in Luxury Compact SUVs

MSRP: $39,800 - $44,900
Invoice: $36,615 - $41,310
MPG: 21 City / 28 Hwy
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* 2014 pricing is not available

BMW X3 Review

The 2014 BMW X3 ranks 6 out of 14 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 2014 BMW X3 is ranked:

Auto writers say that nimble handling, peppy engines, good fuel economy and a spacious interior make the 2014 BMW X3 a very desirable luxury compact SUV.

The X3 is available with two engines, including a base turbocharged four-cylinder engine that test drivers say provides ample power in all driving scenarios. A turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine is optional, and test drivers agree that the BMW X3 feels even faster with this engine. Reviewers say the X3's standard eight-speed automatic transmission is very smooth-shifting. Fuel economy, at up to an EPA-estimated 21/28 mpg city/highway, is good for the class. Test drivers report that the X3 is an exciting SUV to drive, with athletic handling and a firm, yet composed, ride. Additionally, reviewers think the X3's steering is fairly communicative and well-weighted and that its brakes have good pedal feel.

Test drivers praise the 2014 X3 for its tasteful-looking cabin constructed with high-quality materials. The five-seat X3's cargo space is good for the class, and reviewers appreciate that the rear seats are split-folding, allowing longer items to fit in the X3. Test drivers say the X3's front seats are spacious and comfortable and the back seats offer good legroom. BMW's standard iDrive infotainment system is praised for its intuitive menu structure and crisp display screen. In addition to iDrive, which features Bluetooth and a USB port, the X3 comes standard with a 12-speaker stereo and HD Radio. Optional features include a backup camera, navigation, satellite radio, a 16-speaker stereo system, a head-up display, front and rear parking sensors and lane departure warning.

  • "Among compact to midsize luxury crossover SUVs, the 2014 BMW X3 stands apart from most rivals. With its superb driving dynamics, spacious and upscale interior accommodations, and solid fuel economy ratings, the X3 is a front runner in this class and definitely one you'll want to check out, particularly if you have a family." -- Edmunds
  • "If you're looking for a premium carryall that truly puts the ‘sport’ in sport-utility vehicle, the 2014 X3 is hard to beat. If you need extra traction in inclement weather, the X3 comes with all-wheel drive as standard." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "We're not saying BMW's feisty four-door compact SUV can climb like a monster truck in the morning and impersonate an M3 on the autobahn that evening, but it can handle both environments competently, and it admirably mixes luxury with all the utility most buyers will ever need." -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • "BMW's X3 delivers the sportiness and refinement you expect from the brand in a package that's small but highly versatile. Non-linear throttle response remains an annoyance, at least on the base xDrive28i model, but this premium-compact SUV has enough other positive attributes to make it worth your consideration. Just keep an eye on the bottom line. Base prices are reasonable, but they quickly move upward when options are added." -- Consumer Guide (2012)

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Other Luxury Compact SUVs to Consider

Reviewers praise the Audi Q5 for its upscale interior and sporty, refined handling. Additionally, the Q5 is available as a turbodiesel model that gets great fuel economy for the class.

The Acura RDX is well-liked among reviewers for its spacious cabin, modern interior design and ample technology features. Unlike the X3, the RDX comes standard with leather seats, and it has a bit more cargo space.

Compare the X3, Q5 and RDX »

Details: 2014 BMW X3

The 2014 BMW X3 seats five and comes standard with all-wheel drive. The X3 is available in two trim levels, which include the X3 xDrive28i with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and the X3 xDrive35i with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. The X3 was last redesigned for the 2011 model year and hasn't changed much since. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2011 to 2014 model years.

See full 2014 BMW X3 specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/16/14

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