BMW X3 variants
Total price
Monthly payment
Figures are based on a 20% deposit

Finance representative example (PCP)

Total cash price £28,999. Borrowing £23,199 with a £5,800 deposit at a representative APR of 9.9%.

49 monthly payments
£340.44
Fixed interest rate
9.9%
Total amount payable
£36,319.23
Cost of credit
£7,320.23
Optional final payment
£14,178.00
Annual mileage limit
6000 miles

BMW X3 buying guide

There’s no seven-seat option like you get in the larger X5, but there’s still lots of room for adults to stretch out or to persuade kids to settle into their car seats. The engine lineup features smooth and efficient petrol and diesel options, or you can choose the rapid X3 M40i or M40d if you fancy a great all-rounder that can also scare you silly when you floor it. Find out all you need to know about this posh all-round SUV, read on for more info on each trim level so you can pick the version that’s right for you.

What BMW X3 trim levels are there?

There are three trim levels available for the X3, plus a special high-end specification for speedy M40i and M40d models.

Entry-level X3s come in SE trim. This includes alloy wheels, LED headlights, three-zone climate control, cruise control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, and an infotainment system with DAB radio, Bluetooth, and included Apple CarPlay as standard from mid-2019 onwards, with Android Auto joining later in 2020.

Mid-range models come in xLine spec. This adds larger alloy wheels, satin aluminium and chrome styling details, a larger fuel tank and front sports seats.

M Sport is BMW’s sporty trim level similar to Audi’s S Line. M Sport cars get sportier-looking alloys and meaner body kit, a larger infotainment touchscreen and sports suspension.

BMW X3 interior and technology

The X3 gets all the premium touches you’d expect from a BMW inside. Every model comes with leather upholstery and a neat, driver-focused dashboard, and BMW has resisted the temptation to hide the heater and air-con controls behind the touchscreen, which makes them easier to adjust on the move. 

BMW’s iDrive infotainment system is easily one of the best you can get, with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface and a responsive screen. There is a small blemish on its record, however, because BMW was one of the last carmakers to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for free. Nearly new X3 models built from July 2016 onwards will include Apple CarPlay for free if they had CarPlay preparation fitted as an option – this might need to be activated by a BMW dealership. If the car didn’t have CarPlay preparation fitted, you might need to get a third-party retrofit unit. Android Auto started fitment from 2020 onwards. Please check with your Motorpoint sales representative if you want to know which smartphone interfaces are available on a particular vehicle.

While the X3 isn’t the largest SUV BMW makes – you’ll want the beefier X5 or X7 for that – but it’s still a really practical choice for families with loads of space in all five seats. Head and legroom for all passengers is generous, with the only limit coming in the form of tight elbow room if you fit three adults across the rear row. Boot space is also great, with a wide and square load area that can tackle around three large suitcases if you pack carefully.

BMW X3 engine range explained

(Most popular) BMW X3 xDrive20d diesel

Diesel engines are popular in the X3 lineup and the entry-level unit makes a good all-round choice. It’s a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder unit that makes 190hp, giving the X3 a 0-62mph time of  eight seconds, meaning it won’t feel strained when overtaking on the motorway. Average economy can rise as high as 52mpg if you drive gently.

BMW X3 xDrive30d diesel

If you want long-distance diesel cruising ability but fancy a bit more power, take a look at the xDrive30d. This swaps in a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder turbodiesel engine, bringing a significant boost up to 265hp and dropping the 0-62mph time to a hot-hatch-rivalling 5.8 seconds. Efficiency falls to a still-respectable 45mpg.

BMW X3 M40d diesel

If you want to beat most hot hatches, rather than simply keeping up with them, check out the X3 M40d. This borrows some of the high-performance know-how from BMW’s M division to turn this model into a seriously sporty SUV. Power from the 3.0-litre engine rises to 326hp, dropping the 0-62mph sprint to less than five seconds.

BMW X3 xDrive20i petrol

For drivers that don’t drive large annual mileages, BMW’s smooth petrol engines also make a great choice. The entry-level version is the xDrive20i, which is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder making 184hp. The 0-62mph run takes 8.3 seconds, which is probably more than enough for most drivers.

BMW X3 M40i petrol

If you like the idea of a high-performance X3, but don’t need or want a diesel, there’s also the M40i – the fastest X3 you can buy short of the full-beans X3 M. With 344hp on tap, this 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine will launch the X3 M40i to 62mph from a standstill in 4.8 seconds, meaning this model will really throw you back into your seat if you pin it on a motorway slip road.

Your BMW X3 questions answered

X3 models come in one form only and it’s a five-door SUV with a hatchback opening for the boot. If you don’t need quite as much space, there’s the sportier X4, which has a swoopy coupe roofline or, if you’re need seven seats, the larger BMW X5 offers them as an option. Alternatively, if you like the idea of a BMW SUV but would like something smaller or more affordable, there’s also the BMW X1 and its sportier sister car, the X2.

If you’re shopping for X3s, you might also want to have a look at competitors including the Mercedes GLCAudi Q5Volvo XC60 and Lexus NX.

The X3 isn’t the largest SUV BMW makes but it’s still reasonably large at slightly over 4.7 metres long. That places it within a few millimetres of the Mercedes GLC, Audi Q5, Volvo XC60 and Lexus NX. While it won’t squeeze into tight parking spaces like the tiniest of city cars, it feels a little easier to thread through tight urban areas than the larger X5.

There’s lots of room in each of the X3’s passenger seats, although the centre rear occupant will be brushing elbows with those in the outer seats. The boot is similarly impressive – easily able to accommodate two large suitcases and a few soft bags depending on how tightly you pack – plus, the cargo area is wide, tall and square, with a low boot opening making it easier to load heavy items.

To live up to BMW’s billing of the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’, even entry-level X3s come with reasonably powerful turbocharged engines, grippy four-wheel drive and a slick eight-speed automatic gearbox. Upgraded engines simply offer more power if you want a bit of a thrill when you put your foot down.

Yes. Every X3 model sold in the UK comes with BMW's xDrive four-wheel-drive system as standard. Other markets beyond our shores still get rear-wheel-drive sDrive options, but these haven't been offered in the UK for several years.

Whether your BMW powers two wheels or all four, you can drive with confidence all-year round if you fit winter tyres over the colder months. These give you substantially more grip in chilly and slippery conditions.

No. The X3 is only offered in a five-seat layout. That means two front seats and three across the rear bench.

If you want seven seats in your Bavarian SUV, you'll need to step up to the BMW X5, where they're available as an option.

BMW's performance in reliability surveys has improved recently, with most reports putting it a little higher than fellow German rivals Audi and Mercedes for dependability.

Nevertheless, it's a premium car with lots of on-board features, so there are more potential points of failure compared with a simpler, more affordable car.

You can add an extended warranty to your X3 when you buy it for greater peace of mind. This will protect you from unexpected repair costs arising from mechanical or electrical failures.

The X3 is a posh SUV from a premium manufacturer. That means you should expect to pay more for both replacement parts and servicing than you would for a cheaper car from a mass-market manufacturer. This surcharge is typical of upmarket brands including Audi and Mercedes.

It's worth spending the money to keep your X3 in tip-top condition, however. That's because a model with missed services and ignored maintenance will be worth much less when you resell it, leaving thousands of pounds of the car's value on the table.

The X3 makes an excellent tow car thanks to its strong engines, hefty weight and standard-fit four-wheel drive. All versions can pull at least 2,000kg, making them more than a match for even large caravans. Some versions built before 2021 with the larger engine options can haul as much as 2,400kg.

If your child seats use the Isofix mounting system, you won't be able to fit three in the X3 as it only has mounting points on the two outer rear seats. Even if you use a non-Isofix seat in the centre, it'll be a squeeze to fit three units across the rear row.

Check out our list of the best cars that fit three car seats for a selection of models that are better suited to this task.