than others in its class

Research & Ratings

Currently, the BMW X3 has a score of 7.9 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 42 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 7.6
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 7.6
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2008 BMW X3 Overview

On balance, our analysis shows the X3 to be an excellent performer, delivering the ride and handling you'd expect for an SUV from BMW. Reviewers praise its ability to combine the look and utility of an SUV with BMW levels of quality. Regardless, it ranks near the middle of the luxury compact SUV class and near the bottom of the luxury crossover class.

For 2008, the X3 gets only minor changes, including tweaks to the options and trim packages, as well as the addition of standard active head restraints. Auto testers comment that the crossover X3 offers exceptional handling, with AutoWeek noting, "Regardless of powertrain, the X3 is still one of the best-driving SUVs on the market, thanks to accurate steering and committed cornering responses" -- though a number of critics felt the suspension was a little on the hard side. What's more, the BMW X3 doesn't come cheap -- costing thousands more than its closest competitor. A loaded X3 can easily push against the $50,000 mark. However, the X3's best-in-class gas mileage may help make up for the pain of the sticker price.

The X3 comes in only one trim level -- the 3.0si -- which features standard all-wheel drive.

  • "At the base price of $38,000, the level of standard equipment feels a little skimpy. Sure, you can add options, but they get pricey, pushing X3 from reasonably expensive to a little silly. There are certainly other vehicles to consider in this class." -- About.com
  • "It handles well but is too expensive and too small. Why not buy a BMW coupe instead and have more fun?" -- BusinessWeek
  • "At least you'll get good bloodlines for the money." -- Automobile Magazine
  • The X3 "is hard to beat for people who want BMW's heritage, looks, powertrain and packaging, but desire the flexibility a sport-utility vehicle offers, or vice versa." -- Automotive.com

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