Jul 01, 2023

10 Reasons To Choose The BMW X3 Over The Competition

Find out how the latest BMW X3 stands out in today's crowded compact luxury crossover SUV segment

Automakers and car buyers seem to be in a consensus when it comes to finding the sweet spot between practicality, size, efficiency, pricing, and performance in the compact SUV segment. Luxury German automakers are all sailing strong with their excellent range of compact luxury SUV offerings. In fact, the X3 is BMW's best-selling vehicle.

The BMW X3 is a small luxury SUV that is adequately sporty and a hoot to drive. As a five-seat, two-row car, it provides enough storage and excellent fuel efficiency in its segment. The X3 is positioned between the little X1 and the bigger X5, which offers optional three-row seating. It is quite amazing how far cars have come when you realize the BMW X3 and the original X5 are comparable in size.

To understand why the X3 remains solidly practical, notably comfortable, and among one of the most fun-to-drive luxury compact crossovers on the market; we'll review some of its top features and also see how it stacks up among its rivals.

RELATED: Audi Q5 Vs. BMW X3 Vs. Mercedes GLC. The Best German Compact Luxury Crossover of 2023

The tendency of automakers to create unique and universally appealing designs for their vehicles is a fairly widespread practice, requiring a meticulous process of balancing identity and novelty. BMW seems to be going berserk with their whole kidney grill and overall design philosophy, yet popular models such as the BMW X3 seem to have the restrained and elegant end of the stick, very well executed and noticeable.

The BMW X3 definitely attracts buyers who are bored with the monotonous, safe approach to design that all of BMW's competitors employ. A sharper redesign of the headlights and taillights is a very distinctive touch with a commanding presence. You also won't find any fake exhaust tips on the X3, unlike the Audi Q5 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC.

BMW provides its customers with its industry-leading iDrive 7.0 interface. The combination of a 12.3-inch touchscreen and rotary dial controls that are intuitive and easy to use allows for an enjoyable digital experience. Hard to say that about every infotainment system out there. Audi and BMW get mad points for not jumbling climate control into the infotainment system; a safer and more intuitive approach is the way to go with necessities like climate control, as consumers suggest.

A major advantage for BMW is that it can be operated using the rotary controller found on the center console. Instead of awkwardly bending or reaching for a touchscreen as with an Audi, or having to cope with the additional dexterity required for the MBUX's touchpad, you may twist, rock, and press while maintaining a comfortable posture for your arm while you drive.

It also doesn't completely divert your focus from the road because the screen is in the driver's line of sight. If you're too conscious about keeping your eyes on the road, BMW Personal Assistant is a voice command away or a button on the steering wheel.

Storage capacity is one of the largest points buyers give when judging the practicality and versatility of any vehicle. The X3 is definitely a versatile SUV thanks to its ample interior storage choices and spacious cargo area.

It is expected for cars in this segment to come with 40:20:40 rear seats which can be folded with the push of a button and an adaptive cargo fastening system. The neat trick of the X3 is the inclusion of a compartment for the luggage compartment cover in the underfloor. You don't have to worry about where you would stow away the cover when the cargo space is full.

Cargo volume w/ seats

Max Cargo Volume

Volvo XC60

30.8 cu.ft.

67.4 cu.ft.


28.7 cu.ft.

62.7 cu.ft.

Audi Q5

25.1 cu.ft.

54.1 cu.ft.

Mercedes-Benz GLC

21.9 cu.ft.

56.3 cu.ft.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio

18.5 cu.ft.

56.5 cu.ft.

Porsche Macan

17.6 cu.ft.

52.9 cu.ft.

The X3 beats its German rivals when it comes to cargo space and is up there with segment leaders such as the Volvo XC60.

RELATED: With An Optional Giant 31-inch Screen For The Rear Passengers, The New BMW 7 Series Is Your Own Personal Luxury Cinema On Wheels

There is no point in comparing power figures of small luxury SUVs in the market, all of them have near similar power outputs. Where the difference lies, and the X3 shines, is the excitement it delivers through its steering, handling, and engine sound. Compared to some other vehicles in the class, these features make it a more enjoyable car to slither up a mountain road or floor it when merging into a highway.




X3 M


2.0-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo inline 4-cylinder

3.0-liter BMW M TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder


8-speed Sport Automatic transmission

8-speed M Sport Automatic transmission


248hp @ 5200-6500 rpm

382hp @ 5800-6500 rpm

473hp @ 6250-6250 rpm


258lb/ft @ 1450-4800 rpm

369lb/ft @ 1800-5000 rpm

457lb/ft @ 2750-5450 rpm

0-60 mph





Rear-Wheel Drive

All-Wheel Drive

Top Speed

130 mph

155 mph [Electronically limited]

177 mph


904 lbs

941 lbs

902 lbs

840 lbs

Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined)

23/29/25 MPG

21/28/24 MPG

21/26/23 MPG

15/20/17 MPG

Price MSRP





BMW catered its three different engine options for three different buyers: the base four-cylinder, the B48, offers buyers a strong and peppy yet efficient option with good fuel economy; the engine offered in the M40i is the same engine that is also offered in the fifth-generation Toyota Supra, the B58; whereas the one offered in the X3 M is the S58, present in the BMW M3 and M4. The BMW X3 has plenty of fortitude when it comes to proving the capability it offers for performance-oriented buyers.

German automakers have always been the benchmark for luxury and sporty selection of automobiles. BMW is no different, when your company's slogan is "Sheer driving pleasure", you have a promise that you shall deliver. BMW definitely tried to bring back the Sport in the Sport utility vehicle with the BMW X3, with its reasonable size and weight.

When you're out and about carving the corners, the peppy engines, the suspension, and the steering offer an enjoyable driving experience. Performance-minded drivers will love the BMW X3 M40i, with standard Adaptive M Suspension and M Sport Differential, as well as xDrive, BMW’s intelligent all-wheel drive, for superior handling in a standout SUV.

The X3 rides superbly, giving off a sporty impression without sacrificing comfort. Adding the optional Dynamic Damper Control would make the suspension system adjustable and give you the option of three different ride modes, further enhancing the vehicle.

BMW has one of the widest selections of seat materials you’ll find, from any automotive manufacturer. From high-quality vegan materials to premium leather options, and durable fabrics. The BMW X3 comes standard with Synthetic leather upholstery and power-adjustable front seats. Genuine leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, and a heated steering wheel are available.

The synthetic leather-like material that BMW uses on the X3 is called SensaTec. It’s not natural leather, but rather fake leather that looks and sounds like genuine leather. PVC, PU, polyester microfibers, and other synthetic materials are most often used by upholstery companies to make fake leather.

The SensaTec upholstery looks identical to its leather counterpart but isn't as soft or as plush. The significant benefits are cost, durability, and easy to clean. It may survive up to ten years or more without the need for replacement. It’s also vegan, so if you are an eco-conscious customer and don't want an authentic cowhide interior in your BMW, SensaTec is an excellent alternative.

RELATED: 10 Reasons Why The 2023 BMW X3 M Competition Punches Above Its Weight Class

Economical engines, lightweight construction, and aerodynamic optimization are the three fundamental pillars of efficient vehicles. The RWD sDrive30i is unsurprisingly the most fuel-efficient of the bunch, returning 25 mpg combined, which puts it up there with all the most efficient mid-size SUVs in the market.

A low CD value also ensures that the X3 sticks firmly to the road at high speeds. Plus, optional Aero Light-Weight Alloy wheel rims boost the X3’s aerodynamics and efficiency even more.

The underbody of the X3 is almost entirely smooth, which means air streams without turbulence from front to rear. Plus, it features shaped elements that are known as "ram air lips" to help channel air past the wheels, directing it to cool the brakes. And, the underbody protects the X3 from rocks, dirt, and other road debris.

The BMW X3 provides a cabin that is spacious and smartly arranged. The clean, modern, and pragmatic approach to the center console creates an elegant and sharp look to the overall cabin space.

The dash is topped by a 10.25-inch center display above a set of vents integrated into the center stack and above an array of physical dials and controls, classy chrome and wood trim cover the dashboard exuding a level of class and opulence. The optional 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio is also one of the best sound systems in the business.

The optional panoramic sunroof topped with a tall roof means large windows all around, so there's a good view outside no matter where you look. Pillowy-soft padding fills the cabin, including soft carpeting on the floor mats and cargo area.

The majority of today's luxury cars use ambient lighting, such as BMW's group's Rolls-Royce. A few years ago, ambient lighting was an expensive extra that was only available on the highest-spec models. However, in the current BMW range, including the X3, ambient lighting is standard, unlike its competitors.

At night, ambient lighting is most effective and has a striking effect on the mood of the cabin, as you can observe from the POV Drive video above. The ambient lighting covers the doors, footwells, and passenger-side instrument panels.

RELATED: 10 Best Small SUV Under $50,000

The X3 competes directly with the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC in terms of cost and feature availability. A bit of an advantage comes from a few ownership perks, such as a longer period of free scheduled maintenance with BMW's Ultimate Protection Program.


Starting MSRP







X3 M


The X3 kind of embodies everything that the perfect crossover should be, and it does so in such a well-blended way, as listed above. With its low entry point and higher bounds with the M versions plus options, the BMW X3 is a tad bit more competitive for reeling in newer buyers. Pricing goes as: the Q5 ranges from $44,200 to $67,000 the GLC from $47,100 to $49,100, and the X3 sitting between $46,900 and $61,900 for the non-performance models.

Meet Fanuel, an avid lover of car oddities and design. He is quite obsessed with classic French cars and engineering from an early age. He loves calm and serene cruises in the city early in the morning, and sometimes across the countryside. He graduated quite recently in Architecture, and plans to do many things. After all, cars are architecture in motion.

Cargo volume w/ seatsMax Cargo VolumesDrive30ixDrive30iM40iX3 MEngineTransmissionHorsepowerTorque0-60 mph DrivelineTop SpeedPayloadFuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined) Price MSRPTrimStarting MSRP