aka F25 (codename)
Production 2004-present
Class Compact Utility Vehicle
Body Style 5-door, 5-seat Wagon
Length 179.9 in.
Width 60.0 in.
Height 66.0 in.
Wheelbase 110.1 in.
Weight 4012 lbs
Transmission Manual/Automatic
Engine 3.0 Liter Inline 6
Power 260 horsepower at 6600 rpm
Similar Audi Q5
Lexus RX
Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
Infiniti EX
Cadillac SRX
Acura RDX
Volvo XC60
Designer {{{Designer (lead designer if it was a team effort)}}}

The BMW X3 is a compact luxury crossover SUV based on the BMW 3 Series automobile platform. The X3 3.0i won the Canadian Car of the Year Best New Sport Utility Vehicle award for 2005.

See Autopedia's comprehensive BMW X3 Review.

Recent Changes

  • For 2011, the new X3 gets its M Sport package and new Inline-6 petrol and diesel engines.[1]

X3 M Sport

  • After 6 years of production, BMW is replacing the X3 with an all-new second-generation. An inch (12mm) taller, 3.36-inches (83mm) longer, 1.1-inches (28mm) wider, the new CUV rides on 0.6-inches (15mm) longer wheelbase, at 110.6 inches (2,810mm), and is higher off the ground by half an inch. Set to go on sale by the end of 2010, it will debut at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. [2]

This was followed the next day with BMW unveiling the second-gen X3 M Sport Package. [3] Second Generation X3

X3 M Sport Package

  • The X3 received several updates for the 2007 model year, with a slightly redesigned fascia and the inclusion of fiber optic lights in the rear - which has become a staple of 21st century BMW. The refresh also includes the new engines which debuted in the E90 3 Series, and the interior has been finished in leather, wood, and gloss highlights.In 2007 model year 2.5 liter engine discontinued.

Styles and Major Options

The 2007 X3 comes in one trim, the 3.0si. It features a 3.0L 260hp I-6 engine with a 6-speed manual transmission and xDrive all wheel drive. A 6-speed Steptronic automatic transmission and sport suspension are also available, and safety options are plenty. Some of the standout features of the X3 include:

  • 17" Silver Alloy Wheels
  • 8-way power front bucket seats
  • Power windows, locks, and mirrors
  • Leatherette seating and door trim
  • Leatherette shift knob and leather telescopic tilt steering wheel
  • Express open/close sunroof
  • Automatic climate control
  • 8-speaker AM/FM/MP3/CD audio system
  • Heated front wiper jets
  • Rear lip spoiler


Add more fields as necessary.

xDrive28i xDrive35i Trim3 Trim4
$37,625 $41,925 $Price3 $Price4
$Price1 $Price2 $Price3 $Price4

Gas Mileage

As seen on the website, the City/Highway MPG averages are as follows:


3.0si manual

3.0si auto





The X3 is a relatively new SUV, but the 2004 model has earned an overall Green rating from Automotive Information Systems, indicating minimal problems in all categories. However, in reference to the new 2007 model, Consumer Reports states that "reliability has recently dropped to below average."

  • RECALL ALERT: On August 13, 2008, BMW announced a recall affecting 200,000 MY 2006 3-series, MY 2004-2006 5-series cars and MY 2004-2006 X3s due to a faulty front passenger airbag sensor that could develop from small cracks within the seat detection mat. Though no one has reportedly been hurt, such a defect might stop the front passenger airbag from deploying in the event of an accident. [4]

According to the latest Top Gear reliability survey, the X3 is the most reliable as the engines and gearboxes remained strong.[5]


Although safety test information for the X3 is not yet available on the NHTSA website, reports that the X3 ranks 2nd in their Luxury SUV category for safety. The Mercedes-Benz ML350 and ML500 are tied for first. Standard safety features include:




A complete list of colors is viewable at Some of the available choices include:


  • Alpine White
  • Black Sapphire Metallic
  • Crimson Red
  • Jet Black
  • Montego Blue Metallic
  • Platinum Bronze Metallic
  • Titanium Silver Metallic


  • Black
  • Gray
  • Sand Beige
  • Sand Beige/Black

Main Competitors

Hybrid Models

There are currently no hybrid models of the BMW X3 in production.

Unique Attributes



This section should include information on the interior's design, build quality, ergonomics, space (head and legroom, front and rear), features, stowage compartments and overall comfort and livability. Add pictures wherever applicable and keep information in a third-person point of view.

Resale Values

According to Kelley Blue Book, "despite its slow sales, the X3 is expected to retain a strong resale value. Kelley Blue Book estimates the X3 to hold 68-percent of it value at 24 months and 55-percent at 48 months."


  • "Shod in the rear with the 45-series, W-rated rubber of the optional Sport package, the X3's ride is hard-edged, concussive, and insufferable." - Car and Driver
  • "Fuel economy rating for the manual transmission model with 3-liter engine is only 17 miles a gallon in city driving, though. This is the same city rating as a Ford Explorer with two-wheel drive, six-cylinder engine and automatic transmission." - Carpoint
  • "If you're looking for a smooth ride, this is not the vehicle for you. Considering that you can get behind the wheel of an X5 for $6000 more, the X3 seems pretty pricey." - Kelley Blue Book
  • "Most noticeable is its lack of German-ness. Unlike some, I didn't find the materials inside up to BMW standards (though I did find the seats pretty comfortable), and the doors shut with a clang instead of a thunk." - AutoWeek

Current Generation: (2011–present)

First Generation/Origins (2004-2010)

1118 200501281 bmw x3.jpg

History and development

Along the heels of a very successful and ongoing production run of the BMW X5, BMW decided in the early millennium that it wanted to compete with the likes of the Freelander, Lexus RX and other small luxury SUV's just as the X5 had previously done so well in its respective classes. Thus the X3 (internally known as E83), was born.



What thus emerged was a concept unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in 2003. Dubbed the xActivity, BMW previewed to the public for the first time what a smaller SAV based on a 3 series platform would look like. The concept had no windows, for the most part no roof, and a sleek futuristic interior. Only the basic shape of the car would emerge as the BMW X3.

Just as BMW used many parts from the E39 5 Series parts bin in the making of the X5, the same occurred in the X3's development, whereby BMW engineers reused 3 series parts. In-fact complete sets of parts came straight out of the E46 330xi, emerging unscathed in the X3 (e.g. rear suspension).


When the BMW X3 premiered in late 2003, BMW announced that it would be using a new 4 wheel drive system to power it and its bigger brother - The (refreshed) X5.

Instead of a 60-40 (rear-front) power split (which all millennium 4 wheel drive BMW's exhibit - 325xi, 330xi, early X5) with power being cut to wheels which lost traction through DSC (Dynamic Stability Control), xDrive allowed both of these vehicles to split power between the front and rear axles through use of a multiplate clutch located between the gearbox and the Cardian shaft. This setup allowed xDrive vehicles to split power in virtually any way it pleased. If the car felt like it was in a threatening situation (note not an unstable one), xDrive would react immediately, often before the driver ever knew of its intervention, to alleviate traction and control of the vehicle. xDrive is also closely knit with DSC. In the case that wheelspin stills occurs while xDrive is or has been shifting power, DSC can brake independent wheels to regain traction. xDrive also helps in cornering. When the vehicle feels it is about to understeer or oversteer, the vehicle cuts traction to either of the front wheels or rear wheels to help regain stability and keep the driver on the road.

There are two key things about xDrive. The first being that it was one of the first technologies used to intervene before the driver was ever aware that the car could be unstable. The second being that its intervention is transparent to the driver - that is unknown to the driver.


Right from the start, the BMW X3 had been criticized for its harsh ride and poor interior by critics. BMW rectified both in 2005, with a slightly softer ride and by matching plastics and carpeting in the 2005 X5's. It has also been criticized for not being built at a BMW factory. It is assembled by a sub-contractor - Magna Steyr - in Graz, Austria.

The automotive press however for the most part had mixed views of the X3 ranging all over the spectrum - unusual for BMW, but then again not so unsual for modern BMW's.

2005 model year changes

  • Bluetooth could actually be ordered straight from the factory (part of the Premium Package) and functioned without dealer intervention. (Although the BMW X3 was originally offered and promised with Bluetooth support in 2004, none of the cars that shipped from the factory actually had it installed. Few were able to get it to work with a little bit of tinkering from their dealer.)
  • Interior was vastly upgraded with changes to all plastics (making them match, unlike the 2004 model). Also instead of having grey carpeting which was present on all 2004 X3's, the 2005 X3 came with carpeting that matched the leather ordered (with the exception of the Terracotta interior, whose carpeting is black).
  • Slightly softer suspension.
  • Front wheel fenders are one piece, as opposed to the two piece found on 2004 models.
  • A 2.0d engine became available in some markets - joining the 2.5i and 3.0i engines (found stateside) as well as the 3.0d engine sold elsewhere in the world.
  • An 'Open-Door' indicator was added to rectify the complaint made by many on the 2004 models.

2006 model year changes

  • The new R6 engines available across the rest of the BMW lineup were, as with the 2006 X5 & 2006 Z4, curiously absent from the 2006 X3. It is rumored that the X3 will not get the R6 until the all-new BMW X5 is released in 2007 which will include the R6 engine amongst other newer engines. The X3 will receive, however, redesigned monochromatic front and rear fascias to replace the flat black bumpers. Also, the 2.5i variant will no longer be sold in the U.S., as buyers tended to go more for the 3.0i model.
  • U.S. bound 2006 X3's were all equipped with a special version of the 'M' technik bodykit as standard. The difference being in that the U.S. cars had unpainted door sills and wheel arches. U.S. spec Sport Package 2006 X3's got the full 'M' bodykit (with painted front, side and rear plastic) available in the rest of the world as a BMW accessory.
  • 2.5i was removed for sale from the U.S. market.

X3 xDrive18d


The UK police uses the X3 xDrive20d as Interceptors as part of a four-year deal beginning late 2010. Other cars in the docket include the 530d Saloon and Touring, 330d Saloon and Touring, all variants of X1, X5 xDrive30d and xDrive40d. [6]

Design quirks and oddities


  • 2007 National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council Secure By Design award

See also


The BMW Group

BMW | Rolls-Royce | MINI

Current: 1 Series · 3 Series · 5 Series · 6 Series · 7 Series · Hydrogen 7 · Z4 · X1 · X3 · X5 · X6 · 5 Series GT · Megacity EV

Bmw M logo.pngM Cars: M1 · M3 · M5 · M6 · M Coupe · M Roadster · M535i · X5M · X6M

Bmw i logo.jpg BMW i: i3 · i5 · i7 ·i8 · iX3 · iX5

Historic: 507 ·Z8 · Z3 · Z1 · 503 · 328 · Isetta · 8 Series · E3 · · · · · · · · · ·

Racing: M3 GTR · V12 LMR · V12 LM98 · 320 Turbo · 3.0 CSL · 700 RS · F1.09 · Z4 GT3 · M3 GT2 · Z4 GTE · M6 GTLM · M8 GTE

Concept: Nazca M12 · Nazca C2 · Nazca C2 Spyder · Z11 · Z13 · Z18 · Z07 Concept · Z9 Gran Turismo Concept · Z9 Convertible Concept · X Coupe · CS1 Concept · xActivity Concept · H2R · Mille Miglia · M3 Concept · CS Concept · Just 4/2 Concept · Concept Z4 Coupe · Turbo Concept · X6 Sports Activity Coupe Concept · Concept X6 Active Hybrid · Concept 1-Series tii · M1 Homage Concept · GINA Light Visionary Concept · M8 Prototype · 750i ActiveHybrid Concept · X1 Concept · Hydrogen Powered Salt Flat Racer Concept · 5 Series Gran Turismo Concept · Z Vision Concept · E1 Concept · Vision EfficientDynamics Concept · SIMPLE Concept · Concept ActiveE · ActiveHybrid5 Concept · Concept Gran Coupé · Concept 6 Series Coupé

iDrive · DesignworksUSA · ConnectedDrive · BMW Welt · Franz Josef Popp · Max Friz · BMW i · BMW M · BMW Motorrad

Karl Friedrich Rapp and Camillo Castiglioni Corporate website Independent

External links

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at BMW X3. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Autopedia, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.