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2023 BMW X3: Choosing the Right Trim

With a total redesign expected in 2024, the 2023 BMW X3 returns with a few enhancements to its face. A redesigned bumper, kidney grille, and LED headlights lead the mild updates. Also, larger tailpipes peek out from below a redesigned rear bumper.

This 5-seat compact crossover SUV goes toe to toe with such rivals as the Audi Q5, Acura RDX, Cadillac XT4, and Lexus NX.

BMW separates the X3 into four trim levels: sDrive 30i, xDrive 30i, M40i, and M.

Although some content differences exist, the central defining element of the 30i, M40i, and the M is socked away under the hood. A turbocharged 4-cylinder mill propels the 30i versions, while the M40i delivers thrust through a turbocharged inline 6-cylinder mild-hybrid (MHEV) powertrain. The M relies on a turbocharged, gasoline-only inline-6. An 8-speed automatic transmission switches the cogs with all three engines.

Inside, you will find a 27-inch BMW Curved Display stretching across the instrument panel. A 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster claims 12.3 inches of it, while an infotainment touchscreen claims the rest. Providing the brains is the latest iDrive 8 operating system. BMW includes over-the-air (OTA) updates.

Every X3 trim comes with a bundle of safety and driver aid technologies. Among them are forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring with steering assist. Standard safety equipment also includes rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and front-rear park assist.

No matter the trim, the list of options and packages is long. Racking up a substantial bottom-line total is easy as you tick through the possibilities.

BMW builds the X3 in South Carolina.

2023 BMW X3 sDrive30i
(starting at $45,400, estimated)

The rear-wheel-drive (RWD) sDrive30i and the all-wheel-drive (AWD) xDrive30i make 248 horsepower with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. According to EPA estimates, the RWD model delivers 25 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving. Opting for AWD drops that number to 24 mpg.

Performance provides the primary difference in price from grade to grade. The 30i models are nearly as well equipped with safety and convenience features as the upper grades.

Standard are 19-inch bi-color alloy wheels, a power rear liftgate, hill-start assist, hill-descent assist, and heated, auto-dimming outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals. Also included are an auto-dimming rearview mirror, tri-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, and faux-leather seating. Rain-sensing wipers, a 40/20/40-split-folding rear seat, auto-on/off adaptive LED headlights, high-beam assist, and cruise control are standard, too.

Also worth mentioning is Brake Drying, which dries the rotors in wet weather.

Anchoring the infotainment system is the 14.9-inch touchscreen. A 12-speaker audio system, satellite-radio capability, navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are standard. You also get the “Hey, BMW” personal assistant, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

You may add a bevy of options and option packages to the standard features. For example, the $1,850 Convenience Package gains you proximity keyless entry and a panoramic sunroof. You can also pick up the panoramic sunroof as a $1,350 stand-alone option. A Parking Assistance Package ($700) adds Parking Assistant Plus, Active Park Distance Control, and a surround-view camera.

Adding the $995 destination fee to the sDrive30i base price brings the total to $46,395. With no money down, financing for 60 months at 3% interest works out to about $834 per month. See 2023 BMW X3 sDrive30i models for sale

2023 BMW X3 sDrive30i includes:

Adaptive front lights – These LED headlights swing with the front wheels to light the way around turns.

Auto-dimming mirrors – Using photosensors, these mirrors recognize bright headlights closing from behind, then automatically dim their reflections. Auto-dimming mirrors include the inside rearview and both outboard mirrors. The outboard mirrors are also heated and equipped with integrated turn signals.

Rain-sensing wipers – When moisture is sensed on the windshield, the wipers are engaged automatically. Wiper speed adjusts according to the volume of the rain.

2023 BMW X3 xDrive30i
(starting at $47,400, estimated)

The only substantive difference between the sDrive30i and the xDrive30i? The latter has intelligent AWD. It automatically shifts engine torque to the axle or wheels with grip when it senses wheel slippage.

Adding the destination fee to the xDrive30i base price equals $48,395. Financing for 60 months at 3% interest with no money down works out to a monthly payment of about $870. See 2023 BMW X3 xDrive30i models for sale

2023 BMW X3 M40i
(starting at $59,950, estimated)

Besides adding a panoramic sunroof, proximity keyless entry, and Live Cockpit Pro, the M40i is primarily a performance upgrade to the xDrive30i. AWD is standard.

The M40i sources its 382-hp thrust from a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 with mild-hybrid assist. Supplying the electric portion of the MHEV system is a 48-volt starter/generator that can deliver an extra 11 hp for short bursts. EPA combined fuel economy: 23 mpg.

To the xDrive30i, the M40i also adds M Sport Brakes with blue calipers, Adaptive M Suspension, and Performance Control. Performance Control is BMW-speak for torque vectoring, allowing the system to transfer torque across an axle to just one wheel. Variable sport steering, unique aluminum interior accents, an M steering wheel, and an aerodynamic kit are also standard.

A Shadowline Package is optional on the 30i models, but BMW makes it standard for the M40i. It consists of some blacked-out exterior elements.

The Parking Assistance Package is still available.

Adding the destination fee to the M40i base price totals $60,945. At 3% interest for 60 months, financing with no money down works out to roughly $1,095 per month. See 2023 BMW X3 M40i models for sale

2023 BMW X3 M40i includes:

Adaptive M Suspension – Monitoring the road conditions and driver input, this system changes the damping in milliseconds when conditions warrant. This rapid response enhances both handling and ride quality.

Live Cockpit Pro – By integrating information like speed, cruise control status, navigation, and other functions into the driver’s digital gauge display, this system allows the driver to spend more time watching the road.

Variable sport steering – This active steering system provides varying degrees of steering assist based on the vehicle’s speed. Low-speed maneuvers receive more, while turns at greater velocity get less.

2023 BMW X3 M
(starting at $72,900, estimated)

A 473-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 motivates the M model. AWD is standard. The EPA combined fuel economy of the X3 M is estimated at 17 mpg.

Adding the $7,000 Competition Package, featuring the M Sport exhaust, boosts the BMW X3 M to 503 hp and 60 mph in 3.9 seconds.

The X3 M enjoys most of the M40i standard content and options. BMW does douse it with enhanced steering, active damping, and AWD systems.

It also gets heated front seats, carbon-fiber trim, upgraded brakes with 4-piston front calipers, and vented and drilled rotors. Other standard items are adaptive cruise control and a Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system.

Optional is BMW’s Driving Assistance Professional Package ($1,700), a semi-autonomous driver-assistance system that can steer, brake, and accelerate the vehicle in certain conditions. The $2,500 M Drivers Package increases top speed to 177 mph and includes a 1-day course at a BMW Performance Driving Center.

Adding the $995 destination fee to the M base price brings the total to $73,895. With no money down, financing for 60 months at 3% interest works out to a monthly payment of approximately $1,328. See 2023 BMW X3 M models for sale

2023 BMW X3 M includes:

Available Driving Assistance Professional Package – Not only does this bundle include enhanced traffic-jam assist, but also Active Driving Assistant Pro. It’s a semi-autonomous system that aids the driver in accelerating, braking, and steering the vehicle under certain conditions.

Competition Package – This available package boosts horsepower by 30 ponies and increases torque from 457 lb-ft to 479 lb-ft.

Adaptive cruise control – Once you have engaged the system and set the speed, it will maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, braking and accelerating as needed.


Which 2023 BMW X3 trim level is the safest?

Boasting a perfect score of Good in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s six crash tests, the BMW X3 also provides a bundle of safety and driver-aid technologies. These include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring with steering assist, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and front and rear park assist.

What is the best 2023 BMW X3 trim level?

The 2023 BMW X3 sDrive30i is so well equipped that most drivers won’t need anything more. If you want AWD, then grab the xDrive30i.

Which 2023 BMW X3 trim level has the best mpg?

The nod goes to the RWD BMW X3 sDrive30i. With its turbocharged 4-cylinder, it delivers an estimated 23 mpg city/29 mpg highway/25 mpg combined. Picking the xDrive30i with AWD lowers the EPA fuel economy to 21 mpg/28 mpg/24 mpg.

While the X3 M40i delivers 21 mpg/26 mpg/23 mpg, the high-performance X3 M3 drops to 15 mpg/20 mpg/17 mpg. But there’s good news: Having the Competition Package on the M3 doesn’t affect EPA fuel economy.

Russ Heaps
Russ Heaps is an author specializing in automotive, financial and travel news. For nearly 35 years he has covered the automotive industry for newspapers, magazines and internet websites. His resume includes The Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald, The Washington Times and numerous other daily newspapers through syndication. He edited Auto World magazine, and helped create and edit NOPI Street... Read More about Russ Heaps

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