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2012 BMW X3: New Car Review Video

Editor’s note: You may also want to read Autotrader’s 2013, 2014 or 2015 BMW X3 review.


Amanda Salas: Whoever said first impressions are lasting impressions would have a hard time explaining how we feel about the new BMW X3. While the first generation was forgettable, the 2012 X3 has given us something worth remembering.

Craig Scime: The X3 is an entry-level five-passenger luxury crossover available in two trims, the xDrive28i and the xDrive35i.

Amanda: Compact, refined and well proportioned, the X3 is as dependable around town as it is enjoyable around the countryside.

Craig: Its weight is distributed almost equally over its front and rear axles, giving it great balance and sharp handling.

Amanda: The interior of this latest generation is much improved. The premium materials and the elegant styling of the dashboard layout are what BMW quality is all about.

Craig: You know, but it’s just too bad that desirable options like navigation add so much to the price.

Amanda: But you know what really impresses me is this commanding view here in the driver’s seat. BMW is definitely on target with that.

Craig: The tall seats and abundant glass provide excellent visibility all around.

Amanda: We also like the adult-size rear seats on the X3. A lot of compact crossovers skimp back there.

Craig: Unfortunately, the smallish cargo space with the rear seats folded is a disappointment. It really limits the X3’s versatility.

Amanda: With the all-wheel drive on the X3, it really zips through turns despite being comparatively tall for a crossover.

Craig: And off-road, the all-wheel drive reacts quickly to inclines and changes in road surface. I wouldn’t take it too far out back, but a little mud and gravel won’t bog this guy down.

Amanda: Of the two trims, our preference is the xDrive35i. It’s a real star attraction that turns in 0-to-60 times of 5.5 seconds.

Craig: You can thank its turbocharged three-liter inline 6-cylinder engine for that. It makes 300 horsepower, while the naturally aspirated three-liter inline-6 in the xDrive28i tops out at 240 horsepower.

Amanda: Both engines come with a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission that gives the X3 some respectable fuel economy numbers.

Craig: What’s interesting is that the turbocharged 35i outdoes the 28i in highway fuel economy.

Amanda: Pricing starts at $37,100 for the base xDrive28i. Expect to spend over $50,000 for a well-equipped xDrive35i with premium audio, navigation and sport seats.

Forget what you may have heard about the X3s of the past. The 2012 BMW X3 presents a smooth, refined and well-balanced ride.

Craig: Throw in the turbocharger, the Sport Activity package and navigation, and you’ve got the driver’s choice among entry-level luxury crossovers.

Find a 2012 BMW X3 for sale


Our editors are here to make car buying easier. We’ve driven, reviewed and compared thousands of cars. We’ve bought and sold more than our fair share, too. And as part of the sprawling Cox Automotive group of companies, we have exclusive access to a range of valuable data and insights. Whether you’re looking for the best car, the best deal or the best buying advice, you can trust... Read More about Autotrader

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