2022 BMW X3

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2022 BMW X3 Test Drive Review: The Standard-Bearer

The BMW 3 Series has long been the standard-bearer of luxury sports sedans. Since 2003, the BMW X3 compact luxury crossover has been working hard to achieve that same status for its segment. By and large, it's accomplished that goal extremely well despite having formidable rivals like the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. Now in its third generation, the X3 has been refined and perfected over the years and is now at the top of its game. Currently offered in multiple trims and with optional all-wheel drive, the X3 is the ideal combination of luxury, sportiness, and status for millions of very satisfied owners. It looks equally at home when parked at Costco or a country club.

BMW kindly loaned us a 2022 X3 xDrive30i for a week-long test and, as expected, it delivered the goods. The xDrive30i comes standard with AWD and a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. This is the entry-level engine and, for less money, there's the rear-wheel-drive-only X3 sDrive30i powered by the same engine. Those looking for even more power can upgrade to the X3 M40i with its 382-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine.

Don't expect the X3, regardless of engine and RWD vs. AWD, to be a serious off-roader. It's not. What it can do is handle minor rough pavement situations, such as gravel roads and the like, snowy weather, and gentle inclines. Above all, it's a luxury performance SUV, or Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) as BMW likes to say. It is the 3 Series of SUVs.

Read in this review:

8.8
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2022 BMW X3 Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2021 X3?

The BMW X3 SUV has been on the receiving end of a significant refresh, or a Life Cycle Impulse (LCI) as BMW prefers to call it. All new X3s now boast freshened styling and numerous interior improvements, while a new mild-hybrid system has been added for the powerful M40i model.

Outside, the noticeable changes are a reshaped grille, slimmer headlights, a new 3D effect for the rear taillights, and new bumpers. On 30i models, 19-inch wheels are now standard, as are adaptive full LED headlights. A larger 10.25-inch-inch touchscreen interface running iDrive 7 software becomes standard, and cloud-based navigation is also new. The control layout on the dashboard has also been revised, and now has more in common with the 4 Series. BMW has also shuffled some packages and features around.

For the M40i, the new 48-volt mild-hybrid system adds an electric boost when accelerating. However, the xDrive30e plug-in hybrid model has been discontinued.

Pros and Cons

  • Sporty styling
  • The grille isn't atrociously large
  • Superb powertrains
  • Quality can't be faulted
  • Spacious seating and trunk
  • One of the best SUVs to drive
  • Rearward visibility isn't the best
  • Efficient PHEV model is gone
  • Can get expensive quickly

Best Deals on 2022 BMW X3

2022 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
$43,700
xDrive30i
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$45,700
M40i
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$57,800
See All 2022 BMW X3 Trims and Specs

2022 X3 Exterior

2022 BMW X3 Front View CarBuzz
2022 BMW X3 Rear View CarBuzz
2022 BMW X3 Frontal Aspect CarBuzz
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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 4,079.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Black Sapphire Metallic +$550
  • Dark Graphite Metallic +$550
  • Mineral White Metallic +$550
  • Phytonic Blue Metallic +$550
  • Carbon Black Metallic +$550
  • Brooklyn Grey Metallic +$550
  • Aventurin Red Metallic, Priority 1 +$1,500
  • Tanzanite Blue II Metallic, Priority 1 +$1,500
  • Alpine White
  • Jet Black

2022 X3 Performance

2022 BMW X3 Driving Front Angle BMW
2022 BMW X3 Driving Back View BMW
2022 BMW X3 Engine Bay CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

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

Handling and Driving Impressions

The X3 is more about sporty driving than off-roading. In our opinion, the X3 feels more solid on the road than some of BMW's sedans. It's fun to drive and takes corners relatively well for a vehicle of its height. If you're looking for something even sportier without having to upgrade to the more powerful M40i, there's the Porsche Macan. We liked the X3's firm and overall nicely balanced ride but we'd recommend opting for the optional Dynamic Damper Control adaptive suspension, which our tester sadly lacked. Included in the $1,400 Dynamic Handling Package, this system tacks on Comfort, Sport, and Eco Pro driving modes. It makes an already solid ride even better for not a whole lot more money.

Unlike larger SUVs, the X3 is extremely easy to park with an impressive turning radius. Tipping the scale at around 4,150 pounds, the X3 xDrive30i is still light enough for drivers not to feel like they're driving a big rig. This translates into relatively quick acceleration, ease of maneuverability, and a truly sporty BMW feel.

2022 X3 Interior

2022 BMW X3 Central Console CarBuzz
2022 BMW X3 Gearbox Controls CarBuzz
2022 BMW X3 Driving Back View 1 CarBuzz
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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 38.5 in

2022 X3 Trunk and Cargo Space

2022 BMW X3 Trunk Space CarBuzz
2022 BMW X3 Seat Folded CarBuzz
2022 BMW X3 Maximum Trunk Space CarBuzz

2022 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 2022 BMW X3 A Good SUV?

The 2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i is an excellent compact luxury and sporty SUV. It may not be well-suited for tough tasks like off-roading and serious towing, but it's an extremely enjoyable vehicle to drive in both the city and on the highway. We think the xDrive30i, in particular, offers exceptional value. Like the 3 Series sedan, BMW has managed to refine its X3 formula since the model first debuted in 2003. We know that a fourth-generation model is currently in development and an all-electric variant is also on the way. What's nearly for certain is that the current model will be the last one not to offer standard electrification. A hybrid or plug-in hybrid system will become the new standard. But for now, the third-generation X3 presses on and we have no complaints about that. The X3 offers luxury and practicality, two turbocharged engine options, a fun-to-drive experience, and an upscale and comfortable cabin. Compared to rivals like the Mercedes GLC and Volvo XC60, the X3's dash layout looks somewhat conservative but its overall functionality remains solid. Buyers can't go wrong with any X3 trim. Despite its age (this generation arrived for the 2017 model year), the X3 is competent and well-suited for nearly all everyday tasks, and then some.

Check out other BMW X3 Styles

2022 BMW X3 Comparisons

BMW X1 BMW
BMW X5 CarBuzz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
BMW X3248 hp23/29 mpg$45,400
BMW X1 228 hp24/33 mpg$35,400
BMW X5 335 hp21/26 mpg$61,600

2022 BMW X3 vs BMW X1

Within BMW's SUV lineup, the X3 sits above the smaller X1. Whereas the X1 rides on a front-wheel-drive platform, the base X3 is rear-wheel drive and even the AWD X3s have a rear-biased drivetrain. The X1 comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine too but it's less powerful at 228 hp so it's slightly slower than the base X3. However, the X1 is lighter by comparison so can manage up to 27 mpg combined, whereas the best the X3 can do is 25 mpg combined. Surprisingly, it's the X1 that is better packaged; it may be smaller than the X3 but it has more legroom, more headroom, and nearly as much cargo space. At a starting price of $35,400, the X1 is over $8,000 cheaper to buy. All that being said, the X3 is a nicer SUV to drive, has a more premium interior, and looks more aggressive. We understand why the X3 costs more, but it's surprising how closely matched the X1 is on paper.

See BMW X1 Review

2022 BMW X3 vs BMW X5

The X3 is now around the same size as the original X5. Since then, we've been introduced to four generations of the X5. Today, the midsize X5 has grown into an altogether brawnier and much more luxurious vehicle. Starting at just over $60,000, it's not cheap, but the base X5 has that lovely inline-six engine and you can also have it as a V8 in the case of the 523-horsepower M50i. The X5 justifies its higher price with an impeccable interior, dual 12.3-inch displays, a panoramic moonroof, heated front seats, and comfort access keyless entry - none of these features are standard on the base X3. To drive, the X5 is a little quieter and smoother, and it has a greater sense of occasion since it's simply a larger, more opulent vehicle overall. You can't go wrong with either of these fantastic SUVs, but we'd take an X3 M40i over the more expensive X5 sDrive40i.

See BMW X5 Review

2022 BMW X3 Popular Comparisons

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