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BMW X3 Interior

Reviewers praise the 2016 BMW X3's quiet, well laid-out cabin and its exceptionally roomy seats. Test drivers say the X3's climate and audio controls are simple, and its infotainment system is easy to operate after some practice. The X3 has great overall cargo space for the class.

  • "Top it off with the fact the BMW X3 SUV is a quiet, comfortable and feature-laden luxury SUV, and you might look forward to your commute, instead of dreading it." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The X3's interior is classic BMW, from its traditional analog gauges to its sensible ergonomics and restrained sense of style." -- Edmunds
  • "Bright, beautiful wood veneers accent the doors, dashboard and center console and warm up a typically austere BMW interior. The design doesn't venture far from typical BMW, but at least materials match the price." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "Inside, there's nearly no trace of the bygone hard-plastic era. The optional leather trim is French-seamed to a faretheewell with attractive contrasting stitches." -- Automobile Magazine (2011)

Seating

The BMW X3 seats five and comes standard with leatherette upholstery and power-adjustable front seats. Heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel and leather upholstery are available. Auto journalists praise the X3's ample seating space, noting that there's plenty of legroom for rear passengers. A few add that the X3's comfortable, spacious cabin makes it a great option for families.

  • "Room for front passengers is ample by every measure, while rear legroom is downright generous and pairs with a truly comfortable seat. Reviews often focus on the X3's performance, but it's also one of the most family-friendly vehicles in this segment." -- Edmunds
  • "There's good rear legroom, and the generous cargo space expands by folding down the 2nd-row seatbacks." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The driver and front passenger seats offer good bolstering for the times you want to hot foot the X3 around a backcountry road. The rear seats are much more accommodating than in the previous version, and don't require the flexibility of a Chinese circus contortionist to get inside." -- Left Lane News (2015)

Interior Features

Standard features in the X3 include BMW's iDrive infotainment system, a nine-speaker stereo, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a USB port and a 10-year subscription to BMW Assist eCall, which can automatically notify first responders in the event of a crash. For 2016, the X3 comes standard with enhanced USB and Bluetooth features, including an additional microphone, Bluetooth sync for a second phone, library browsing via Bluetooth and voice control for contacts and music. Also new for 2016 is Mobile Office, which allows touch-screen access to your text messages, email, tasks and voice memos, and transfers contact info to the navigation system. Optional features include a surround-view camera system, navigation, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system, a head-up display, a panoramic moonroof, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, active park assist and lane departure warning.

Automotive journalists agree that the iDrive infotainment system quickly responds to user inputs and is easy to operate after some use. The audio and climate controls are clearly labeled and well-placed, reviewers say. A few test drivers are also impressed with the 2016 X3's Mobile Office features and the ability to use two USB connections at the same time.

See 2016 BMW X3 specs »

  • "With tightly integrated USB and Bluetooth now standard, the BMW X3 luxury SUV acts as a Mobile Office. Literally, that's what it's called, and it gives you the ability to check email, texts, calendar events and other office-type functions through BMW ConnectedDrive. The new BMW X3 is also one of the few vehicles out there that can accommodate two USB connections at once." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The iDrive electronics interface is an X3 strong suit, particularly with the larger, higher-resolution screen that comes with the navigation system. An integrated touchpad lets you scrawl text and number inputs with your fingertip, a feature that's more useful than you might think. The menu structure is straightforward and processing times are quick, which helps minimize the amount of time you spend looking away from the road. That said, new owners should sit down and familiarize themselves with iDrive before hitting the road, because it's still a complex system and you can't master everything while the car's in motion." -- Edmunds
  • "The audio and climate controls are logically arranged and marked. BMW's most recent iDrive system is straightforward enough. The uninitiated will be puzzled, but after a while it becomes second nature." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • "The integrated infotainment system has come a long way since its introduction in the 7 Series, and iDrive is more intuitive than ever." -- Autoblog (2011)

Cargo

The 2016 BMW X3 has 27.6 cubic feet of cargo space with its rear seats upright and 63.3 cubic feet with them folded. That's one of the highest overall cargo capacities in the class. However, a few critics wish there were more interior storage spaces and note that the rear seats don’t fold completely flat. A power liftgate is standard.

  • "The cargo area behind the rear seats measures 27.6 cubic feet, and total capacity with the rear seatbacks folded down is 63.3 cubic feet. Both are satisfactory numbers by class standards." -- Edmunds
  • "There's good rear legroom, and the generous cargo space expands by folding down the 2nd-row seatbacks." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The cargo area has compact-wagon floor space but SUV height. The rear seat backs fold without moving the headrests or flipping the lower cushion, but they don't rest completely flat. The optional 40/20/40 split-folding seat back is a nice convenience. Aside from large door pockets, interior storage is otherwise meager." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
Review Last Updated: 7/27/15

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