The BMW X3 is a compact crossover that now slots into BMW’s rapidly growing crossover lineup among six other SUVs — ranging from the tiny X1 to the sporty X6. But back when the X3 first debuted, BMW’s crossover lineup consisted of just two models: the X3 and the X5. The X3 was the entry-level model, so BMW decided to do what they usually did back then with entry-level versions: offer a stick shift.
Yes, you could get a BMW X3 with a manual transmission, and this is one such example of the vehicle. It’s a 2004 X3 2.5i, the base model from the car’s original year, and it has a 6-speed manual in the middle instead of the regular automatic. BMW dropped the 2.5i model after the 2004 model year, meaning this is the only year you could get it — but the manual carried the torch, as BMW also offered it in the more powerful X3 3.0i version that was sold until 2010. Unfortunately, virtually no one chose to get it.
There aren’t many manual X3 or X5 models on Autotrader, but this one looks pretty nice. It’s offered with 129,000 miles from Boise Auto Arena in Boise, Idaho; its Carfax report shows an accident in 2006, but no incidents since. It’s listed for $6,030, which strikes me as a pretty good price for an especially unique and rare car.
Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.