New Car Review

2020 BMW X3 Review

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2020 BMW X3 xDrive30i
New 2020 BMW X3
MSRP $50,985
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2020 BMW X3 M40i
New 2020 BMW X3
MSRP $64,320
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2020 BMW X3 M40i
New 2020 BMW X3
MSRP $64,170
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2020 BMW X3 M40i
New 2020 BMW X3
MSRP $64,120
RELATED READING
See all BMW X3 articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Karma cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs MAZDA cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader September 2019

The 2020 BMW X3 secures its place in the upper tier of premium compact crossovers class by adding even more standard equipment. In addition to being remarkably spacious and comfortable compared to its rivals, the 2020 X3 has that certain something about BMWs that appeals to drivers. The vehicle offers a selection of great engines, its cabin is a mix of quality materials and subtle luxury and the options list includes some of the latest technology.

This review deals with the third model year of the second X3 generation. There's also a 2020 BMW X3 M with 473 hp, which is reviewed separately. Admittedly, the X3 is priced on the high end, but it's still in the same fiscal ballpark as the best of the rest.

What's New for 2020?

A one-year subscription to Apple CarPlay smartphone integration is now included as standard. BMW's Live Cockpit Plus (digital driver information display) with navigation is also now standard along with LED headlights, the Connected Plus package (which features greater communication between the car and the user's iPhone) and the Galvanic Package (a cosmetic treatment for some controls). The M40i version has a more feature-rich configuration of the Live Cockpit and Connected setups. FSee the 2020 BMW X3 models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Strong and efficient engines
  • Plenty of passenger and cargo space for the segment
  • Generous standard equipment
  • The engaging M40i

What We Don't

  • Options are pricey
  • M40i's ride quality can be affected by poor pavement
  • No Android Auto

How Much?

$42,945 to $56,895

Fuel Economy

X3 models ending with 30i have a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The sDrive version employs rear-wheel drive, and the xDrive has power going to all four wheels.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the sDrive30i's fuel consumption at 25 miles per gallon in the city, 29 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg for combined driving. The xDrive30i achieves 24 mpg city/29 mpg hwy/26 mpg combined. The M40i has a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 engine that produces 355 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque, which goes to all four wheels. Despite the increase in power for this model, fuel consumption isn't much worse at 21 mpg city/27 mpg highway/23 mpg combined.

All X3 variants have an 8-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and a launch mode. Their engines feature an automatic stop/start function that can be turned off to save fuel as it idles. Active grille shutters help with the aerodynamics and allow the engine to reach its optimal operating temperature in the shortest possible time.

Standard Features & Options

The 2020 BMW X3 is available in sDrive30i, xDrive30i and M40i configurations.

The sDrive30i ($42,945) comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights/daytime running lights/fog lights, roof rails, a powered tailgate, power-folding/heated side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, self-dimming rearview and driver-side mirrors, selectable driving modes, tri-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power-adjustable front seats (including bolsters) with driver-side memory settings, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dark oak wood trim, 40/20/40-split folding and reclining rear seats, simulated leather upholstery, an all-digital instrument display, navigation, parking sensors in the front and rear, forward-collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, an iDrive electronics interface (featuring an 8.8-in infotainment touchscreen and a button-knob controller in the center console), two USB ports, a 12-speaker audio system and HD radio.

The xDrive30i ($44,945) has the same equipment but adds AWD with hill descent control. An optional Convenience package adds keyless entry/ignition, a panoramic sunroof, 4-way adjustable lumbar support and satellite radio. The Premium package includes a heads-up display, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and more sophisticated smartphone-based remote services.

The Executive package includes everything from the Premium package plus gesture control (which allows some infotainment functions to be controlled by hand movements), Parking Assistance with a 360-degree camera system, enhanced front/rear parking sensors, and an automated parking feature, ambient cabin lighting and automatic high beams.

The M40i ($56,895) adds the more powerful engine, sport exhaust, 19-in alloy wheels, upgraded brakes, a sport-tuned suspension, variable-ratio steering, a special M Sport styling, automatic high beams, 14-way power-adjustable front sport seats, hands-free tailgate operation, and everything from the Convenience package.

The M40i's Premium package is essentially the same as the 30i's counterpart, but heated seats in the front and rear cost extra. The Executive package is similar and requires the Premium package selection.

All three models are eligible for a number of packages and individual options. The Driving Assistance package adds blind spot monitoring and lane-departure warning. The Driving Assistance Plus package can be added on top of that to bring adaptive cruise control with stop/go, active lane-keeping assistance, Traffic Jam assistance, front cross-traffic alerting and evasive action assistance. The Parking Assistance package is also available separately.

Many extras can be added individually, which is one of several reasons why special-ordering a BMW is a good idea. Other options include a space-saving spare tire, ventilated front seats, rear sunshades, wireless smartphone charging, wi-fi and a Harman Kardon 16-speaker surround-sound system. X3s may also come with adaptive suspension, although tuning differs by model.

Safety

Every X3 comes standard with anti-lock brakes that automatically dry the pads in wet weather plus front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and BMW Assist eCall emergency services, which includes automatic crash notification and an emergency services request button.

The X3 has not yet been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the X3 its highest accolade of Top Safety Pick Plus after it earned maximum scores in every major category.

Behind the Wheel

Imagine a spectrum of chassis tuning and suspension setups that has "comfort" at one end and "sporty" at the other. Recent BMW vehicles have generally tended toward comfort where they were once decidedly closer to the sporty end. There's still enough capability for an enthusiast to exploit -- it's just not quite as obvious as with some BMW cars of old.

The upside is that the X3 can be a pleasant companion for day-to-day duties, but it doesn't suddenly turn sloppy when road conditions become more interesting. The entry level 4-cylinder engine has plenty of punch, and most drivers won't need more. However, the M40i is naturally the most thrilling variant thanks to its potent engine, warbling exhaust note and sharper handling. It has a blistering 0-to-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds, but it's only thirstier than the xDrive30i by a couple mpg. It doesn't cope with rough roads quite as well, though.

The X3's cabin offers generous rear passenger space as well as reclining rear seats. The lower cushions are set at a comfortable distance from the floor. The cargo area also enjoys a relatively square and functional space. Its maximum cargo volume of 62.7 cubic feet is among the segment's best -- as is its 28.7 cubic feet of space with the rear seats in place.

The interior quality and construction are top-notch, even if the design isn't as overtly stylish or luxurious as those of its rivals. The relationship between the driver and the controls and switchgear is harmonious and well-considered, especially with regard to BMW's latest iDrive infotainment system.

Other Cars to Consider

2020 Acura RDX - The new Acura RDX is roomy and comes with a lot of equipment for the money, including many advanced safety features.

2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio - The new Alfa Romeo Stelvio looks the part and drives the part. It's not as spacious as the X3, though.

2020 Audi Q5/SQ5 - The latest Audi Q5 has a well-rounded and stylish package with impressive technology, and the SQ5 is particularly tempting.

2020 Jaguar F-Pace - The Jaguar F-Pace has plenty of passenger and cargo space contained in its a well-designed body. The engines and suspension are also at the top of the class.

2020 Lexus NX - The 2020 Lexus NX is nicely put together, has a well-stocked interior and offers pleasant driving manners. A hybrid version is also available.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class - The GLC-Class is arguably more stylish and luxurious than the X3. The 385-hp AMG GLC 43 is a direct rival to the M40i. The vehicle has been updated for 2020 as well.

2020 Volvo XC60 - The 2020 XC60 has smart, elegant styling inside and out in addition to several attractive safety features.

Used Porsche Macan - The Porsche Macan handles more like a sport sedan than a crossover, and its styling is decidedly upscale. See if a certified pre-owned model fits your budget.

Autotrader's Advice

With 248 hp and AWD, the X3 xDrive30i has sufficient power and sure-footedness to have a broad appeal -- the slightly higher fuel consumption is negligible. Try to add as many driver-assistance features as you can to take advantage of the vehicle's strengths. Find a BMW X3 for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2020 BMW X3 xDrive30i
New 2020 BMW X3
MSRP $50,985
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2020 BMW X3 M40i
New 2020 BMW X3
MSRP $64,320
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2020 BMW X3 M40i
New 2020 BMW X3
MSRP $64,170
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2020 BMW X3 M40i
New 2020 BMW X3
MSRP $64,120
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2020 BMW X3 Review - Autotrader
×