3/4 Front Glamour 2013 BMW X3

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Expert's Rating


MPG 20 City / 27 Highway
  • Strong acceleration with six-cylinder engine
  • Sharp handling
  • Decent fuel economy
  • High-grade interior
  • Ride may be too firm for some
  • Expensive for its class
BMW's X3 is a 4-door crossover SUV - it seats five with plenty of rear cargo space, although it's slightly smaller than the X5. It's all-wheel drive, with BMW's 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission, which BMW claims is just as efficient as a manual transmission .The X3 also gains fuel efficiency from twin-screw turbochargers, a variable valve timing system, automatic engine start-stop at idle, and regenerative braking to help charge the battery.


The X3 is lauded for its excellent handling, combining a nimble feel with stable footing in a variety of road conditions. The xDrive system uses dynamic stability control to monitor slippage and change the amount of power sent to each axle. The 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes are also dynamically controlled.

See our picks for best crossovers in the CarsDirect Crossover Buying Guide.

Safety features include front and side airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags for the entire cabin, hill descent control, and run-flat tires with tire pressure monitoring. There’s no shortage of comfort and convenience features, with 8-way power front seats, leatherette upholstery, climate control, rain-sensing wipers and a power tailgate.

The 12-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo system has an adaptor for iPods and other USB devices. The 3-spoke steering wheel includes audio controls and Bluetooth for hands-free phone use. Other cabin controls are managed with BMW’s iDrive system.

The BMW X3 offers luxury and quality with more cargo space than a sedan and enough power to do light work. It’s better suited to long-distance cruising than serious hauling.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 BMW X3
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2013 BMW X3 xDrive28i

Recommended for: People who want to drive around town in a stylish compact SUV that gets decent mileage

The 28i comes equipped with a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine, boosted by BMW’s TwinPower turbocharger to generate 240-hp. It gets 21 mpg in city driving and 28 mpg on the highway. Other than the 28i badging, there’s little to distinguish it from the 35i on the exterior. The interior sports matte silver trim.

2013 BMW X3
Starting price

2013 BMW X3 xDrive35i

Recommended for: People who want more horsepower in a compact SUV

The twin turbo, 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder engine in the 35i gives it 300-hp.The added power reduces mileage to 19 mpg (city) and 26 mpg (highway). This version of the X3 gains style points by adding adaptive headlights, wood trim in the interior, and a moonroof with automatic slide and lift controls.

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