The 2019 BMW X3: Premium SUVs that start at the base level

The X3’s phenomenal success is something that might not have been predictable 15 years ago. When it came to wagons of that size, nobody did it better than BMW, and their 3 Series wagon set the benchmark for the whole segment.

Why choose something that is less fun to drive and uses more gas? The 2019 X3 is a highly essential mainstay in BMW’s range, but the 2004 X3 helped pave the way for the entry-level luxury SUV segment.

The 2019 BMW X3 models

The 2019 BMW X3 is a compact crossover available in sDrive30i, xDrive30i, and M40i trim levels with seating for five people. Apart from the difference in drivetrain, the sDrive30i and xDrive30i are otherwise similar to one another. The M40i comes equipped with a more powerful engine and several additional conveniences as standard.

The sDrive30i and xDrive30i both have a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine (248 hp, 258 lb-ft of torque) mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Wheels measuring 18 inches in diameter, LED headlights and foglights, automatic wipers, roof rails, a power tailgate, a rearview camera, and power-folding, auto-dimming, and heated mirrors are all included as standard external equipment.

The 2019 BMW X3: Premium SUVs that start at the base level
The 2019 BMW X3: Premium SUVs that start at the base level. Image source: Car and Driver

The vehicle also features keyless ignition, adjustable driving modes, tri-zone automatic climate control, and an adaptive suspension.

Both the sDrive30i and the xDrive30i may be customized with a variety of available package add-ons. LED headlights, keyless entry, a panoramic sunroof, satellite radio, and front seats with four-way adjustable lumbar adjustment are all part of the Convenience package.

In addition to the features included in the Convenience package, the M Sport package upgrades your vehicle with 19-inch wheels, a sport steering wheel, and a faux leather-upholstered interior. To gain access to the Dynamic Handling package’s enhanced brakes, variable-ratio steering, and adaptive suspension dampers, choose one of these options.

The features that are available in the M40i’s optional bundles are pre-installed. In addition to the features listed above, this bundle adds a turbocharged 3.0 liter six-cylinder engine (355 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque), adaptive LED lighting, automatic high beams, a performance exhaust, a sport-tuned suspension, front and rear parking sensors, and a launch control function.

Synopsis of the Used 2019 BMW X3

You may choose from the X3 SUV or the X3 M40i while shopping for a used 2019 BMW X3. BMW offers the xDrive30i 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), sDrive30i 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), and M40i 4dr SUV (also with a 2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) as trim levels (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A).

Depending on the engine size, used BMW X3 vehicles may come with either a 2.0-liter or a 3.0-liter gas engine, producing up to 355 horsepower. Both rear- and all-wheel drive are standard on the 2019 BMW X3 xDrive M. Eight-speed automatic gearboxes with manual shift capability are offered.

The 2019 BMW X3: Premium SUVs that start at the base level
The 2019 BMW X3: Premium SUVs that start at the base level. Image source: Car and Driver

The 2019 BMW X3 Overview

BMW recently (in the last year) overhauled the X3. It’s not drastically different from the previous generation. The 2019 X3, the second year of the third generation, won’t seem that different to people who are only familiar with the second-generation vehicle. BMW has not made any major alterations to the X3, opting instead to refine and sculpt it into its current shape.

There is still a large audience for the X3. The X3 is available with a four-cylinder engine and a wide variety of customization choices, making it a strong contender in the premium compact SUV segment.

The all-wheel-drive M40i, with its powerful six-cylinder engine, is among the finest in its class and a good choice if quick acceleration is a priority. Regardless of your choice, you should know that the BMW X3 is among our favorite vehicles in its class.

The Driving Assistance package is highly recommended for any X3, since it includes front collision warning with automated acceleration and deceleration, lane departure detection, and blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert.

In addition to the standard Driving Assistance package and Parking Assistance package, there is now the Driving Assistance Plus package, which includes adaptive cruise control, front cross-traffic alert, and lane keeping assist.

Finally, the expensive Premium and Executive plans require or include components of lower-tier plans. The Premium option is where you’ll find extras like heated front seats, a GPS system, a 10.3-inch touchscreen in the dash, digital gauges, and Apple CarPlay.

Several of the aforementioned options can be purchased alone. Wheels between 20 and 21 inches in diameter, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, manual side window blinds, wireless phone charging, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, and a trailer hitch are available as optional extras.

The 2019 BMW X3: Expert Review

The 2019 BMW X3 is essentially the same as the 2018 model. The third-generation X3, which debuted in 2018, is now in its second year on the market.

Pros

  • The two engines offered are both powerful and economical,
  • Extensive range of customizable features, both built-in and extra
  • Easy on the eyes for those sitting in the back as well as the front.

Cons

  • It’s surprising that Android Auto isn’t one of the available features.

The 2019 BMW X3: Performance

The digital and analog gauge cluster is neat and sophisticated, and the media interface is robust and lightning fast. The extent of driver assistance systems is also astounding, but they are not always dependable. It’s fantastic that Apple CarPlay may be used wirelessly, but it costs money and doesn’t function with Android Auto.

BMW’s newest user interface for its in-car entertainment system is sleek and responsive. Because of its robust nature, exploring all of its features might take some time. Combining a touchscreen with a rotary dial that can also be operated through touch allows for simple and intuitive use.

Apple CarPlay may be used wirelessly and will set you back $300. Wireless charging is more expensive and does not work with Android Auto. BMW’s Connected system brings a select number of applications to the in-car display, but we were unable to get any of them to function with our Android phone. Two USB ports are located on the upper

The parking assist technology kicks into gear when it detects an impending halt, although it often does so while you’re only pulling up to a light. Even though we had access to the standard set of enhanced safety features for the market, we were forced to make an unexpected halt due to a false positive.

BMW’s voice-activated technology continues to wow us. It boasts a high level of natural language comprehension and gives you access to a dizzying array of settings. If you’re using Apple CarPlay, the button that triggers the voice controls will also call up Siri.

The 2019 BMW X3: Safety

The X3 is a practical SUV for transporting families thanks to its large cabin and high load capacity. We really enjoy the roomy interior, many door pockets, and the handy cubby to the left of the wheel. The towing capacity is high, and the car seat attachments are convenient.

There are a plethora of choices for seating in both rows. Large door compartments may store a purse or sports bottle, and the central tray can accommodate a couple of phones. Under the armrest is some storage, and to the left of the steering wheel, the driver gets access to a smaller storage area.

The X3 has a generous 28.7 cubic feet of space behind the second row, and when the seats in back are folded down using the convenient release handles, the cargo area expands to 62.7 cubic feet. The full-size spare tire is the industry norm, although it can make the loading area awkwardly high. There is a little spare on hand.

When you click a button, the plastic cover concealing the bottom LATCH anchors folds back out of the way. During installation, you will need to remove the rear cargo cover so that you can access the seatback anchors with ease. Because of how roomy it is inside, rearranging a car seat is a breeze.

The X3 can tow up to 4,400 pounds when fitted with the optional 2-inch receiver, which features seven and four-pole connections. The capacity is excellent, and the Class III hitch is seamlessly included.

The 2019 BMW X3: Interior

The X3 has a roomy and well-organized cabin. BMW’s shifter is a bit unusual at first but makes sense after you get used to it and the other controls. The driver has an unobstructed view of the road and all gauges. The mirrors in the bathrooms are oddly small, and the lighting isn’t very attractive.

Usability

The most important buttons and dials are conveniently located. The shifter is difficult to master at first, but it’s well worth the effort. The same may be said for the complicated entertainment features. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to whether the stereo turns off with the engine or not until you lock the car.

The in/out scale

The enormous doors swing wide open and shut easily. Seats are at the perfect height, and the door sills aren’t too high, so getting inside is a breeze. You won’t have to duck to get in or out thanks to the high front and back headroom.

Driver’s Seat

All gauges are within easy reach thanks to the adjustable seat height and telescoping steering wheel. There are a number of different layouts for the possible head-up display; however, they are all obscured by polarized sunglasses. Only while in Sport mode will you be able to see a digital speedometer.

Roominess

Although the X3’s interior dimensions are comparable to those of rival vehicles, the cabin’s increased height creates the impression of more room. All passengers will have plenty of headroom, and even those with long legs and feet will have enough space. Three full-grown adults can squeeze into the back, although they may feel cramped.

Visibility

With such a high ceiling comes ample window space, ensuring a pleasant panorama in every direction. The rear headrests are cleverly designed to be short and out of the way of the rearview mirror. Lane changes may be made with ease and safety thanks to the car’s big side mirrors and included blind-spot monitoring.

Quality

The X3’s cabin has the appearance and feel of a high-end car, but the design doesn’t stand out as much as that of its German competitors. The switchgear is sturdy, and there are no loose or uneven connections. The leather, plastic, wood, and other interior trimmings are a bit dated.

The 2019 BMW X3: Comfort

The X3 is a pleasant car to drive for long distances. The inside is quiet, especially while the vehicle is stopped, and the seats are comfortable and adjustable. The ride is not very smooth, but the suspension is good at absorbing bumps. It’s possible to go too far with the temperature control’s fine-tuning.

Seating ease

Comfort and support for extended hours behind the wheel are provided by the front seats. The lumbar support, side bolsters, and thigh extensions on this chair may be adjusted to provide a comfortable fit for everybody. The back seats, when reclining, have a flatter, firmer feel.

Ride comfortability

The Dynamic Handling option installed on our test car contributed to the ride’s bustling nature. Because of the high degree of control, you will feel hits, but the car’s interior won’t shake and your head won’t be jostled around. The X3 is a competent SUV on the road.

Vibration and noise

The engine is so quiet at idle that you may need to look at the tachometer to be sure it is turning. At highway speeds, wind noise can be heard through the drivers side window. The engine makes a noticeable noise when accelerating quickly or strongly, but it is tolerable.

Controlling the weather effectively

Quickly heating seats and the steering wheel are available extras, and the basic three-zone temperature control is quiet and efficient. That may be overkill, but the settings menus allow you to individually modify the auto mode’s strength and the temperature of the front panel vents.

The 2019 BMW X3: Driving

The 2.0-liter engine is kept in the sweet spot of the eight-speed automatic transmission’s power delivery, resulting in refined driving and enough acceleration around town. a robust SUV complete with effective brakes, precise steering (depending on the drive mode), and fun handling.

Acceleration

The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine provides 248 horsepower and has a strong middle that doesn’t go away. It’s rapid and fluid in its responses, giving the impression that you have more muscle than you actually have. Our 0-60 mph time in the upper sixes should be plenty fast for most situations.

Braking

The smooth, light pedal is easy to modulate, and repeated panic stops were no match for the optional performance braking system. Seeing the tires skitter on the pavement might make the journey seem longer, but it won’t affect performance significantly.

Steering

In Comfort mode, the steering wheel turns too easily, reducing precision. The X3 is more engaging and predictable to drive because of the Sport mode’s increased heaviness and speed. The sportier M40i’s thicker wheel is no match for this X3’s tiny rim.

Handling

The handling of this tiny SUV is excellent. Driver-adjustable adaptive dampers produce noticeable changes between settings; however, the practical use of the sport settings is open to debate. This X3 is as agile and quick around corners as any BMW, despite its all-season tires.

Drivability

The transmission provides optimum gear ratios and relatively silent changes to complement the engine. The thud that occurs when the engine shuts down is an unfortunate side effect of the stop-start mechanism. While traveling downhill, cruise control slows the vehicle down by downshifting and using the brakes.

Off-road

All-wheel drive and hill descent control are standard equipment for off-road use. There is 8 inches of ground clearance, and the approach and departure angles are larger than those of the previous version. If you’re driving the X3 to a campsite on a gravel road, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Conclusion

We also looked at the Audi Q5, Lexus NX, and Acura RDX in addition to the X3. While not the greatest deal, the X3 was the finest in its class when it came to speed, luxury, and technology. We’ve been Lexus owners for a while now, but the new NX really let us down.

The car had the Lexus-like smoothness and superb value of its competitors, but its engine was the slowest of the lot, and its 6-speed transmission was antiquated. The X3’s performance is superior, and iDrive is a huge improvement over Lexus’s navigation system. Acura’s new RDX looked promising on paper, but the company is currently playing catch-up in the market.

Our test vehicle’s loose trim and panel gap concerns were disappointing given the strong engine, high-quality interior materials, and excellent sound system. The drivetrain also lacked the BMW’s smooth quality.

The Audi Q5 was a serious competitor since it offered the nicest cabin and the most refined driving experience. However, the revamped exterior failed to win us over.

We opted not to purchase since there were so many complaints about the product’s quality on the forums after production was shifted to Mexico.

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