BMW continues to help set the pace in the compact luxury crossover class with the X3. It feels like this type of vehicle has been dominating the market for a long time, but the X3 has only be around for about 15 years. For 2019, it enters the second year of its third generation with no major changes.
Trim levels are once again xDrive30i and M40i, each built around its own engine.
xDrive30i uses a 2.0L turbo four-cylinder engine making 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. M40i trades that for a 3.0L turbo six-cylinder with 355 hp and 365 lb-ft. Both engines are matched with an eight-speed automatic transmission and BMW's xDrive AWD system.
With the X3, BMW takes on competitors from the usual quarters, including the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, Audi Q5, Cadillac XT5, Infiniti QX50, Acura RDX, Lexus RX and Volvo XC60. Newer comers include the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Porsche Macan and Jaguar F-Pace.
The recent rapid expansion of the compact luxury utility segment has seen automakers take varied approaches in appealing to shoppers. Lexus offers a smooth, thrifty hybrid version of its RX, while the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S is a 503-hp monster machine.
The BMW X3 instead plies the middle of the road. The xDrive30i is economical and comfortable, while the M40i sticks just a couple of fingers in the performance pie. It comes standard with an M Sport package that includes sport front seats, upgraded brakes, driver-adjustable adaptive suspension and a sport exhaust. It's entertaining enough, but if you're hoping for a compact analog to the 567-hp X5 M, you're out of luck.
Standard features include 19-inch wheels and tires, auto-dimming mirrors, LED headlights and fog lights, power-adjustable heated front seats, heated steering wheel, an alarm system, front and rear parking sensors, automatic climate control and a power tailgate. Lane departure warning and forward collision alert with automatic braking are standard.
The M40i's premium price goes mostly toward its extra performance, so among the few notable extras it adds is a set of 21-inch wheels.
Naturally, BMW invites you to pad the bottom line with numerous options. An advanced driver assistance pack brings a parking assistant with surround view exterior cameras, a leatherette dashboard, panoramic sunroof, M aerodynamics package, heated rear seats, navigation, ambient lighting, head-up display, passive keyless entry, Apple CarPlay and an integrated garage door opener.
BMW's fuel consumption estimates for the X3 are 10.8/8.0 L/100 km (city/highway) in the xDrive30i, and 11.9/8.7 for the M40i.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed