2011 BMW X3 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2011 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!

How do you feel about these results?

Tell us why you feel that way.

Contact Me No Thanks
BMW X3 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L Inline 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 8-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 300 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 BMW X3

  • The 2011 BMW X3 is a fine, if pricey, choice for drivers seeking sport sedan dynamics in a crossover SUV.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Potent turbocharged engine; high-quality cabin; crisp handling; comfortable rear seat.

  • Cons

    Abrupt power delivery; priced higher than many competitors.

  • What's New for 2011

    The 2011 BMW X3 has been fully redesigned. Highlights include an optional turbocharged engine, a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, crisper exterior styling, revised suspension tuning and an updated interior design with the latest iDrive electronics interface.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (11 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I like it but...

by on
Vehicle: 2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)

2011 X3 35I is my first BMW, I am a Honda Accord 3.0 6 cylinder regular. X3 is a beautiful, fun to drive small SUV. Its quick at high speed. It has roomy interior, front and rear. Good sound system as well as the blue tooth phone interface. This vehicle is really for luxury and not an economical alternative.

Best suv in the market.

by on
Vehicle: 2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)

I have owned this car for 11 months and put on 14200 miles on it. I have driven all four seasons now and can say that this is the best SUV I have driven. Performance is Awesome. I would say that BMW has built this like a mirror of your mood. If you slam on the gas it is the fastest with accurate handling control with (17mpg). My friends say that they could see a big difference in my driving style. If you drive it slow you get the best possible mileage (31 mpg). I drove 270 miles non stop and I looked fresh as I started to drive. Get the Premium Audio and it is one of the best&Every Penny is worth it. If you get this car from a reputed dealer it will not disappoint you.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

I got a lemon.

by on
Vehicle: 2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)

I bought a brand new 2011 BMW X3 XDrive 35i from Autorgemana in Medellin, Colombia and I got a lemon. 1) The sunroof didn’t work. It took 6 months to replace everything and still makes a clunking noise when it opens. 2) when you step on the brakes the car shakes. It was at the dealer 3 times and they couldn’t give us a correct solution. They replaced all 4 disc brakes, pads and sensors. 3) The headlights fog up inside even if it doesn’t rain. They haven’t been able to figure out why this happens so they said it is normal and a year later still happens. 4) The steering system was broken. It went to the shop 3 times and it took 8 months to replace it. As i write this, my car is 14 months old, it has 14.800 kms and it is in the shop for the twelfth time. I named it St. Joseph because it goes from the shop to the house and the house to the shop.

I like it, but...

by on
Vehicle: 2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)

I am in month 10 and while I love the incomparable BMW handling, every time I drive it I am frustrated by the unnecessarily complicated shifter and the door locking system. I would not buy this car again if it had the same awkward shifter or if the door locking could not be reprogrammed. I am constantly pulling on locked door handles, but have been told by my dealer that this cannot be changed for safety reasons. Funny that Lexus does not have that concern. I also don't like the navigation display. Not enough street names are clearly identified and the background colors make it hard to read. By comparison, my wife's Lexus SUV has a dazzlingly clear and complete navigation screen.

Very nice

by on
Vehicle: 2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)

One thing I can say is that the X3 drives like a sports car. Handling is exceptional as is its acceleration. The turbo engine and 8-speed transmission are a great marriage. Its power deliver seems limitless. Yet, the the ride is smooth and composed. It can be very relaxing when you want it to be and a canyon carver when your in the mood. I really this like this little SUV a lot - mainly because it doesn't feel like one, if you know what I mean. The navigation screen is a wide screen set up allowing for maps to be displayed beside radio stations/songs/artwork if you like it that way. The standard stereo system sound very good as well. So far, seven months and no problems.

7 of 25 people found this review helpful

First time bmw owner

by on
Vehicle: 2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)

Best SUV period. Drove the Mercedes GLK (nice SUV, styling inside and out a little old fashion), The Audi Q5 (excellent exterior looks, interior is very nice, steering felt odd within an unusual firming up - 2nd place choice) and the Acura RDX (very agile, nice steering feel but needs to be quieter on the highway). The turbo X3 was the clear winner for me. Smooth, yet sporty ride, very quiet, nice engine note, business like interior, excellent cargo space, the engine and transmission work flawlessly together (except for initial acceleration from a stop which takes some getting used to) and acceleration is unmatched by any in the class.

Full 2011 BMW X3 Review

What's New for 2011

The 2011 BMW X3 has been fully redesigned. Highlights include an optional turbocharged engine, a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, crisper exterior styling, revised suspension tuning and an updated interior design with the latest iDrive electronics interface.


When it debuted seven years ago, the BMW X3 seemed like a natural follow-up to its larger linemate, the X5. But burdened with mediocre power, a jarring ride and subpar interior, the X3 almost seemed more like a corporate afterthought than a fully realized small crossover SUV. Thankfully, BMW softened the suspension and upped the power in successive years. And still blessed with BMW's typical handling excellence, the X3 found an audience among those seeking a sharp handler over road and trail but also a ride large enough to ferry a couple of golden Labs to the bark park.

With the 2011 X3, BMW is hoping to fully make amends. This redesigned X3 is about the same size as the first-generation model but features notable mechanical revisions. Under the more dynamic looking sheet metal is a redesigned suspension that softens the stiff ride of its predecessor. The X3 is still plenty taut and inspired in corners, aided by all-wheel drive, but now provides a more compliant ride. An optional adaptive suspension allows the driver to select from three different modes calibrating suspension, throttle, transmission and stability control settings.

This year also brings a second trim level to the lineup. The xDrive28i ostensibly replaces last year's xDrive30i, and offers slightly less power, but also a slimmer entry fee. The xDrive35i, with its turbocharged, 300-horsepower six-cylinder engine, is the target to which to aspire. Both models get a new eight-speed transmission, which rows through gears in a quiet fury to reach cruising speed. And when you need maximum acceleration in an instant, the transmission can drop from 8th to 2nd gear in a single direct snap, bypassing the gears in between.

Overall, BMW's refinements make the X3 a prime contender in the small luxury crossover SUV segment. But it's not without peer. The Infiniti EX35, for instance, drives with similar power and agility. The 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class is less athletic, but feels more solid. The 2011 Audi Q5 is smoother around the edges, while the 2011 Volvo XC60 is more family-friendly. As you've probably gathered, each of these others offers a slightly different take on what a luxury crossover should be. But if you want one with performance leanings, the 2011 BMW X3 is a fine pick.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 BMW X3 is a five-passenger compact luxury crossover SUV available in two trim levels: the xDrive28i and the xDrive35i.

Standard features on the 28i include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, eight-way power front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, automatic climate control, cruise control, Bluetooth, BMW's iDrive electronics interface and a 12-speaker audio system with a CD player, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod interface.

The 35i is similar but has 18-inch alloy wheels and adaptive xenon headlights. Options are largely grouped into packages, but several of the items are available separately. The Sport Activity package varies slightly for each model, but includes 18-inch wheels, sport front seats, roof rails and a sport transmission with paddle shifters. The Premium package adds a sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and leather upholstery.

The Technology package offers a rearview camera with top view, front and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth streaming audio and a hard-drive-based navigation system with voice commands and real-time traffic. Opting for the Dynamic Handling package gets you adaptive suspension dampers, variable-ratio steering and three driver-selectable drive modes. A Cold Weather package adds heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel.

Additional stand-alone options include 19-inch wheels. a rearview camera, a head-up display, a sunroof, keyless entry/ignition, a power liftgate, a 40/20/40-split rear seat, satellite radio and a premium audio system.

Powertrains and Performance

A 3.0-liter inline-6 engine powers both 2011 BMW X3 models. The engine in the xDrive28i makes 240 hp and 221 pound-feet of torque, while direct injection and turbocharging increase power in the xDrive35i to 300 hp and 300 lb-ft. A new eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode is standard on both models, as is AWD.

In Edmunds testing, an xDrive35i accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, a very quick time for this segment. BMW estimates the x35i's fuel economy at 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway.


Standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, automatic brake drying (useful in rainy weather), front airbags, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, active front-seat head restraints, stability control, and hill descent control. In Edmunds testing, the xDrive35i stopped from 60 mph in a short 116 feet.

Interior Design and Special Features

About an inch wider than its predecessor, the 2011 BMW X3 offers the driver a little more elbow room between the door and the front seat passenger. While still considered a compact crossover, the X3 has swelled to proportions similar to the previous-generation X5. Rear legroom is likewise generous.

The additional room is welcomed, allowing occupants to feel cocooned within the high-quality materials covering the seats, consoles and dash. The fourth generation of BMW's iDrive -- the system that controls settings, information, navigation and entertainment -- now offers better intuitive control, although the hybrid dial/joystick selector still requires some practice and patience. Thankfully, it falls to hand easily next to the gearshift, like a television remote.

Driving Impressions

With its weight distributed almost equally over its front and rear axles, the 2011 BMW X3 is an adept handler. The chassis feels light and the speed-sensitive steering gives the X3 a nimble quality that makes you want to swing it around. The Dynamic Handling package adds different driving modes, though we've found these to be an overly complicated solution to a problem that never existed in the first place. In particular, throttle response can be annoyingly slow, especially in the base, "Normal" mode. And when your foot's request is finally approved by the electronic governors, the engine catapults you through the transmission's eight gears. It's slightly unsettling, and only somewhat mitigated by selecting Sport mode. Once at cruising or highway speeds, acceleration is swift and effortless.

Talk About The 2011 X3

Read more about the 2011 BMW X3

Gas Mileage


  • 19
  • cty
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs