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BMW X3 Buyers Guide

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So you want to buy an X3. You’re in the right place! The BMW X3 has been around since 2004 and is one of the most popular SUVs on the market. With a wide variety of different models and options, it can be hard to narrow down which specific X3 you want to buy.

A huge part of that decision comes down to price range. There are 3 different models of X3: the xDrive28i, xDrive35i, and all-wheel-drive xDrive35d. Each model varies in price and performance, but there are some other factors you’ll want to consider before making your final decision.


The X3 is offered in three different trims: the xDrive28i, xDrive35i and xDrive35d. All X3 models include a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine mated to either an eight-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual.

Traction control, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes and side airbags are optionally included for all trim levels. The xDrive28i comes standard with 18-inch wheels and an automatic transmission, while the other two trims are equipped with 19-inch wheels and an automatic transmission by default. The xDrive35i includes 20-inch wheels, xenon headlights and heated seats as standard features. The xDrive35d also includes an automatic transmission, but it comes with 18-inch wheels as standard equipment instead of 19-inch wheels like the other two trims.

Eight Speed Automatic Gearbox

The eight-speed automatic gearbox is an electro-mechanical automatic transmission, built by ZF Friedrichshafen.

The BMW X3 eight speed automatic gearbox is the second generation of ZF’s 8HP transmission. The new generation 8-speed was first introduced in the latest generation BMW 5 Series (F10), in which it also serves as the only transmission option. However, like its predecessor, it can be found in many other models, including the BMW 7 Series (F01/F02) and the MINI Paceman (X7).

The BMW X3 eight speed automatic gearbox has been universally acclaimed for its excellent shift quality and smoothness. Most reviewers agree that the 8HP is one of the best automatics available today.

The 8HP does not have a torque converter, and is thus much more suitable for stop-start city traffic, where engine braking is employed to slow down at a traffic light or roundabout. In comparison to a conventional automatic transmission with torque converter, there is no interruption in drive power while stopping and starting, resulting in reduced fuel consumption. Another advantage over a torque converter automatic is that initial engine braking is much stronger, making it easier to hold a steady speed on downhill gradients.

Diesel Model

The xDrive28d comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine that can produce up to 180 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. This engine delivers a better fuel economy than the gas engine but is slightly slower to accelerate. It comes standard with an 8-speed sports automatic transmission and an all-wheel drive.

Petrol Models

The xDrive28i comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that can produce up to 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard with an 8-speed sport automatic transmission and an all-wheel-drive system that enhances handling by sending power to the wheels that need it most.

Standard features on the BMW RANGE include 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic moonroof, HD radio and Bluetooth wireless technology. There are also several optional packages available for this model, including the Cold Weather Package that adds heated front seats and a ski bag for the roof rack.

The BMW X3 XDRIVE35I is a tough vehicle to categorize, but it makes the perfect crossover SUV for driving enthusiasts. It’s not an off-road vehicle, but the X3 can handle any weather condition with ease. The X3 gets great gas mileage and offers ample passenger and cargo space. While all X3 models feature all-wheel drive, the XDRIVE35I comes standard with all-wheel steering, which makes the handling even sharper. This model comes equipped with a 3.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine that puts out 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. The engine comes paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission that enables the vehicle to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 5 seconds. It has a BMW RANGE-estimated fuel economy of 21/29 mpg city/highway.

Hybrid Models

The X3 Hybrid comes with a 3.0 liter twin turbocharged 6-cylinder engine that can be driven by either a 5-speed automatic or an 8-speed automatic transmission depending on your choice of drivetrain (handbrake). Fuel economy is 21/28 mpg city/highway, which is comparable to other vehicles in the gas/electric crossover class like the Lexus RX 400h, Cadillac SRX V8, Acura MDX V6 and Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine.

Is X3 spacious?

Yes. The X3 is definitely spacious. With the rear seats up, it has more cargo room than most crossovers, and its rear seats are removable for even more space.

The X3 has three rows of seating, though the third row is best left to very small children or cargo. It’s fairly easy to get into the back seat, but there’s not a lot of legroom. The X3 doesn’t have a third-row seat, which is standard in many luxury SUVs, but it does offer an option for a ski pass-through system that most rivals lack.

Overall, the X3 is one of the roomiest vehicles in its class.

How big is the boot space on a BMW X3?

The boot space on a BMW X3 is between 535 and 625 litres, depending on the exact model. If you’re looking to buy a BMW X3, you’ll need to decide whether you want a two- or four-wheel drive car, as this will affect the size of the boot space.

Taller passengers might prefer the extra legroom offered by the four-wheel drive cars.

The 2015 BMW X3 2.0d has a boot capacity of 535 litres with all seats in place, which is towards the lower end of the scale for cars in this class. The volume increases to 625 litres with the rear seats down, allowing increased luggage capacity if you have bulky items that won’t fit in smaller spaces.

The Nissan Qashqai has one of the smallest boot capacities in this class, with just 408 litres available with all seats up and 868 litres with them down.

The Mercedes GLA 250 has a more generous boot capacity of 740 litres when all seats are installed and 1,520 litres when they are folded down. This is one of the highest capacities in this class, along with the Ford Kuga 2WD and Volvo XC60 2WD models.

How big is a BMW X3 inside?

The driver sits up high in the cabin, which offers good visibility. The front seats offer good support and comfort. The rear seats aren’t very roomy and the rear doors don’t open very wide or swing up very high, making it difficult for passengers to get in and out of the backseat.

The second row of seats folds down for extra storage space when needed, but the cushion for this seat can’t be removed like some competitors’ cushions can.

Is BMW X3 big enough for the family? 

The short answer is yes — the BMW X3 is large enough for a small family. That said, the X3 won’t be big enough for everyone, particularly if your kids are pre-teens or teens.


The BMW X3 is a modern, authoritative car incorporating a slim LED headlight with integrated rear air intake – vents and rear air intakes with a new kidney grille.

Passenger and interior space in the BMW X3 are competitive against rivals

4.0 out of five 4.0 out of 5 5.0 out of five 4.0 out of 5. The plug-in hybrid also has fewer spaces than the standard seven seater.

What’s it like to drive?

BMWs diesel engines are quiet yet powerful enough to pass traffic in low traffic although petrol models are very expensive to run.


You have an excellent view from the rear of your BMW with the high-speed BMW x3 and their fairly thin front door pillars and windshield do not create any awkward blind points at junctions. Compared in its class, the BMW X3 is easy to travel. Light steering and an extremely tight traction radius are good reasons. It also makes parking relatively straightforward, as all model vehicles come with rear parking sensors and reverse cameras as well as a self-parking device. You could buy a new vehicle called Parking Assistant Plus.

Performance and economy

The BMW X3 has two diesel engines and two electric motors, and an electric hybrid. Typically each model has four-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Choose a petrol 2-litre vehicle when travelling in cities with lots of people. Buying this car is much cheaper and (at slower speeds) quiet. This car will give a claimed 38.8% mpg, however it should get around 30 mpg at most. If you travel many motorway trips or travel frequently then choose an alternative diesel model.

How practical is it?

It is a good choice for four adults and the rear seat raises to the top, meaning that other options may be more convenient.

Boot space

The BMW X3 is packed with a total of 555 cubic meters, which is exactly as much as it does for the Mercedes GLC and Audi. The fully flat floors of BMW allow for quick loading and easy access of large items, and its wide square opening is easy. It has two netted cubbys and elastic straps on either side of the shoe. There is a flip-out hook for shopping for the groceries to secure the items. Lift the shoeboard and you’ll have plenty of space for two small soft bags or even a small backpack for your car. The floor comes with a sturdy self-supporting frame and is positioned in an enclosed compartment to keep the load covered.

Passenger space

It offers enough room for your back seat – even for those that are tall. All SE vehicles except those with entry-level seating have standard-fit sports seats that secure your position and not feel too stiff. Lumbar support is expensive across a range of BMW models. This can also be obtained as a Premium Package with electric seating control but this is quite expensive. Fortunately, this new version features handy memory function which allows you to easily bring the seat back to the best possible position when allowing someone else to borrow.

Storage space

Each BMW X3 has plenty of convenient luggage containers that will keep your car clean. The front doors have a capacity of 1.5L each and a larger glove box is able to fit another 1l bottle. The camera storage is safe under the arm rests and you can receive additional wireless charging from the rear and the dashboard. The rear doors are the same size as the front doors with a second storage bin underneath a bottle holder. It also has a fold-away front seat with 2 built-in hidden cup holder, so it fits small bottles / drinks apiece.


BMW boosted its design with styling enhancements while boosting equipment and the on-board connectivity. Its main features include a smooth and elegant SUV that handles nicely and is big inside. A powerful 30d engine also exists, but it’s more affordable and cheaper than a diesel engine. BMW’s latest offering is full electric.

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