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$12,878 - $14,431
$37,100 - $42,700

Pros & Cons

  • Strong acceleration in xDrive35i
  • Ample rear-seat space
  • Sporty handing
  • Tepid throttle response




Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 8.6
Interior: 8.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.6
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 BMW X3 Overview

The 2012 BMW X3 xDrive28i is powered by a six-cylinder engine and the X3 xDrive35i has a turbocharged six-cylinder engine. An eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard on both models. Reviewers said the base model has plenty of power, but some complained that it feels sluggish from a stop and then the power comes on too quickly. Most preferred the more powerful xDrive35i model, which they said has more effortless acceleration. The EPA estimates that the base 2012 BMW X3 gets 19/25 mpg city/highway, which is fairly good for the class. The more powerful xDrive35i gets slightly better fuel economy at 19/26 mpg. Reviewers said the X3 has sharp handling and a composed ride on bumpy roads.

Automotive writers said the 2012 BMW X3's cabin is attractive and well-assembled. They noted that the five-seat X3 offers plenty of legroom in both the front and rear seats. Standard features include leatherette seats, a 12-speaker stereo system, BMW's iDrive infotainment system, a USB port, HD Radio and Bluetooth. Available features include a rearview camera, navigation, an upgraded audio system, a head-up display, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof and rear parking sensors. Reviewers said that after the initial learning curve, the iDrive system is generally straightforward. With all seats folded, there is 63.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which is very good for the class.

Other SUVs to Consider

The 2012 Audi Q5 gets better fuel economy than the X3, and test drivers said its base turbocharged four-cylinder engine gives the Q5 sprightly acceleration. The Q5 has nimble handling and a luxurious cabin, according to test drivers, and unlike the X3, all models come standard with leather seats.

Reviewers said the 2012 Cadillac SRX has a stylish and tranquil cabin, and they appreciated the crisp display of its available navigation system. The 2012 SRX has great cargo space for the class, and reviewers noted that its cargo area can be configured for differently sized cargo, which they found convenient.

Compare the X3, Q5 and SRX »

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