2020 BMW X3

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2020 BMW X3 Review: Premium Practicality

by Deiondre van der Merwe

The BMW X3 SUV blends luxury and practicality through an expertly designed recipe. As the German automaker's best-selling compact luxury SUV in the US, it boasts a host of standard features and spaciousness without sacrificing the sporty driving experience that BMW is so well-known for. The X3 is a good choice even at base-level, thanks to a turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder which pairs ample performance with impressive real-world fuel economy, though if you have the budget, the M40i's unbridled power and extra features make it the best of the lot, with a singing 3.0-liter turbo-six developing 382 horsepower. Of course, for those who live life one racetrack at a time, the X3 M might be more up your alley, but this is a standalone model reviewed separately. BMW has made sure there are enough different trim levels in the X3 range to appeal to more than just one market, but with competition including the Audi Q5 and the Jaguar F-Pace, it's not all smooth sailing for the X3.

Read in this review:

8.8
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2020 BMW X3 Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 X3?

As a carryover model from the all-new 2019 model, very minor additions are added to the current-generation BMW X3. Given that the 2019 model was packed to the rafters with features and modern tech, this isn't unfavorable. The new BMW X3 adds LED headlights as standard on the base model and navigation is now included across all trim levels. Some additional silver bits are found in the interior this time around, adding a slightly more luxurious look to the inside of the SUV. BMW has also given the M40i some extra power and it now boasts a 382 horsepower figure over its previous 335 horsepower figure from 2019.

Pros and Cons

  • Premium Interior
  • Good range of engine and drivetrain choices
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Spacious interior
  • Agile, but comfortable
  • Lack of Android Auto is annoying
  • Interior not as opulent as rivals
  • Hefty price tag
  • Clunky auto stop/start system

Best Deals on 2020 BMW X3

2020 BMW X3 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
sDrive30i
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$41,950
xDrive30i
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$43,950
xDrive30e Plug-In Hybrid
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$48,550
M40i
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$55,900
See All 2020 BMW X3 Trims and Specs

2020 X3 Exterior

2020 BMW X3 Left Front Three-Quarter Driving BMW
2020 BMW X3 Driving Action BMW
2020 BMW X3 Driving Action 1 BMW
See All 2020 BMW X3 Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 185.9 in
  • Wheelbase 112.8 in
  • Height 66.0 in
  • Max Width 74.4 in
  • Front Width 63.8 in
  • Rear Width 64.4 in
  • Curb Weight 4,034.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Black Sapphire Metallic +$550
  • Glacier Silver Metallic +$550
  • Dark Graphite Metallic +$550
  • Phytonic Blue Metallic +$550
  • Mineral White Metallic +$550
  • Dark Olive Metallic +$550
  • Terra Brown Metallic +$550
  • Carbon Black Metallic +$550
  • Sunstone Metallic, Priority 1 +$1,950
  • Alpine White
  • Jet Black

2020 X3 Performance

2020 BMW X3 In Motion BMW
2020 BMW X3 In Motion 1 BMW
2020 BMW X3 Engine BMW

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid, 3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Unsurprisingly, the seasoned German SUV delivers a stellar performance on the road and manages to stand out in a sea of accomplished compact performance SUVs including the Audi Q5 and the Jaguar F-Pace. It's agile and zippy even when equipped with the smaller engine choice, but true sportiness is only achieved when the M40i is opted for. Both models provide responsive, sharp steering and BMW's reputation for suspensions that channel enough firmness for excitement without compromising on comfort is held up nicely on the X3. You can expect some additional jarring from the 19-inch wheels and M-Sport suspension found on the M40i, but the sportier X3 won't outwardly show this until it takes on particularly uneven surfaces.

The rear-wheel-drive 30i does a good job at handling the SUV and if you aren't likely to be exposed to a light dusting of snow, it will do just fine, however opting for an all-wheel-drive model will add some extra grip and capability, and who doesn't want that? While you're opting for more in favor of better handling and increased comfort, you may as well add the optional Dynamic Damper Control for $1,000 for an even better driving experience on 30i models. For the M40i, the M-Sport differential and Adaptive M Suspension are optional add-ons that will elevate the sport-focused experience for a combined cost of $2,000. If you're trying to avoid splashing out, any of the three X3 trim levels will do just fine on the road and comfort is a guarantee.

2020 X3 Interior

2020 BMW X3 Infotainment System BMW
2020 BMW X3 Gear Shifter BMW
2020 BMW X3 Infotainment System 1 BMW
See All 2020 BMW X3 Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 40.3 in
  • Front Head Room 41.1 in
  • Rear Leg Room 36.4 in
  • Rear Head Room 39.1 in

2020 X3 Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 BMW X3 Luggage Space BMW
2020 BMW X3 Trunk Space with Seat Folded BMW
2020 BMW X3 Trunk Space with Seat Folded 1 BMW

2020 X3 Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    12 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2020 BMW X3 A Good car?

The 2020 BMW X3 is an excellent choice for a host of different markets; it will suit a small family looking for a more premium way to cart the kids around, but won't put off the likes of the single businessman. It takes a great amount of skill to appeal to so many, but BMW has done just that with its top-selling SUV in the USA. It comes with enough space to get the job done without giving off an overly-SUV feel and is more agile than one would expect. Trunk space is on the larger end of things for the class and premium materials are found throughout the handsome BMW, though rivals offer fantastically styled cabins. A comfortable ride is a given, even when the sportier M40i is opted for and fuel economy is something to write home about, as it bests most rivals, even when the thirstier inline-six is the engine in question. It's certainly one for the shortlist if you're after a luxurious SUV that delivers on performance, interior quality and an all-round pleasurable driving experience.

Check out other BMW X3 Styles

2020 BMW X3 Comparisons

BMW X5 BMW
Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class SUV Mercedes-Benz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
BMW X3248 hp23/29 mpg$45,400
BMW X5 335 hp21/26 mpg$61,600
Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class SUV 255 hp22/27 mpg$43,850

2020 BMW X3 vs BMW X5

At base-level the X5 carries a close on $20,000 price hike over the X3, but comes standard with a 335 hp variant of the inline-six engine from the M40i and more luxury. The X3's bigger, classier sibling boasts more standard features and a whole lot more space, which makes it a more suitable family-hauler, though trunk space figures aren't massively different between the two. The X3 is notably more fuel-savvy than its pricier sibling, thanks to its smaller engine options and lighter weight. If you're in the market for a well-rounded daily luxury SUV and aren't willing to fork out a whole lot of extra thousands, the X3 is the better choice for how much it offers, but if you have the budget for a larger luxury SUV, the X5 is the winner, even if it is a little less wieldy due to its size.

See BMW X5 Review

2020 BMW X3 vs Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class SUV

The X3 and GLC-Class SUV share very similar pricing at the base level, and given Mercedes' reputation for delivering excellently designed large luxury vehicles, it's a tough one to choose between these two. The Merc offers a better interior, which isn't a surprise as its the class-leader in many segments for its near-flawless cabins, but offers a diminutive 19.4 cubic foot trunk in comparison to the X3's 28.7 cubic feet on offer. The GLC also offers slightly more power over the X3, but as expected, the BMW bests the Merc in terms of fuel economy and performance on the road, so the marginally better power on paper doesn't justify opting for the Mercedes. The GLC delivers some extra standard features that the BMW doesn't see, including a swathe of advanced safety features the X3 isn't privy to, and is an all-round better-performing luxury SUV. The GLC-Class is the better buy of the two, unless you prefer performance over luxury, in which case we'd get the X3.

See Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class SUV Review

2020 BMW X3 Popular Comparisons

The most popular competitors of 2020 BMW X3:

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