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BMW X3 Review

The 2015 BMW X3 ranks 3 out of 17 Luxury Compact SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the BMW X3, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 BMW X3 is ranked:

Critics warn the BMW X3 can be expensive, but they appreciate its sharp handling, powerful engines and spacious cabin.

A turbocharged four-cylinder engine moves the base 2015 BMW X3, and critics like its good power and swift acceleration. They add that most drivers will appreciate the muscular power that any of the optional X3 engines generate, but some find the turbocharged six-cylinder X3 delivers especially athletic acceleration. According to the EPA, the 2015 BMW X3 gets 21/28 mpg city/highway, which is better than what many competitors earn. The turbodiesel X3, which is new for 2015, gets even better fuel economy at 27/34 mpg. Test drivers praise the X3’s direct, responsive steering, which provides plenty of feedback. The X3 also has agile handling and feels composed in corners, auto writers report.

Test drivers applaud the comfortable and supportive front seats in the BMW X3. They also like the rear seat's spaciousness, and some argue this makes the X3 an excellent choice for families. With 63.3 cubic feet of overall room, the BMW X3 has more cargo space than that of most SUVs in the class. The 2015 X3 comes with BMW's iDrive infotainment system, satellite radio, Bluetooth and a USB port. Available features include a rearview camera, a surround-view camera system, navigation, a Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system, a head-up display, a panoramic moonroof, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, parallel park assist and lane departure warning. According to reviewers, the BMW X3’s infotainment system has clear menus and is generally user-friendly after some initial use. Its audio and climate controls are also simple and easily accessed by drivers, they report. 

  • "The X3 delivers the sportiness and refinement you expect from the brand in a package that's small but highly versatile." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The redesigned BMW X3 womps its predecessor in every way, including ride, handling, power, and equipment. It even trumps it in price by lopping around $2,100 off of the old model." -- Left Lane News
  • "Overall, the X3 shines as a very well-rounded model in the segment even if it's on the pricey side. It's a compelling choice for shoppers who want a luxurious family crossover that's also a blast to drive." -- Edmunds
  • “There are some noteworthy updates under the hood of the luxury crossover, as well as some exterior and interior cosmetic changes and new technology. What stays the same is the X3's attractive mix of style, handling and utility." -- Car Gurus

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Other SUVs to Consider

Reviewers say the Audi Q5 has sharp handling and powerful engine options that make it a joy to drive. The Audi Q5 also comes standard with all-wheel drive, and critics like its high-quality, attractive interior.

The Lincoln MKC has a lower starting price than the X3, and reviewers like its high-end, hushed cabin. The MKC also comes standard with more interior features than the X3, and test drivers are impressed with its sporty handling and powerful base engine.  

Compare the X3, Q5 and MKC »

Details: 2015 BMW X3

The 2015 BMW X3 seats five and comes in sDrive28i, xDrive28i, xDrive28d and xDrive35i trims. The base X3 sDrive28i comes with rear-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive is standard on higher trims. X3 sDrive28i and xDrive28i come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and the X3 xDrive35i comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. The X3 xDrive28d is new for 2015, and features a turbodiesel 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models. Aside from the new turbodiesel model, the X3 sees few changes for 2015, and has not been fully redesigned since the 2011 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2011 to 2015 model years.

See 2015 BMW X3 specs »

Review Last Updated: 4/23/15

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