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The BMW X3 has been around for nearly two decades. The crossover has made quite a name amongst luxury buyers and enthusiasts. But which is the best year BMW X3?

For those who like to travel in luxury and style without compromising on utility and drivability, the BMW X3 is a hot favorite. The vehicle offers many premium features found on even more luxury sedans and crossovers.

2019 is the best year for BMW X3 as it comes with many technologically advanced features. The safety ratings of this model are also top-notch. 2019 is the first year to offer the enthusiasts' favorite M40i variant, which delivers an exceptional driving experience and impressive performance.

BMW, the renowned German luxury car brand, produces "Ultimate Driving Machines," which deliver beyond expectations. The BMW X3 is one such crossover vehicle produced by the company that competes directly with Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLC class vehicles.

Car experts believe that the BMW X3 has made quite a reputation among enthusiasts thanks to its fun driving experience and reliability. It shares many design features with BMW sedans from the 3 Series and 4 Series. It is equipped with advanced safety features, making it a dependable family vehicle.

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2019 BMW X3

For enthusiasts who believe BMW to be the "Ultimate Driving Machine" and are looking to get pep out of their vehicle, the 2019 BMW X3 crossover is good news. The X3 attracts enthusiasts and luxury crossover buyers alike with its dual nature.

The standard trim levels are powered by an inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine and come with a luxurious, high-end interior. For those looking to get more power and performance, there is an M40i trim, which houses a six-cylinder turbocharged engine to deliver some real power.

The 2019 X3 is equipped with many technologies not found on preceding models, such as a bundle of driver assists and an advanced infotainment system.


The X3 was redesigned in 2018, and the 2019 model flaunts a similar shape and style as its predecessor, with a few tweaks inside the cabin. The vehicle looks impressive and stylish both from the inside and outside.

The 2019 X3 significantly polishes the aesthetics found in the previous version. It flaunts a sleeker look, broader intakes, and the wheels pushed out for a longer wheelbase. The X3 stands out among other crossovers with swooping rooflines with taller glass. However, the tall glass greatly helps with drivability and outer vision.

Looking at the vehicle from the rear, the lavish taillights, rear glass, and the sporty bumper with dual exhaust tips flaunt a premium and sporty look.

Step inside, and you will be quite impressed by the shades and trims of the cabin. The interior remains subtle yet stylish, giving a technologically advanced and luxurious feel when you step inside. The dashboard looks dominated by the off-center display screen, the edges of which match the trim's shape underneath.

If screen time is your thing, you can find a 2019 X3 with a 12.3-inch display in place of the gauge cluster. Although that is quite impressive, it feels less sophisticated than the Virtual Cockpit found on modern Audis.


The standard X3, which includes the rear-wheel-drive sDrive30i and the all-wheel-drive xDrive30i, is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four. The engine can produce 248 hp and 258 lb.-ft of torque. Impressively, the engine is enough to take both variants of the X3 to sixty miles per hour in under six seconds.

The engine is coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission, which comes standard on all X3 variants. It is responsive and works well at low speeds and in heavy traffic with frequent stops. On highways, the transmission adapts well and ensures flawless shifts for a responsive feel.

Some picky car enthusiasts find the turbo on the vehicle lag when they put the pedal to the metal. BMW was already aware of this picky enthusiast problem, so they came up with a solution in advance and called it BMW X3 M40i.

The M40i is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter, inline-six-cylinder engine, producing up to 355 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque. The 2019 model is the first X3 to wear the M badge, and it does not disappoint.

The engine is coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The powertrain takes the X3 M40i to sixty in just 4.6 seconds and can attain a top speed of a whopping 155 mph. The sporty exhaust's roar is enough to satisfy your inner race car driver.

On the xDrive30i, the all-wheel-drive feels as if it delivers more power to the rear wheels. This biasness of power is more obvious on the M40i, which sometimes feels like a rear-wheel drive.

The X3 has a good eight inches of ground clearance and is designed to trek through 19.6 inches of water. But most owners are likely to hesitate when taking their shiny, precious investment on mountain trails or rough terrain. However, on paper, the X3 is as durable as most rivals when faced with tough situations.

It is best to leave it running on the tarmac, where it delivers the most fun and performance.

The X3 is equipped with a five-link independent suspension on the rear and a double-pivot strut suspension on the front. The suspension makes the crossover fun to drive with a lot of responsiveness. It runs well on twisty roads and can take on corners at high speed. The suspension feels firm and keeps a check on body roll but ensures a smooth ride without transferring every dip and crest to the cabin.

Adaptive shocks came as an option on the 2019 X3, which allow the driver to switch between Eco, Comfort, and Sport mode. The M40i also features a Sport+ mode, which makes the shock absorbers stiffer, resulting in more traction and better handling.

The steering on the X3 feels slightly heavy due to the thin steering wheel. However, it is responsive to driver input and does not take away from the driving pleasure of the vehicle.

Quality and Comfort

The 2019 X3 is designed for five passengers and comfortably holds up to four adult passengers and one child. The front-seat passengers have enough room for their legs, shoulders, and head. The legroom for the front passengers is 40.3 inches, which is complemented by the spacious headroom.

The rear passengers also get very good legroom of 36.4 inches. The doors are cut wide to allow the rear seat passengers to get in and out without difficulty. Three adults can easily fit in the back, but it is best to stick to two passengers on the backseat for longer trips. This will allow the passengers to tilt the seat back and take naps on long highway cruises.

The car can comfortably seat tall six-foot passengers riding behind two six-footers in the front seats with ample legroom. However, the tracks on the front seats allow the seat to move back so much that it can cram the rear passengers if one does not pay attention or wants to be selfish and rude.

There is no third row on the X3, and quite frankly, nobody wants one. Let's leave it to the bigger X5 to take care of that.

The X3 comes with ample storage space. Behind the backseat, there is room for 28.7 cubic feet of cargo. There is a shallow storage bin and rails, which allow better cargo management. With the rear seats tumbled down, the space increases to 63 cubic feet.

The vehicle has many storage bins all around the cabin. These include the front and rear door pockets and a large center console box. There is also a large wireless charging mat suitable for phones of all sizes.


The BMW X3 comes equipped with all standard safety features such as six airbags, including front, side curtain, knee, and overhead airbags. It also features electronic stability control, ensuring that the vehicle is not pushed beyond its limits and remains under the driver's control.

Federal testers seem quite happy with the BMW X3's structure and the safety features it offers.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates the vehicle's crashworthiness as "Good," which is the top score offered by the testing body. It depicts that the vehicle keeps the occupants safe in case of a crash.

With "Superior" ratings for optional crash prevention system that includes adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and blind-spot monitors. The X3 is also equipped with frontal crash prevention with automatic emergency braking when driving at city speed limits.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has rated the safety features of the X3 as five-star. The crossover attains five stars for frontal and side impacts and a four-star rating for rollover risk.  

In addition to the technological features like surround-view cameras and front and rear parking sensors, the X3 greatly benefits from the exceptional outside vision to the driver, thanks to the tall glass design.


The X3 is loaded with a bundle of premium features, and none of them are cheap. Like other vehicles with a round disc on the front-center of the hood, BMW probably stands for "Bring My Wallet."

Various options are available on the X3, but nearly all of them come with a separate price tag. The base BMW X3 comes equipped with the following features as standard:

  • Eight-way, power-adjustable front seats
  • Keyless ignition
  • Tilt/Telescopic Steering wheel
  • Steering mounted controls for transmission, audio system, and cruise control
  • Auto-dimming, electro-chromatic rearview mirror
  • Air filtration system for cabin
  • Triple zone climate control
  • All windows are equipped with one-touch operation
  • Heated exterior mirrors
  • Tilting external mirror on the passenger side when the vehicle is put in reverse
  • 12-speaker audio system

In 2019, BMW charged customers $500 for any other color except white or black, similarly for other features like leather upholstery, all-wheel drive, heated seats, heated steering wheel, etc. The list just kept going on until one has reached the top-of-the-line M40i variant equipped with leather upholstery, 20-inch wheels, wireless smartphone charger, and numerous driving assist and luxury packages, which could take the price up to $66,000 for a new X3 in 2019.

To understand the packages, let us look at the M Sport package, which could be mounted for $5,300. It added:

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Panoramic moonroof
  • LED headlights
  • Sporty steering wheel
  • Matte wood interior trim
  • Soft-touch dashboard
  • Keyless entry
  • Gray trim on the exterior with aerodynamic add-ons

There is also Apple CarPlay that comes as default on the X3. It was free for the first year but required an annual charge of $80 for every year after that.

However, with an advanced infotainment system already mounted on the X3, one hardly misses ApplePlay. The infotainment system can be used for many functions like calendar notifications, making reservations, and even informing waiting friends and family members when the car will arrive. The system is also equipped with navigation.

Fuel Economy

The 2019 X3 is as fuel-efficient as many of its rivals. To increase the vehicle's fuel efficiency any further would require incorporating a hybrid system.

The rear-wheel-drive 2.0-liter, four-cylinder sDrive30i achieves EPA ratings of 23 miles per gallon for city driving, 30 mpg for highways, and 26 mpg for combined.

The all-wheel-drive 2.0 liter, four-cylinder xDrive30i achieves 22 mpg in city driving, 29 mpg when running on highways, and 25 mpg for combined driving.

The all-wheel-drive 3.0-liter, six-cylinder M40i attains 20 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg for combined driving.

The 2019 X3's fuel economy stands well among its rivals like the Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLC class.

Price Range of 2019 X3

The 2019 BMW X3 ranges between $36,000 and $55,000, with an average price of around $42,000. The most expensive X3s are the M40i variants, which cost upwards of $50,000. However, the xDrive30i is the most popular variant and can be had for under $45,000. Many factors determine the price of a used X3. These include location, optional features, vehicle variant, mileage, and vehicle condition.

Running Costs of 2019 X3

It is estimated that the BMW X3 costs around $6,700 annually, which translates to $33,500 for five years. BMW is a top-rated luxury brand and is expected to cost higher than other vehicles in the category.

Best Year BMW X3

About The Author

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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