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  • John Diether
    Automotive Editor - May 13, 2015

    2016 BMW X3 OVERVIEW

    The BMW of compact crossovers, the X3 brings athletic road manners to a class that's focused mainly on efficiency and utility. The X3 does pretty well in those departments, too, making it a compelling lifestyle vehicle for couples and small families.

    What's New For 2016

    Six-cylinder models get a premium Harman Kardon sound system as standard equipment.

    BMW X3

    Choosing Your BMW X3

    The X3 starts out with a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder good for 240 horsepower. The engine can be paired with rear-wheel drive or BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system, which comes standard with the optional diesel and six-cylinder engines.

    The diesel version of the 2-liter puts out 180 horsepower and achieves 30 mpg in combined driving. The range-topping choice, a 3-liter six-cylinder turbo, delivers 300 horsepower for class-leading performance. All engines are joined by an eight-speed automatic transmission.

    The X3 can accommodate up to 63 cubic-feet of cargo, about what you would expect in a crossover of this size.

    Like most BMWs, the standard equipment on any X3 won't impress many luxury buyers. Its four trim levels correspond mainly to engine and drive type:

    • sDrive28i: Equipped with the 2-liter turbo and rear-wheel drive, plus a power tailgate, power seats in premium vinyl, Bluetooth phone and audio, BMW's iDrive electronics interface, a 12-speaker sound system with HD radio, and wood interior trim.
    • xDrive28i: Adds all-wheel drive with hill descent control.
    • xDrive28d: Same as above, but with the diesel engine.
    • xDrive35i:Carries the six-cylinder engine, plus adaptive xenon headlamps, LED running lights, a panoramic sunroof and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system.

    Any X3 can be outfitted with one of two trim lines:

    • The xLine features aluminum exterior trim and lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels.
    • The M Sport line comes with sport seats, 19-inch double-spoke wheels, and specific interior and exterior trim.

    Most other options are grouped into packages. The popular Premium Package includes leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof (standard on the xDrive35i), keyless ignition, a hands-free tailgate and satellite radio. The Cold Weather package gets you heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel and retractable headlamp washers.

    The Technology package includes a head-up display, integrated smartphone apps and a navigation system (also available separately). For enhanced stability when hitting the curves, the Dynamic Handling adds adaptive suspension dampers and a revised power steering system.

    The Driver Assistance Package equips the X3 with a rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors, while Driver Assistance Plus tacks on a surround-view camera system, active collision mitigation, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning. Adaptive cruise control can be added to the package at additional cost. Rounding out your choices are upgraded exterior lighting for each model and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system.

    CarsDirect Tip

    With the available trim lines and rich option packages, it's remarkably easy to add $10,000 or more to the X3's price. We recommend starting with the Premium package and prioritizing additional selections based on your budget and driving habits.

    Get your price on a BMW X3 »

    Read our review on the BMW X3 »

    BMW X3 Rear

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