2010 BMW X3 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2010 BMW X3 SUV

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
BMW X3 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L Inline 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 260 hp @ 6600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2010 BMW X3

  • The 2010 BMW X3 xDrive30i is an excellent, if rather pricey, choice for driving enthusiasts who want a compact crossover SUV that feels and moves like a sport sedan.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Excellent handling, pleasing power delivery, high-quality cabin, accommodating rear seat, abundant cargo space for its size.

  • Cons

    Relatively stiff ride, priced higher than most competitors.

  • What's New for 2010

    For 2010, the BMW X3 loses one standard feature, the moonroof, but gains another in the form of HD Radio.

Full 2010 BMW X3 Review

What's New for 2010

For 2010, the BMW X3 loses one standard feature, the moonroof, but gains another in the form of HD Radio.


As the junior member of the company's SUV family, the 2010 BMW X3 has some big tire tracks to fill. As a Bimmer, it is expected to offer vigorous performance, athletic handling and a rewarding drive. But as a luxury crossover, it's also expected to offer versatility, a long list of modern conveniences and top-notch cabin materials. Happily, the X3 does the family proud.

The X3 debuted six years ago as a trailblazer in this segment. It hasn't been fully redesigned since, though, and competitors from just about every mainstream luxury automaker have recently joined the party. As a result, the X3 has gotten a little lost in all the hype and hubbub. But there's still a lot to like, including sharp handling, a free-revving inline-6 engine, ample seating space and a generous cargo hold.

However, the X3 is not without a few faults. The price to pay for the superb handling is a firm ride that may be too stiff for some folks. Also, the X3 is pricey compared to rivals such as the Acura RDX, Infiniti EX35 and Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class. In addition to these models, there's worthy competition in the form of the Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60 T6. All of the above are newer designs with plenty of standout attributes. Overall, however, the 2010 BMW X3 remains a respectable choice, and it's certainly a top pick for anyone wanting more driving pleasure from an SUV.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 BMW X3 is a small luxury crossover SUV that is offered in one trim level, the xDrive30i. Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, heated side mirrors, automatic climate control, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, eight-way-adjustable power front seats with driver memory settings and a 10-speaker audio system with a CD/MP3 player, HD radio and an auxiliary audio jack.

Options are largely grouped into packages. The Sport Activity package includes 18-inch wheels, running boards, a sport steering wheel and rear privacy glass. The Premium package includes a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, auto-dimming mirrors, ambient lighting and Bluetooth. Opting for the Sport package nets a stiffer sport suspension, sport front seats and steering wheel and body styling accents.

Other options include 19-inch alloy wheels with higher-performance tires, speed sensitive steering, a premium audio system, 16-way power front seats, a navigation system, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, adaptive xenon headlights and front and rear parking sensors.

Powertrains and Performance

Powering the all-wheel-drive BMW X3 xDrive30i is a 3.0-liter inline-6 engine that produces 260 horsepower and 225 pound-feet of torque. Power is routed through either a class-exclusive six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. Notably, the automatic is a no-cost option.

In our testing, a manual-transmission X3 scooted to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds. EPA estimated fuel ratings for the automatic transmission are 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 20 mpg in combined driving. The manual transmission merits the same except for combined, where it comes in at 19 mpg.


Standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, automatic brake drying, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, active front-seat head restraints, stability control and hill descent control. Rear-seat side airbags are available as an option.

In crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2010 BMW X3 was awarded the highest rating of "Good" for protection in both frontal-offset and side impacts.

Interior Design and Special Features

The X3's interior is attractive and fitted with high-quality materials. The standard front seats are comfortable and firm, with sufficient support for sporty driving; there are also optional sport seats and sublimely comfortable 16-way power seats. The rear seats are quite agreeable as well, with plenty of head- and legroom for average adults.

One annoyance is that the controls for the ventilation, audio and optional navigation system can be fussy to operate. You might also be surprised that a rear entertainment system isn't available as a factory option. Rear storage is generous, measuring 30 cubic feet of space with the rear seats in use. With the 60/40-split rear seatbacks lowered, cargo capacity is upped to an impressive 71 cubes.

Driving Impressions

Among small luxury crossover SUVs, the 2010 BMW X3 xDrive30i has no equal on curvy roads, thanks to superior steering feel, sharp suspension tuning and smooth, eager performance from the inline-6 with either transmission. However, if you're looking for a comfortable family vehicle, the X3's relatively stiff ride -- especially with the optional sport suspension -- likely won't impress. High-speed stability is excellent, though, and the X3 generally imparts a sense of confidence and control. Aside from the ride quality, this BMW's driving dynamics are beyond reproach.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

10 of 17 people found this review helpful

A car built for disasters

by on
Vehicle: 2010 BMW X3 xDrive30i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

The BMW salesman took me for a wild test ride in a San Antonio flash flood that cinched the deal. Then the car out jeeped the Jeeps in DC's Blizzard of '09, handling 12" of unplowed snow without problems. Then to top it off, I ended up driving through Nashville's flood of 2010 negotiating severely flooded roads and torrential rain with confidence. Having a sharp car that turns heads is nice. Having the same car survive two major natural disasters and keep motoring without a scratch is X3i. My salesman said a Volvo survives a crash great but that this little X3i avoids a crash the best. He was right.

Just amazing

by on
Vehicle: 2010 BMW X3 xDrive30i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

After trading in an Acura MDX, I went for the X3. It is peppy, handles like all the other 3 series, hugs the road, has great pick-up and at 6'5", I have plenty of room. In the snow it behaves like a military tank, and on the freeway it secures the road with confidence. I bought it as a second car, and I find myself driving it daily. It's cargo capacity is more than enough and it allows for organizing anything inside. I have had absolutely no problems. I thought initially it was pricey, and now, boy! I got my money's worth and then some.

3 of 11 people found this review helpful

The car-lover's suv

by on
Vehicle: 2010 BMW X3 xDrive30i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

The X3 is awesome. I have had the pleasure of owning a 325 (06), and a 328xi coupe (07). I was afraid no SUV would bring that joy back but the X3 delivers.

Talk About The 2010 X3

2010 BMW X3 Discussions See all Started By

So I am looking for bigger and a little higher. But... I don't like SUVs. I drove a 2010 X3 and that is the only good handling SUV I have ever driven. The 2011 + X3 lost both its crisp handling and ...

@ortega said: kyfdx, Could you confirm what the January MF and residual is for an X3 28i w/15k miles/yr? Also, any info you can provide on current incentives for returning BMW lessees would be help...

That sounds like what I want. I have a 2010 x3 but rather plain Jane, no bells and whistles. Has 49100 miles so will have to consider extended warranty soon. No problems in last 3 years until short...

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Call us at 855-782-4711
Text us at ED411