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2013 BMW X3 Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2013 BMW X3 was new.


Interior: 7.4

Reviewers are pleased with the 2013 BMW X3’s cabin. They say it has plenty of front and rear passenger space, though one finds that the X3’s exterior design limits rear visibility. Test drivers add that the cabin is well-made. Though the X3 is well-equipped with standard tech features, reviewers say the iDrive infotainment system can be hard to use.

  • "The X3's interior will be familiar to anyone who has spent time in a BMW product. Classic analog gauges, sensible ergonomics and a restrained overall aesthetic combine to create a pleasant driving environment." -- Edmunds
  • "Typical BMW solidity and richness. Materials look and feel nice and are assembled with care." -- Consumer Guide (2012)


The 2013 X3 seats five and comes standard with faux-leather seats and eight-way power-adjustable front seats with driver-seat and mirror memory. Heated front and rear seats and leather upholstery are optional. Several reviewers say that in the BMW X3, the front seats are comfortable and supportive enough for tall drivers and provide good forward visibility. However, one reviewer mentions that the X3’s exterior design does limit rear visibility. Test drivers also add that the rear seats offer plenty of room for tall passengers, though one disagrees. He says there’s less rear passenger space than the X3’s exterior suggests and is disappointed that the rear seats don’t slide forward and back.

  • "As such, room for front passengers is more than ample, while rear legroom is downright generous and pairs with a truly comfortable seat. Indeed, this is one of the most family-friendly vehicles in the class." -- Edmunds
  • "Legroom is good and headroom is ample. The seats are somewhat flat but do a good job of holding occupants in place around fast corners. A tall driving position provides very good overall visibility, but the X3's upswept rear styling creates blind spots that require a double check before lane changes." -- Consumer Guide (front seats, 2012)
  • "All of the seats are comfortable and supportive, especially the optional sport chairs fitted to our tester. Rear seat passenger room isn't as generous as the X3's size would lead you to believe, and the back seats cannot be moved forward or backward, something that would help greatly, especially when longer-legged folks are seated in the front." -- Autoblog (2011)

Interior Features

The base 2013 BMW X3 comes with a power tailgate, Bluetooth, a 12-speaker stereo, a USB port, HD Radio and BMW’s iDrive infotainment system. Satellite radio and navigation are optional. A lane departure warning system, a rearview camera and BMW Assist, which provides emergency services, are also available.

One test driver says that the X3’s stereo and climate controls are easy to use and read, but there are a few complaints about iDrive. As with many infotainment systems, some test drivers think iDrive is confusing, though some say it’s pretty easy to use for an infotainment system. One reviewer adds that with the USB connection, music from digital devices wouldn't play.

See 2013 BMW X3 specs »

  • "Occupants will feel cocooned within the high-quality materials covering the seats, consoles and dash. BMW's iDrive electronics interface works well for wrangling all of the X3's systems, though it can come off as rather complicated; some rival systems are easier to use." -- Edmunds
  • "The audio and climate controls are logically arranged and marked. BMW's most recent iDrive system is straightforward enough. The uninitiated will be puzzled, but after a while it becomes second nature. One test example would not play music from a device connected to its USB port. The auxiliary stereo input worked properly." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • "The integrated infotainment system has come a long way since its introduction in the 7 Series, and iDrive is more intuitive than ever." -- Autoblog (2011)


With the second row in place, the X3 has 27.6 cubic feet of cargo space. With all seats folded, there is 56.6 cubic feet of space. Test drivers appreciate the cargo hold’s wide opening, which makes it easier to pack more items. One reviewer desires more interior storage.

  • "The optional 40/20/40 split-folding seat back is a nice convenience. Aside from large door pockets, interior storage is otherwise meager." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • "The luggage space, accessed through a one-piece tailgate, is wide and regularly shaped." -- Motor Trend (2011)

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