Will the Dogs Fit? - 2012 BMW X3 Long-Term Road Test

2012 BMW X3 Long Term Road Test

2012 BMW X3 - Will the Dogs Fit?

January 14, 2013

2012 BMW X3

My wife, thankfully, is seriously considering replacing her aging VW Jetta with a new car. I've never liked her car, so seeing it go will be a happy day.

She would like to get something nicer, something bigger, more capable. We've got dogs, a possible future family, and the George Carlin "more stuff" syndrome. Mentioning she likes the looks of the current generation of the X3, I finagled the keys to our Long-Termer.

Both the wife and I immediately liked the beautiful interior, the ample power, and the feel in the steering, but it rode a little harsh for us. To soften things up I guess we wouldn't need the Sport Package. The leather is fantastic, but there is no way on God's green Earth I'd ever allow my dogs to just ride in the back seat without some kind of seat cover. Say you got those seat covers and there was a baby seat back in the second row, would you let two 60-pound dogs ride shotgun to said youth? Neither would I. Into the back with you two mangy mutts!

That's what sealed the deal for me. The dogs barely had enough room to move around and there is no way you'd also get a suitcase/anything else back there. Any additional gear would have to ride shotgun with the future child, and it'd be limited at that. I need room for my stuff while I go out and buy more stuff.

My wife was sad. So was I. This is a great car, but not as the solo family truckster. Honestly, I knew a small SUV was going to have this problem, but I had to see it with my own eyes. Gotta look to vehicles a bit bigger than this.

Scott Jacobs, Sr. Mgr, Photography @ 22,873 miles


  • hybris hybris Posts:

    2000-2005 Ford Excursion with either the V10 or 7.3 diesel or a modified and corrected I.E Bulletproofed 6.0L diesel. All the room you want for the family and dogs and you can still park it in a normal parking space. A suburban 2500 would be a good option if the used market out in California is a bit on the thin side for Excursions and if you HAVE to have a "New" vehicle.

  • vvk vvk Posts:

    Scott, it is obvious you have no idea what it takes to drive somewhere with an infant. Forget the dogs, unless you buy a large minivan or a Suburban.

  • dmos dmos Posts:

    Scott, How often do you expect to run into that usage case? If it's the odd trip a few times a year where the dogs + future child are going out with "stuff", why not look into a roof rack/pod? Then the stuff could ride up top, with the mutts separated from the child. Then the rest of the year your wife gets something that will accept child + dogs and not be any larger than necessary. This is how we get away with having a coupe and a wagon, while our neighbours and friends all have minivans or gargantuan SUVs. See Dan's example with the CRV.

  • goober88 goober88 Posts:

    Sounds like a ML is more appropriate! I bought mine because it rides better than a X5, and after all the stress that I have given the seats--I can safely say that the leatherette can handle anything.

  • f0xfire021 f0xfire021 Posts:

    We have a 328 wagon that's about the same overall size as the x3, just with less head room. We also have a kid and a large dog, and find that it works just fine for long trips by loading most of our gear into a roof box and letting the dog have the hatch. 99% of the time we have a great driving little wagon that is more than spacious enough, and the other 1% of the time when we're going on a trip and absolutely need the space we pack carefully and deal with it. Have yet to have a moment where it let us down due to space constraints.

Leave a Comment

Past Long-Term Road Tests

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