Strong and efficient engines; generous passenger and cargo space for the segment; doesn't shortchange you on equipment; involving M40i mode
Disappointing steering for a sport-oriented model; M40i's ride can get tiresome on poor pavement
The BMW X3 was completely redesigned for 2018.See the 2018 BMW X3 models for sale near you
Most shoppers should look to the xDrive30i -- there's definitely no shame in going for this base model. Keeping an eye open for cars equipped with one (or both) of the Driver Assistance packages is recommended, as is going for those with Apple CarPlay and the space-saver spare tire.
The 2018 BMW X3 is available in xDrive30i and M40i models, each of which come with different engines (see above).
Standard equipment on the xDrive30i includes 18-inch wheels, automatic LED headlights, LED fog lights, a power lift gate, power-folding heated mirrors, automatic wipers, auto-dimming rearview and driver's-side mirrors, a rearview camera, selectable driving modes, tri-zone automatic climate control, 8-way power front seats with power-adjustable bolsters and driver memory functions, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 40/20/40-split folding and reclining back seat, SensaTec premium vinyl upholstery, the iDrive electronics interface (a central display and center console button-knob controller), two USB ports and a 12-speaker sound system with a CD player, a media player interface and HD Radio.
The optional Convenience Tier adds adaptive bi-LED headlights, proximity entry and push-button start, a panoramic sunroof, 4-way adjustable lumbar support and satellite radio. The Premium Tier includes everything from the Convenience Tier plus a head-up display, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, integrated navigation and smartphone-based remote services. The Executive Tier includes everything from the other tiers plus an all-digital instrument display, Gesture Control (allows you to operate a small number of infotainment functions by waving your fingers around in the air) and the Parking Assistance package (a surround-view parking camera, enhanced front and rear parking sensors and an automated parking system).
The M40i adds a more powerful engine, a sport exhaust, 19-in wheels, upgraded brakes, a sport-tuned suspension and steering, special M Sport styling, automatic high beams, front and rear parking sensors, a SensaTec-trimmed dashboard and everything from the Convenience Tier except satellite radio.
Both models are available with a number of packages and standalone options. The Driving Assistance package adds blind spot monitoring and lane-departure warning. The Driving Assistance Plus package can then be added on top of that, and it includes adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. The Parking Assistance package is also available separately.
The M40i's Premium package is basically the same as the 30i's Premium Tier, but it requires you to pay extra for heated and rear seats. Its Executive package is also similar to its 30i Tier counterpart and requires the selection of the Premium package.
Many of the above options can be added as standalone options (one of the many reasons special-ordering your BMW is a good idea). Additional standalone options include a space-saver spare tire, ventilated front seats, rear sunshades, wireless smartphone charging, Apple CarPlay and a Harman Kardon sound system. Each is also available with an adaptive suspension, although their tuning differs by model.
|Basic||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||12 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||4 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Maintenance||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class -- The GLC is arguably more stylish and overtly luxurious than the BMW, while challenging its credentials as a performance machine. Definitely one to cross-shop.
2018 Audi Q5 -- The Q5 stands out with impressive in-car technology and a generally well-rounded package. It's perhaps not as sexy as other choices, but it also has few faults.
2018 Volvo XC60 -- The fashionable new entry in the segment goes about things a bit differently in most regards, from its engine choices to its tall, vertically oriented touchscreen interface.
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio -- If you're looking at the X3 for its ability to engage and thrill behind the wheel, the new Alfa Romeo Stelvio will probably tickle your fancy more. It's a bit rough around the engines, but the fun might be worth it.
Used Porsche Macan -- Though you can get a new Macan for about the same price as a new X3, it won't be as well-equipped. As such, a used or certified pre-owned version could be sought after for a truly superior driving experience that lives up to the Porsche name.