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MSRP: $38,850 - $43,950
Invoice: $35,740 - $40,435
MPG: 21 City / 28 Hwy
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2013 BMW X3 Review

Auto writers like that the 2013 BMW X3 blends upscale amenities, good performance and practicality to create a compact SUV that is fun-to-drive, fuel-efficient and roomy enough for a family of five.

The base X3 has a four-cylinder engine, which is new for the 2013 model year, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The optional six-cylinder engine also has an eight-speed automatic, but it comes with paddle shifters. All BMW X3 models have all-wheel drive, and the X3 averages 21/28 mpg city/highway with the base engine, which is good for a luxury compact SUV. Overall, critics are very pleased with the X3’s performance. They like that the engines are strong, yet deliver good gas mileage. Several auto writers also appreciate that the X3 has sharp steering and a smooth, comfortable ride.

In a class that tends to place performance before practicality, test drivers say the 2013 BMW X3 still offers good cargo space, as well as plenty of front and rear passenger space for adults. In fact, one test driver says this quality makes the X3 an appealing choice for families. Reviewers add that the X3’s interior design and materials quality meet their expectations for the class. The X3’s list of standard features is also class-competitive and includes features such as a USB port, Bluetooth and an infotainment system. Test drivers think that most of the audio and climate controls are easy to use, but say the infotainment system does take some getting used to.

  • "This in-betweener size, paired with an engaging driving experience, well-crafted cabin, ample available features content and yes, that efficient new engine makes the 2013 BMW X3 a very appealing choice." -- Edmunds
  • "The X3 SUV's raison d'etre is simple: Combine the best attributes of a BMW chassis and powertrain with a more practical and accommodating passenger compartment. At that the X3 succeeds wonderfully, with a truly planted dynamic and a cut-and-thrust capability fully in tune with today's urban driving." -- Kelley Blue Book (2012)
  • "BMW's X3 delivers the sportiness and refinement you expect from the brand in a package that's small but highly versatile." -- Consumer Guide (2012)

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Other Compact SUVs to Consider

The Volvo XC60 is considered one of the most family-oriented vehicles in its class. It has comfortable first- and second-row seats and more cargo space than what the X3 offers. Unlike the X3, the XC60 doesn’t have standard all-wheel drive, but it does offer all-wheel drive as an option. It also has a lot of optional safety equipment such as lane departure warning, and has Volvo’s City Safety system standard, which applies the brakes if a forward collision at slow speeds is likely.

The Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, which is available as a two- or four-door, is one of the most expensive models in the class, but if you’re into brand names, people will know you spent a pretty penny on this luxury compact SUV. Like other Land Rovers, it has standard four-wheel drive and a terrain response system, making it the most capable off-roader in the class. It also has a standard Meridian sound system, Bluetooth and USB port, which is competitive with the X3’s standard features.

Compare the X3, XC60 and Range Rover Evoque »

Details: 2013 BMW X3

The 2013 BMW X3 comes in xDrive28i and xDrive38i trims, both of which have standard all-wheel drive. The xDrive28i model has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is new for the 2013 model year, while the xDrive38i trim has a turbocharged six-cylinder engine. Both models have an eight-speed automatic transmission, but the higher trim’s transmission comes with paddle shifters. A standard power tailgate and optional lane departure warning are also new for the 2013 model year.

The X3 was last redesigned in 2011, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2011, 2012 and 2013 model years.

See the full 2013 BMW X3 specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/19/14

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