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$16,039 - $18,639 $38,850 - $43,950

8.4

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.5
Safety: 10.0
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 BMW X3 Review

The BMW X3 ranks near the top of its class, due in part to its great safety ratings, pleasant ride and handling, and robust engine performance. 

Pros & Cons

  • Brisk acceleration
  • Good fuel economy ratings
  • Athletic handling
  • iDrive infotainment system can be confusing

New for 2013

 

  • Turbocharged four-cylinder engine replaced standard six-cylinder
  • Lane departure warning available
  • Power liftgate became standard

 

2013 BMW X3 Overview

Is the 2013 BMW X3 a Good Used SUV?

The BMW X3 is a great option if you’re shopping for a used luxury compact SUV. It features the generous seating space, crisp interior, and comfortable ride that shoppers expect of a luxury SUV. It distances itself from the competition thanks to its athletic handling and muscular engines. In fact, it drives more like a sports sedan than an SUV.

Used 2013 BMW X3 Performance and Interior

BMW offers the X3 with two turbocharged engine options. The X3 xDrive28i has a 240-horsepower four-cylinder, while the xDrive35i has a 300-horsepower six-cylinder. Both are paired with a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission and BMW’s all-wheel-drive system (xDrive). Acceleration is brisk no matter which engine you choose, and both models make easy work of highway passing and on-ramps. Fuel economy ranges from an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway with the xDrive28i to 19/26 mpg city/highway with the xDrive35i.

The X3’s well-tuned suspension provides a comfortable and cushioned ride over most road surfaces, yet it also inspires confidence through turns. The steering is quick and responsive, body lean is controlled, and the brakes provide fine stopping power. If there is a hiccup, it’s with the engine start-stop system, which makes an unrefined judder when turning the engine on. Thankfully, the system can be switched off.

Read more about X3 performance »

The BMW X3 seats five and offers ample head- and legroom for adults in both rows. The front seats in particular are nicely contoured and provide excellent support on longer trips. The X3’s driving position and large windshield offer an expansive view of the road ahead, but rear visibility is hampered by the SUV’s slim rear window and thick roof pillars. There are two sets of LATCH connectors for securing child safety seats. The X3 has 27.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats, and a spacious 63.3 cubic feet with these seats folded flat.

The X3’s interior doesn’t scream luxury. Rather, it feels understated and minimalistic. The dashboard is simply arranged and its buttons are easy to use. Most of the cabin materials look and feel high-quality. All X3 models come equipped with an AM/FM/satellite radio, Bluetooth, a USB input, and an infotainment screen. Drivers control this display using a knob and buttons located on the center console, known as the iDrive system. There’s definitely a learning curve to using iDrive, but it works better than most other infotainment systems in this class.

Read more about X3 interior »

Used 2013 BMW X3 Prices

The price of a used 2013 X3 ranges from about $18,400 for an xDrive28i model to around $20,800 for an xDrive35i. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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We Did the Research for You: 32 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve researched 32 BMW X3 reviews, as well as data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Reliable Is the 2013 BMW X3?

The 2013 X3 has above-average reliability, earning a score of 3.5 out of five points from J.D. Power. A score of three is considered average across the industry.

See X3 reliability scores »

How Safe Is the X3?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the BMW X3 a 2013 Top Safety Pick. The X3 received ratings of Good, the highest offered, in all four areas tested. BMW offers the X3 with optional front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a top-view camera, lane departure warning, a head-up display, and adaptive pivoting headlights.

See X3 safety scores »

Is the 2013 X3 the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 model year is a great place to start if you’re shopping for a used X3. BMW fully redesigned the X3 in 2011, and there were no major updates for the 2012 model year. The 2013 X3 xDrive28i received a new turbocharged engine that has the same horsepower rating as the naturally aspirated 2012 engine, but better fuel economy (21/28 mpg city/highway versus 19/25 mpg). Lane departure warning also became available.

Compare the 2011, 2012, and 2013 X3 »

Which Used BMW X3 Is Right for Me?

BMW offers the 2013 X3 in two trims: xDrive28i and xDrive35i. The base BMW X3 xDrive28i model comes equipped with a 6.5-inch iDrive infotainment screen, dual-zone climate control, AM/FM/satellite radio, Bluetooth, a USB input, a power liftgate, cruise control, keyless entry, and leatherette upholstery. The BMW X3 xDrive35i adds adaptive headlights and a moonroof.

Available features for both models include a larger 8.8-inch infotainment screen and navigation system, a rear-seat DVD player, a rearview camera, a head-up display, lane departure warning, parking sensors, heated leather seats (front and rear), and an adaptive suspension.

You may want to consider a certified pre-owned BMW X3. The BMW CPO program offers three levels of coverage based on the vehicle’s age and mileage. Each vehicle receives the balance of the original new-car warranty, while some may receive an additional two-year/50,000-mile warranty. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the BMW warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »
Read more about the BMW certified pre-owned program »

2013 BMW X3 and Other SUVs to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 BMW X3 or 2013 Audi Q5?

The Audi Q5 and BMW X3 are both top picks in the luxury compact SUV class, and it may come down to personal preference when deciding between these two. Both SUVs offer potent engine performance, comparable seating and cargo space, and above-average reliability ratings. The Q5 has a richer interior, and it’s also available with a few extra safety features, like blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control. The X3, however, is more fun to drive. Used X3s are typically a bit less expensive than used Q5s.

Which Is Better: 2013 BMW X3 or 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class?

The Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class tops the X3 in a few key areas. It offers better fuel economy thanks to its available diesel engine (24/32 mpg city/highway). The GLK rates slightly higher for predicted reliability as well, and it offers more safety and convenience features, like forward collision warning and parallel park assist. The GLK does have its trade-offs, though. It’s not as fun to drive as the X3, and it has less cargo and rear seating space. Used models also tend to be pricier as well. For most, the X3 is still the better buy.

Compare the X3, Q5, and GLK-Class »
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