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$8,312 - $8,312

Pros & Cons

  • Athletic handling
  • Great cargo capacity
  • Class-exclusive manual transmission available
  • Class-leading safety scores
  • Suspension can feel too firm
  • Navigation system is tough to use




Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.6
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2010 BMW X3 Overview

When it was new, critics loved the 2010 BMW X3’s nimble handling, and called it one of the best 2010 compact SUVs for driving enthusiasts. However, they also said that its ride may be too sporty for some, with heavy steering and a suspension that can feel harsh over rough roads. The X3 is powered by a 260-horsepower inline six-cylinder engine that reviewers found plenty powerful. All-wheel drive is standard, and BMW also offers the only manual transmission in the class; an automatic is available as well. With either transmission, the X3 has fuel economy estimates of 17/24 mpg city/highway, which is typical for the class. With the rear seats folded, the X3 can carry up to 71 cubic feet of cargo, which is very good.

Inside, critics said the front seats offered plenty of space and support and that even the rear bench provided adequate space for most. Standard equipment includes leatherette seating, HD radio and a 10-speaker stereo. Various option packages add features like a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, Bluetooth and navigation, though several critics noted that the navigation system was difficult to use. An available sport package adds a more aggressively-tuned suspension, sport seats and various exterior and interior cosmetic details. The X3 has been largely unchanged since it debuted in 2004, so you may be able to save money by shopping for an older model.

See the full 2010 BMW X3 specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you like the sporty handling of the X3, you’ll probably also like the 2010 Infiniti EX. Critics said the EX is one of the sportiest entries in the segment, thanks to its powerful V6 engine. However, the EX is not available with a manual transmission and it has one of the most limited cargo capacities of all 2010 compact SUVs.

Another 2010 compact SUV you may like is the 2010 Audi Q5. The Q5 has a spacious interior and nimble handling, though not quite as nimble as the X3’s. While sporty, most critics found its overall ride to be more comfortable than the X3, so it may be a better choice for families or as a commuting vehicle.

Compare the X3 to the EX and Q5 »


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