The 2006 BMW X3 is based on the 3-Series sedan of the previous generation and is more of a downsized version of the X5 with promises of utility and sportiness. It has all-weather traction, high seating position, and enough sharp edges to stand on its own, with unique styling. Adding the hardware that has made the 3-Series popular, the BMW X3 is sure to become one of the favorites among compact luxury SUVs. The all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, called xDrive, is incorporated into the BMW X3, along with the redirection of power toward the wheels with traction. This, combined with the SUV’s good visual abilities and higher seating position, makes the X3 great for all-weather driving.
Practically every part of the interior is based upon day-to-day functionality, with easy-to-use gauges and ample cargo and passenger room. The luxury-brand nameplate is reflected in the 2006 BMW X3’s superb styling, functionality, and performance. Test-driving the SUV is recommended for those who want to experience an all-new driving and handling ability that is a bit different from other SUVs in the segment.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 3.0-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed automatic, six-speed manual
Models: BMW X5 3.0i
The BMW is terminating the previous 2.5i model for 2006, though it continues to produce the well-equipped 3.0i model.
The 2006 BMW X3 only comes in one well-equipped trim level, the 3.0i, which is a five-passenger compact SUV. The styling is unique and super-cute, with many various color choices to spruce up the exterior of the vehicle. Standard features include all-season tires and an underbody-mounted spare tire.
The 17-inch alloy wheels come standard with an optional 18-inch alloy in the Sport package. This package also features sport-tuned suspension, performance tires, sport seats, and larger wheels. Other optional additions for improving the exterior are rear parking sensors and HID headlights.
The BMW X3’s also includes rain-sensing wipers, a rear defogger, a roof rack, a rear wiper on window, a power sunroof, and speed-sensitive wipers.
The BMW X3's interior has an easily-recognizable BMW appearance. The large analog gauges, supportive seats that give a very commanding view, and the easy-to-use climate and audio controls are all parts of the interior that reflect the BMW style. The X3 has about 33 cubic feet in cargo capacity behind the seats, a bit larger than its X5 sibling. When the seats are lowered, the capacity expands to 71 cubic feet, which will be more than adequate for a compact SUV. There are also cargo tie-downs included for hauling bigger items.
Standard interior features include automatic climate control, a trip computer, a low fuel warning, keyless entry, full power accessories, and leatherette upholstery. There are eight speakers installed for the AM/FM single CD-player, two subwoofers, a diversity antenna, and a radio data system.
Performance & Handling
The power of the BMW X3 comes from the 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine that can generate 225 hp with 214 lb-ft of torque. The car comes equipped with a manual six-speed transmission unless the driver opts for the Steptronic, five-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive (AWD) is standard with the aforementioned xDrive system. This type of drive system is perfect for all types of weather and provides the best traction and optimum performance.
Even though the appearance of the X3 is that of an SUV, the drivability is more comparative to its big brother, the X5. The precise steering that is combined with tighter controlled suspension makes the X3 a worthy competitor in the compact SUV arena. Test driving the X3 might be addicting for those auto enthusiasts that enjoy the sports car feel of the BMW X3.
Standard features for the BMW X3 are an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Hill Descent Control (HDC), dusk-sensing headlamps, daytime running lights, emergency braking assist, a complete array of side, front, and curtain airbags, and stability control. There are also child seat anchors and child safety door locks installed for the rear doors. Side airbags for passengers in the rear are optional.
EPA Fuel Economy
BMW X3 3.0i: 15/23 mpg city/highway
- Accurate steering
- Easy handling
- Cabin is very comfortable
- Cargo space nice for the size
- Build quality is solid
You Won't Like
- Some lower grade materials in interior
- High priced compact sport vehicle
- Excessively stiff ride
If you are looking to find a smaller SUV that acts and rides the same as a sport sedan, and you don’t mind the high price tag or excessively firm ride, then the 2006 BMW X3 won’t disappoint you.
If You Like This Vehicle
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- Audi Q7
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- BMW X1
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