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2018 BMW X3 Review

A good predicted reliability rating, outstanding safety scores, a large cargo hold, and nimble handling all help the BMW X3 rank near the top of the luxury compact SUV class.

Pros & Cons

  • Good safety and predicted reliability ratings
  • More cargo space than many rivals
  • Agile handling
  • Capable engine lineup
  • Fewer standard features than some rivals




Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.2
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 BMW X3 Overview

Is the 2018 BMW X3 a Good Used SUV?

The 2018 BMW X3 is a good luxury compact SUV. Redesigned for the 2018 model year, it brings a lot to the table. Lively and agile on the road and boasting great safety and predicted reliability ratings, there’s a lot to like about this BMW.

Some of the 2018 X3’s strong suits include:

  • A good predicted reliability rating
  • Top-notch safety scores
  • Dynamic handling
  • Powerful engines
  • Standard all-wheel drive

It also has some drawbacks, most notably:

  • Fewer standard tech and safety features than most rivals provide
Why You Can Trust Us

Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make car shopping a breeze. You'll find everything you need to know about this vehicle in our comprehensive BMW X3 review. It combines concrete data (like predicted reliability ratings, crash test results, and cargo space dimensions) with professional evaluations from 16 automotive sources.

We’ve been reviewing cars since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. We also award the Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands on an annual basis. To ensure our impartiality, a third party handles our advertising, and we don't accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Is the 2018 BMW X3?

Based on listings for the 2018 BMW X3 on our site, the average list price is $44,300. Prices range from $37,400 to $54,400 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 BMW X3 Cost to Own?

The 2018 X3’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $31,760, or $6,352 per year. That’s above average among luxury compact SUVs.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New X3?

BMW introduced a rear-wheel-drive base model for the 2019 model year. The 2019 also has more standard safety features than the 2018 X3, such as front and rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, and pedestrian detection. If the standard driver aids are important to you, stick with a new X3. Many of them were available in the 2018 X3, so you might find a similarly equipped model for less money.

Read about the new X3 »

BMW redesigned the X3 for the 2018 model year. You might save money with an older model, but you’ll miss out on substantial updates. These include exterior styling enhancements, a standard touch-screen infotainment system, standard tri-zone automatic climate control, optional gesture-based infotainment controls, ventilated front seats, a slightly stronger base engine, and a performance-oriented X3 M40i model.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 X3 »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 X3?

The 2018 X3 has a good predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about X3 reliability »

2018 BMW X3 Recalls

As of this writing, five safety recalls have been issued for the 2018 BMW X3:

  • Insufficient coating on rear brake calipers can reduce braking performance
  • Instrument panel may not illuminate or display properly
  • Rear spoiler might fall off the vehicle
  • Lane keep assist system may not properly alert drivers
  • Turn signals may flash multiple colors

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on BMW X3 safety recalls »

Which Used BMW X3 Trim Is Right for Me?

BMW offers the X3 in two trim levels: X3 xDrive30i and M40i. Both trims feature all-wheel drive. The base trim should satisfy most shoppers, as its four-cylinder engine capably handles most driving scenarios. Both trims are available with a ton of options and packages, so you don’t have to jump to a higher trim to get more safety and tech features.

  • BMW X3 xDrive30i: The xDrive30i trim has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, synthetic leather upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable front sport seats, a 6.5-inch display, the iDrive infotainment system, a 12-speaker sound system, Bluetooth, a USB port, HD Radio, a power liftgate, tri-zone automatic climate control, and a rearview camera.
  • BMW X3 M40i: The high-performance X3 M40i adds a turbo six-cylinder engine, a sport-tuned suspension, upgraded brakes, a panoramic moonroof, proximity keyless entry, automatic high beams, adaptive headlights, front and rear parking sensors, 14-way power-adjustable front seats, and satellite radio.

Both trims are available with a navigation system, a head-up display, a 10.3-inch touch screen, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a gesture-controlled infotainment system, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless phone charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and heated and ventilated front seats. Several advanced safety features are also available, including a 360-degree camera, blind spot monitoring, front and rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning with brake assist, and adaptive cruise control.

See 2018 BMW X3 trims and specs »

What Does BMW's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

The BMW Certified CPO program is available on vehicles with between 300 and 60,000 miles on the odometer. The program covers buyers for one year with unlimited mileage after the four-year/50,000-mile new-vehicle limited warranty has expired. This warranty can be renewed for a fee, but there is a maximum of five years of coverage. Each BMW must pass a road test and a 196-point inspection before earning CPO status. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available. Restrictions apply on transferring CPO coverage to subsequent owners. Read the BMW warranty page carefully.

BMW has one of the less-attractive CPO programs among luxury car manufacturers, according to our research. You’ll get better warranties from Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Jaguar.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the X3?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2018 X3 a Top Safety Pick+, giving it the highest rating of Good in six test areas. Headlights in xDrive 30i models with the Executive package earned a Good rating, while all other X3s received the second-worst rating of Marginal rating. Models with forward collision warning and automatic braking earned the highest rating of Superior for front crash prevention.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has not tested the 2018 X3.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera
  • rain-sensing windshield wipers

Available advanced safety features:

  • surround-view parking camera
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking
  • pedestrian detection
  • lane departure warning and lane keep assist
  • front cross traffic alert
  • adaptive cruise control
  • automatic high beams
  • front and rear parking sensors
  • parallel park assist

See X3 safety scores »

2018 BMW X3 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 BMW X3 or 2018 Audi Q5?

The 2018 Audi Q5 is a good luxury compact SUV. Both vehicles have powerful engines and athletic handling. The Q5 has a nicer cabin, more rear-seat legroom, and more standard features, including leather seats and Apple CarPlay. The X3 has more cargo space, higher safety scores, and a much better predicted reliability rating. Both are solid SUVs, and choosing between them is a matter of preference.

Which Is Better: 2018 BMW X3 or 2018 Jaguar F-Pace?

The 2018 Jaguar F-Pace is a decent crossover SUV. It has a range of capable engines, including a thrifty turbo diesel with great fuel economy estimates and a supercharged V6. It also has more cargo space and more standard safety features than the X3. Both vehicles have sharp, deft handling. However, the BMW has a superior predicted reliability rating and lower ownership costs. It also has a slightly nicer cabin. The F-Pace may be a good pick, but the X3 is a better one.

Which Is Better: 2018 BMW X3 or 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC?

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC stands out as one of the best luxury compact SUVs. It has one of the nicest cabins in the class and a range of powerful engines, especially in the performance-oriented AMG GLC 43 and 63 models. Additionally, it can be outfitted with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Roomy rear seats and plenty of standard safety features add to the GLC’s appeal. The X3 has more cargo space and greater agility on the road. Choose the Mercedes-Benz for its comfort and luxury or the BMW for its athleticism and cargo room.

Compare the X3, Q5, and F-Pace »

2018 X3 Performance

How Does the 2018 X3 Drive?

The turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the xDrive30i model produces enough power to feel muscular and spritely in most driving situations. The X3 M40i trim and its six-cylinder engine deliver more energy and a brisk zero-to-60 mph acceleration time of 4.6 seconds. The eight-speed automatic makes smooth shifts.

Responsive steering, strong brakes, and standard all-wheel drive help this vehicle feel sporty and lively on the road. The ride remains comfortable over most surfaces too.

  • Base engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque
  • Available engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder with 355 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: standard all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: standard eight-speed automatic
Does the 2018 X3 Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base BMW xDrive30i gets above-average fuel economy estimates for the class. The M40i and its six-cylinder engine are closer to par.

  • xDrive30i: 22/29 mpg city/highway
  • M40i: 20/27 mpg

Read more about X3 performance »

2018 X3 Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 X3 Seat?

This luxury crossover SUV seats five passengers in two rows. The front seats are comfortable, spacious, and supportive, even for long trips. The rear seats have ample head- and legroom for most adults. Cabin materials are nice, though you’ll find a few cheap plastics. Also, it's worth noting that some competing vehicles come standard with leather upholstery and heated seats.

Standard seating features:

  • synthetic leather seats
  • 10-way power-adjustable front seats
  • leather-wrapped steering wheel

Available seating features:

  • leather upholstery
  • heated and ventilated front seats
  • heated steering wheel
How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2018 BMW X3?

This SUV has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats, as well as a third tether anchor for the middle seat. The whole setup received the second-lowest ease-of-use rating of Marginal from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety because the lower anchors were set deeply in the seats and could be hard to maneuver around.

2018 BMW X3 Features

The iDrive infotainment system is easy to use. It has a central control knob, as well as an option for gesture-based control. Wireless Apple CarPlay is available on a subscription basis, though Android Auto is not offered. A number of class rivals offer both smartphone integration systems as standard equipment across the board.

For more information, read What is Apple CarPlay? and What is Android Auto?

  • Standard infotainment features: a 6.5-inch display, the iDrive infotainment system, a 12-speaker stereo, HD Radio, a USB port, and Bluetooth
  • Available infotainment features: a navigation system, a 10.3-inch touch screen, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster display, wireless device charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot, subscription-based Apple CarPlay, and satellite radio
  • Additional standard features: tri-zone automatic climate control and push-button start
  • Other available features: proximity keyless entry, a head-up display, and a panoramic sunroof

See 2018 BMW X3 specs »

Read more about X3 interior »

2018 BMW X3 Dimensions

BMW X3 Cargo Space

The X3 has 28.7 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and a total of 62.7 cubic feet with the seats folded down. Those are above-average figures for the class, eclipsing classmates like the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio. A power liftgate comes standard.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 BMW X3 Length and Weight
  • Length: 15 feet, 6 inches
  • Curb weight: 4,156 to 4,277 pounds

Where Was the 2018 BMW X3 Built?

BMW built the 2018 X3 in South Carolina.

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