BMW has a reputation for producing quality vehicles that offer a refined combination of performance and luxury, and the BMW X3 makes no exception. First released in 2004, the BMW X3 adds to the compact luxury crossover category. It utilizes the car-based chassis of the 3 Series line, giving the X3 a road-hugging frame that drivers love. It’s no wonder that this vehicle follows in the footsteps of its slightly larger counterpart, the X5 and became a favorite when it first came off the line.

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About the BMW X3

The BMW X3 represents the smaller, arguably sportier version on the X5. It holds true to BMW’s ideal of the ""sport"" utility vehicle. It embraces the reality that most owners never take their vehicles off-road, especially those running in the luxury end of the spectrum. With this in mind, BMW builds the X3 for on-pavement driving dynamics and handling with all of the luxury features that its owners desire.

As a front-running luxury crossover, the X3 offers almost all the modern bells and whistles. BMW keeps working to enhance its iDrive interface and it pays off in easier control over the X3’s features.

It also has BMW styling inside and out. With an interior that lives up to high-end standards, the X3 offers quality materials, attention to detail, and upgrades that include a panoramic moonroof, heated leather seats, a rear entertainment system, and real wood trim. The exterior presents an athletic figure.

BMW X3 Features

In 2011, the BMW X3 received an exterior design upgrade, following the look of the X5. That said, not much has changed in the 2012 BMW X3. BMW offers a Premium Sound Package for both trims, as well as a satellite radio and an upgraded audio system. On the xDrive35i, a panoramic moonroof also comes standard.

The xDrive28i contains a 3.0-liter, inline-six engine that produces 240 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. The xDrive35i employs a turbocharged 3.0-liter, inline-six engine, producing 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. Every X3 offers all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The standard equipment on the xDrive28i includes 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, leatherette upholstery, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, HD radio, a USB adapter, and BMW's iDrive system. The upgrades on the xDrive35i include 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon adaptive headlights, and genuine wood interior trim elements. The X3 offers excellent handling, traction, and stability for a wide variety of terrain and weather conditions thanks to the xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system, Dynamic Stability Control with rollover sensor, and Hill Descent Control. Other safety features include anti-lock disc brakes, front side-impact airbags, overhead airbags in both rows, active front head restraints, run-flat tires, and a security system.

BMW X3 Evolution

First released in 2004, the BMW X3 faced few competitors in the luxury crossover category. While it has a reputation as one of the most fun cars to drive in its class, drivers complain about a rough ride and mediocre-quality interior materials for BMW. In 2007, the X3 received many mechanical upgrades helping to smooth out the ride. The interior also got a refresh, making it closer to BMW expectations.

Originally, BMW offered two engine models: the 184-hp 2.5i and the 225-hp 3.0i. Both have six cylinders. The 2.5i ceased production in 2006. Included in the 2007 update, the 3.0i became known as the 3.0si and then changed to the xDrive30i in 2009. In 2009, it also gained 35 more horsepower, totaling 260 hp.

In 2011, the X3 received some notable mechanical improvements from its first generation model. First, it is a little bigger than the previous model. The suspension has better balance than before, which offers a much smoother ride. The upgraded styling of the exterior and interior now fall in line with BMW's latest aesthetic and it also includes the most recent electronic features. The 2012 model reflects few changes.

Select a BMW X3 Year

2019 BMW X3

SUV, Utility/Offroad

2018 BMW X3

SUV, Utility/Offroad

2017 BMW X3

SUV, Utility/Offroad

2016 BMW X3

SUV, Utility/Offroad

2015 BMW X3

SUV, Utility/Offroad

2014 BMW X3

SUV, Utility/Offroad

2013 BMW X3

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2013 BMW X3 offers a new, fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine.

2012 BMW X3

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The X3 was all-new for the 2011 model year, and BMW made plenty of changes for 2012. High-gloss interior trim now comes standard, as do floor mats on X3 xDrive28i models.

2011 BMW X3

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2011 BMW X3 is a four-door, five-passenger compact luxury crossover SUV that provides comfort, performance, and style.

2010 BMW X3

SUV, Utility/Offroad

For the 2010 model year the Panoramic Moonroof becomes optional and is also included in the Premium package. For 2010 buyers have a wide array of options and packages available: Sport Activity, Premium, Sport and Cold Weather. While options include: Comfort Seats, STEPTRONIC automatic transmission, Xenon adaptive headlights, park distance control, 18-inch wheels and all-season tires, and Metallic paint.

2009 BMW X3

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2009 BMW X3 is the all-wheel-drive (AWD), small, luxury crossover SUV offering from BMW’s entry-level luxury 3 Series.

2008 BMW X3

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The X3 marks BMW’s first attempt at a compact crossover, and it has only improved since its introduction in 2004.

2007 BMW X3

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2007 BMW X3 sport utility vehicle (SUV) is a small crossover built on the 3 Series platform.

2006 BMW X3

SUV, Utility/Offroad

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.

2005 BMW X3

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2005 BMW X3 is a compact SUV with plenty of features.

2004 BMW X3

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The X3 is a compact five-door crossover SUV from the German automaker, BMW.