Joel Patel
Automotive Editor - November 30, 2017


BMW’s well-known X3 compact crossover has been drawing sales away from the German automaker’s extensive lineup of sedans for many years now. The all-new 2018 model will look to keep that up. With two new engines, an M Performance model, and new exterior and interior styling, the 2018 BMW X3 emphasizes its sporty character in a segment that’s mostly known for utility.

What's New for 2018

The 2018 BMW X3 is an all-new model, kicking off the third generation of the crossover.

Choosing Your BMW X3

Despite sharing the same displacement as the outgoing model’s motors, the new X3 features brand new engines that are more powerful. The base engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four that produces 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The engine makes eight more horsepower than the old turbocharged engine. Thanks to an eight-speed automatic transmission, zero to 60 miles per hour takes just six seconds, while SUVs with the engine have a top speed of 130 mph.

The more powerful X3 M40i trim, which is the first M Performance variant of the X3 crossover ever made, features a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six paired to the eight-speed automatic that generates 355 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The engine produces 55 more horsepower than the previous generation’s 3.0-liter motor. With a top speed of 155 mph and a zero-to-60-mph time of just 4.6 seconds, the new M40i trims boast sports-car-like performance.

While being sportier than before, the X3 still focuses on providing consumers with usable performance. The crossover has up to 62.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity, which is a little bit more than its other luxury-oriented competitors. BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system is now standard, giving the crossover all-year capability. The all-wheel-drive system has been updated to work hand-in-hand with Dynamic Stability Control, allowing the crossover to be able to split the engine’s power to all four wheels.

The X3 is available in two trims: the xDrive30i and M40i.

The entry-level X3 xDrive30i starts at $43,445 (including the $995 destination charge) and is powered by the four-cylinder engine. Standard exterior features include: 18-inch wheels, LED fog lights, LED headlights, heated and power-folding exterior mirrors, a roof spoiler, chrome exhaust tips, and satin aluminum roof rails.

On the inside, the xDrive30i comes with: SensaTec upholstery, 10-way power front sport seats, Dark Oak Wood trim, a three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rearview camera, three-zone climate control, an automatic-dimming interior rearview mirror, a power tailgate, and ambient lighting.

The xDrive30i is available in three different designs: xLine Design (base), Luxury Design, and M Sport Design. Opting for the Luxury Design brings the price of the crossover up to $45,495 and adds chrome touches to the exterior of the vehicle. The M Sport Design costs an additional $5,300, bringing the price of the X3 up to $48,745. The design adds an M aerodynamic kit, which consists of larger air intakes, a diffusor-style rear apron, and side skirt trim to the vehicle. A M Sport leather steering wheel, 19-inch M wheels, a SensaTech upholstered dashboard, and M door sill finishers are also included with the M Sport Design.

In addition to the three designs, the xDrive30i is available with three different tiers: Convenience, Premium, and Executive. The Convenience Tier costs $2,850 and brings lumbar support for the seats, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, a panoramic moonroof, and keyless entry. The Premium Tier costs $6,150 and includes all of the features of the Convenience Tier in addition to a head-up display, heated front seats, Advanced Real-Time Traffic Information, remote services, a heated steering wheel, and a navigation system. The Executive Tier is an additional $9,650 and adds gesture control, a 12.3-inch Dynamic Digital Instrument Cluster, Active Park Distance Control, surround view with 3D view, automatic high beams, Icon adaptive full LED headlights, and Parking Assistant Plus.

There are four available packages on the xDrive30i. The Driving Assistance Package ($900) adds blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning. The Driving Assistance Plus Package ($1,700) brings adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and pedestrian detection. The Dynamic Handling Package ($1,400) includes variable sport steering and Dynamic Damper Control, while the Parking Assistance Package ($1,300) comes with Active Park Distance Control, Parking Assistant Plus, and surround view with a 3D view.

The 2018 BMW X3 M40i carries a price tag of $55,845 (including destination) and is powered by the turbocharged inline-six engine. The crossover shares a lot of the same features as the base model, but adds: a M Sport exhaust system, M Sport suspension, variable sport steering, 19-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic moonroof, adaptive full LED headlights, 14-way power front sport seats, and Park Distance Control.

There are no available designs or tiers for the M40i, but there are five available packages for the crossover. The Driving Assistance Package ($900) and the Driving Assistance Plus Package ($1,700) bring the same features. The Parking Assistance Package ($700) includes surround view with a 3D view, Parking Assistant Plus, and Active Park Distance Control. The Premium Package ($2,950) brings remote services, Advanced Real-Time Traffic Information, a navigation system, a heated steering wheel, and a head-up display. Lastly, the Executive Package ($2,550) includes gesture control, surround view with a 3D view, Active Park Distance Control, a 12.3-inch Dynamic Digital Instrument Cluster, and Parking Assistant Plus.

CarsDirect Tip

While the 355-hp X3 M40i is the quicker, sportier variant, the trim is $12,400 more than the xDrive30i and won’t be a worthy upgrade for the majority of consumers. Going with the xDrive30i and the xLine Design is a good start. The Premium Tier adds a good mix of features, while the Driving Assistance Plus Package is a requirement for consumers seeking safety features.

Get your price on a BMW X3 »

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