2017 BMW X3 Review
2017 BMW X3 Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Manager, NewsCameron Rogers has worked in the automotive industry since 2013. He has tested and reviewed hundreds of vehicles over the course of his career. Today, he leads the news team in developing cutting-edge news articles, opinion pieces and sneak peeks at upcoming vehicles. Favorite cars that he's driven during his tenure at Edmunds include the 991-era Porsche 911 Turbo S, Rolls-Royce Ghost and several generations of Honda Odyssey (really).
- Pretty good performance and fuel economy from all available engines
- Generous passenger and cargo room for the segment
- High-quality cabin feels luxurious
- Interior is well-isolated from wind and tire noise
- Costs more than similarly equipped competitors
- Isn't much fun to drive without the sport-themed upgrade packages
- Tech interface has a steep learning curve
- Adaptive cruise control doesn't perform as well as some rivals
For 2017, the iDrive interface included with the optional navigation system is updated to the latest version. The xDrive35i now comes standard with keyless ignition and entry, power lumbar adjustment and satellite radio. The options list is also bolstered with wireless charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot.
A seven-year life cycle is an eternity in car years, especially when the vehicle in question is a member of the very popular luxury compact crossover class. But even with a new version arriving for 2018, the 2017 BMW X3 still holds its own against newer rivals. Much of that is because of a comprehensive refresh in 2015, which updated the X3's exterior and interior styling, among other enhancements. This year's revisions to the iDrive infotainment system and new standard features to the xDrive35i trim only add to its appeal.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $4.09 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Avg. Midsize SUV
We've always considered the X3 one of the top choices in the segment, and the 2017 model is no different. In terms of the rear seat and cargo area, the X3 boasts one of the roomiest interiors in the class. That's massively important if you have visions of taking your friends camping for the weekend and don't want to upgrade to the larger (and more expensive) X5. That recent refresh also means all the latest and greatest tech and safety toys are on the options list, from a 360-degree camera to adaptive cruise control and a head-up display.
On the downside, the X3 is more expensive than most in this class. A rearview camera, which comes standard on nearly every economy car these days, is an optional extra. If you can stomach the high price tag, the 2017 BMW X3 remains a class leader amid an array of newer competitors.
Edmunds' Expert Rating3.5 / 5
Despite its advanced age, the 2017 BMW X3 remains one of the best choices in the compact luxury crossover class. Thanks to continual improvements and updates, the X3 is still competitive against newer rivals.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 BMW X3 xDrive35i (turbo 3.0L inline-6 | 8-speed automatic | AWD).
|Overall||3.5 / 5|
The X3's performance is good by universal measures, but it doesn't stack up favorably compared to newer rivals. Its turbocharged six remains plenty powerful, but it belongs to an outgoing engine generation that isn't ideally matched to the transmission. The steering is the biggest letdown.
The X3 complies when you want to move, needing only 5.5 seconds to hit 60 mph. But among the newest crop of luxury compact SUVs, it is about middle of the pack. Shifts are crisp and rapid at full throttle, and the 300-horsepower engine pulls hard from low speeds, happily revving to 7,000 rpm.
Its stopping distance at 119 feet from 60 mph is comparable to others in the class with all-season tires. We witnessed minimal, if any, instability at maximum braking, though we felt the brake pedal required a little more pressure than average.
The X3's steering is light and direct, but feedback is minimal and the assist feels unnatural because it doesn't readily return to center. This creates a vague on-center feel and requires more effort to maintain a smooth arc through any road with a degree of bend. An odd shortfall for BMW.
Without the dynamic handling options, this X3 isn't as adept at tackling curves as we were expecting. It can still be driven with moderate enthusiasm and retain its composure, but with its all-season run-flat tires, this BMW SUV leans more "utility" than "sport."
Throttle response is a bit touchy even in Comfort mode, and there's a short delay before the turbos kick in. This delay is exacerbated when the automatic engine stop-start is on. The eight-speed transmission feels overly shifty when you aren't accelerating hard and isn't as smooth as in other BMWs.
The X3 is a mixed bag when it comes to comfort. The climate control system operates well, and the cabin does a good job of insulating against wind and road noise. But its busy ride quality is a real shortcoming.
The front seat cushions feel a little flat and firm, and there isn't much lateral support for the upper torso or thighs. But the dense padding on the armrest is welcome, and the material is comfortable. The rear seats sit closer to the floor and may compromise comfort for long-legged passengers.
Though we wouldn't classify the X3 as stiff-riding, it is busy, likely because of the unyielding sidewalls of its run-flat tires. Small undulations and road imperfections reach occupants, but larger bumps are decently dispatched. The optional adjustable dampers may help.
Noise & vibration4.0
The X3 is no longer the quietest in the segment; that honor goes to the Mercedes-Benz GLC. But its cruising noise level is still excellent, and it isolates its occupants effectively from tire and wind noise. The interior is also entirely free of squeaks and rattles.
The dual-zone climate controls are prominent, making them easy to comprehend and adjust. There is plenty of heating and cooling capacity, and the auto temperature settings maintain a comfortable cabin environment. Seat heaters get toasty very quickly.
The X3 scores well when it comes to accommodating drivers of all sizes and making it easy to climb in and out. There's a good amount of room available front and rear, though some could find the lower height of the rear bench off-putting. The new iDrive system is a step back.
Ease of use3.0
Compared to the previous system, BMW's latest iDrive menu interface is less intuitive. The multifunctional rotary knob controls are fundamentally still good, but we had difficulty locating things such as the driver assist functions, which are accessed through a button on the dash and not in a menu.
Getting in/getting out4.0
The seat height allows easy access to folks of average height (5-foot-10). The front and rear doors open wide, and rear-door head clearance is pretty generous. The door hinge's detents are pretty strong, so children or short occupants might have a hard time closing a fully open door once seated.
BMW does a good job of ensuring drivers can find a comfortable position. There's enough adjustability to sit high for a good road view, or low to feel more ensconced in the cockpit. Furthermore, the steering column's tilt and reach adjustment ranges are generous.
The front and rear seats offer ample leg- and headroom, though long-legged rear occupants might dislike the low seating position. In the back seat, even those taller than 6 feet will find adequate headroom. Rear footroom is sufficient for large passengers.
Front-quarter visibility is good, but the rear-quarter view is hampered somewhat by large roof supports and small quarter-windows. Still, visibility is similar to that of most competitors. A rearview or surround-view camera system and parking sensors are optional.
BMW interiors are often executed in beautiful minimalism. All of the switches have a nice substantial feel, the knobs have nice, soft notches, and panel gaps are minimal. The only nit to pick is that the leather appears a bit mediocre for this price point, especially around the steering wheel.
With a max of 63.3 cubic feet of cargo space, the X3 is at the top of the segment. You can stow bicycles with the rear seats down, and the split seats fold completely flat. The door pockets are a good size but are not optimally shaped for large water bottles. The LATCH anchors are hard to access.
The center armrest bin is modestly sized, as are the door pockets (though the pockets are shaped to hold a lot of little items rather than larger ones). All four cupholders — two in front, two in the rear armrest — feature anti-tip tabs.
The X3's rear seats are easy to fold forward and lie flat for a smooth cargo area floor. With 27.6 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, and 63.3 cubic feet with them folded, the X3 offers a useful amount of utility for its class. A bit of extra storage space under the rear cargo area floor.
Child safety seat accommodation2.0
The LATCH anchors are buried in the crevices of the seat cushions and not easy to access.
At 3,000 pounds, the X3's tow rating is below average for the segment.
BMW's navigation system remains easy to use even if the rest of the iDrive system has taken a step back in user friendliness. We weren't wowed by the access and level of control to our phone's media library, but we appreciated the Wi-Fi hotspot browsing speeds and most of the advanced driving aids.
Audio & navigation4.0
Aside from the less intuitive menu structure of iDrive 5.0, the navigation system is far better to use than most. There's a split-screen mode, real-time traffic info and pinch-zoom function when using the rotary dial touchpad. The standard Harmon Kardon surround-sound system doesn't disappoint.
Apple CarPlay is optional and highly recommended. Using iDrive to navigate through an iPhone playlist is extremely cumbersome, and there's no access to podcasts or audiobooks. Android Auto is not available.
Our test car came with lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, a surround-view camera and parking sensors. The lane departure warning was overly sensitive and not adjustable, and thus not very useful. The sensitivity of the forward collision warning is adjustable.
Which X3 does Edmunds recommend?
We like the diesel engine that powers the xDrive28d. It'll save you money on fuel over the long haul, yet it delivers strong performance on the open road. You'll get exceptional range, too, so you'll spend less time fueling up. Unless you're truly keen on maximum performance, it's the savvy way to go for most shoppers in this segment. There are some packages you should consider adding no matter which trim you choose. The Cold Weather, Driving Assistance and Premium packages add features that a luxury SUV should have
2017 BMW X3 models
The 2017 BMW X3 is offered in four trim levels: sDrive28i, xDrive28i, xDrive28d and xDrive35i. These trims are primarily differentiated by their powertrains, rather than their features. The sDrive28i (rear-wheel drive) and xDrive28i (all-wheel drive) are powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine, while the xDrive28d uses a diesel. All three of these cost roughly the same. The xDrive35i is driven by a significantly more powerful turbo six-cylinder engine, but it's much pricier. This is partially because it includes the Premium package, which is optional on the others.
Under the hood of the sDrive28i and xDrive28i is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (240 horsepower, 260 pound-feet of torque), while the xDrive28d uses a diesel engine of the same displacement (180 hp, 280 lb-ft). An eight-speed automatic is standard across the board.
Apart from their powertrains, the sDrive28i, xDrive28i and xDrive28d are equipped equally. Standard equipment includes 18-inch wheels, roof rails, rear privacy glass, automatic headlights, LED foglights, automatic wipers, a power liftgate, power-folding auto-dimming mirrors, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats with driver-seat memory functions, SensaTec simulated leather upholstery, a 40/20/40-split folding rear seat, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, ambient lighting, Bluetooth, the iDrive electronics interface, and a nine-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio, a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack.
A Premium package is available for these trims, adding keyless ignition and entry, front seat power lumbar adjustment, a panoramic sunroof and satellite radio. This package is standard on the xDrive35i, along with the six-cylinder engine (300 hp, 300 lb-ft), adaptive xenon headlights and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system (available on the other models as a stand-alone option).
The optional Technology package gets you a head-up display, a navigation system (includes a larger central iDrive screen and an upgraded controller that accepts handwritten inputs), an enhanced driver information display in the gauge cluster, smartphone app integration and BMW Remote Services.
The Dynamic Handling package adds a driver-adjustable suspension, variable-ratio steering and an enhanced version of the all-wheel-drive system (sDrive28i excluded). The M Sport package features 19-inch wheels, torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, an enhanced body kit, sport front seats, special interior trim and a sport steering wheel. Also, all trims except the xDrive28d get an eight-speed sport transmission with shift paddles, while the xDrive28d gets the shift paddles minus the transmission upgrade.
A Driver Assistance package is also offered that bundles front and rear parking sensors with a rearview camera, while the Driver Assistance Plus package throws in a surround-view camera system, an active blind-spot monitor, a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking, and a lane departure warning system. Adaptive cruise control is available with the Driver Assistance Plus package at additional cost. The Lighting package adds adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams to the xDrive35i, while the lesser trims get xenon headlights included, or LED headlights for an extra fee.
Some of the above items (e.g., the panoramic sunroof and the navigation system) are available as stand-alone options, and the xDrive35i's Harman Kardon audio system is optional on other X3 models. You may also encounter X3 models with an optional Mobile Assistance package that combines certain features from the Premium, Cold Weather and Technology packages.
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
My first BMW SUV
2017 BMW X3 xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
I have had two other BMWs in the past and loved them. This is my first foray into BMWs SUV world. I have to say that I love this vehicle just as much if not more than my others. It is a medium size SUV but is engineered inside to provide maximum storage and comfort. With the upgrade to the 6 cylinder (which is the engine I am use to having), the fun to drive factor and performance is … definitely still there. My family had to run from hurricane Irma and this was our vehicle of choice to do so because we could count on its reliability, mpg, and roominess for us to take our two dogs and other essentials. Update: Still loving this vehicle and have had no problems with it. Update: Have had this vehicle for 3 years now with no problems. I still enjoy driving it and being able to haul around whatever I need to in it. I still love it. Update: I have now had my X3 for 5 years and it is still a great vehicle. I have had to get a new tires, a battery and do a brake fluid change out but other than that and the normal oil and filter changes, everything is in good shape. I recently took it on a 1,500 mile road trip and it did great. I STILL love it and am glad I bought it! Update: I have now had my X3 for over 6 years and have used it to run from yet another storm, Ian. The only issue I have had since my last update is the transfer case. My BMW dealer wanted to replace it for $7,900 to get a new one or a couple of thousand less for a refurbished one. I went to my german car specialists not affiliated with a dealer, and they serviced the transfer case, using a Porsche produced transfer case fluid and my problem has been fixed for over 2,000 miles now for just under $800. Overall, being vigilant on the service costs, I am still happy with my X3 and am now at around 32,000 on the vehicle.
5 out of 5 stars
Upgrade from X1 to X3
2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
This is a wonderful car to drive! I was looking at the X1s first. I did a lot of research, read all kinds of reviews and took several test drives in the X1. I had made up my mind and had an order all written up for the color and options I wanted. The dealer was shooting a commercial on their 2016 service loaners with big markdowns and under 5K miles. I asked its they were … leasable.... not the 2016s but they had a couple 2017 service loaners that were..... for the same lease price as the less equipped X1! I took one for a test drive.... so much nicer and more comfortable than the X1. I changed my mind and leased the X3 right then and there! It is a comfortable, quiet and really fun to drive SAV. Plenty of power and good gas milage too.... amazing! Some long trips coming up and this will make them much more enjoyable. Just go drive one! I came off a Ford Escape lease and moved up to the X3. The price difference really isn't that much for the big step up in comfort, quality and drivability.
5 out of 5 stars
2017 - 28i
2017 BMW X3 sDrive28i 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
I've had this car for 4 years and it's reliable, fun to drive and fuel efficient. Particularly comfortable due to it's quietness. On the highway, the speed control is very smooth and acceleration is great. Navigation system is smart enough to steer you clear of traffic jams. Seating position is very comfortable for long distances. It tool a while but I'm now real comfortable with the … navigation system menu and the rest of the menu items. I had a learning curve with the gear shift in terms of finding park and with the keyless function in turning off the engine. All in all, I love this vehicle. Update - I have 56,000 miles now and other than oil changes and new tires, no maintenance needed. The run-flat tires were a joke. Worth about 35k miles. With premium gas, I get 28 mpg on the highway. Now at 61k miles and everything is perfect
4 out of 5 stars
Great to drive but safety features lag behind
2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
We bought drivers assistance plus package to include blindspot, lane changer warnings but they only activated at 35 MPH so driving locally do not work. The driver siide definitely has a blindspot on the left side but blindspot only works at the higher speeds and the navigation package was pre-requisite. All in all, a waste of $3,000.
2017 BMW X3 SUV Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 21 City / 28 Hwy / 24 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 17.7 gal. capacity
- 5 seats
- Type: rear wheel drive
- Transmission: 8-speed shiftable automatic
- Inline 4 cylinder
- Horsepower: 240 hp @ 5,000 rpm
- Torque: 260 lb-ft @ 1,450 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 4 yr./ 50,000 mi.
- Length: 183.6 in. / Height: 66.1 in.
- Overall Width with Mirrors: 82.2 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 74.1 in.
- Curb Weight: 4,030 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 27.6 cu.ft.
Our experts like the X3 models:
- Park Distance Control
- Sounds an alert as the X3 approaches an object in front of or behind the vehicle.
- Active Driving Assistant
- Warns the driver if a front collision is deemed imminent and can apply the brakes at low speeds. Also includes lane departure warning.
- Surround View
- Provides a top-down view of the X3 to aid in parking maneuvers.
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover16.9%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More about the 2017 BMW X3
Used 2017 BMW X3 Overview
The Used 2017 BMW X3 is offered in the following submodels: X3 SUV, X3 Diesel. Available styles include xDrive28i 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), sDrive28i 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), xDrive35i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A), and xDrive28d 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 8A). Pre-owned BMW X3 models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine or a 3.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 300 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2017 BMW X3 comes with all wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 8-speed shiftable automatic.
What's a good price on a Used 2017 BMW X3?
Price comparisons for Used 2017 BMW X3 trim styles:
- The Used 2017 BMW X3 xDrive28i is priced between $17,991 and$31,990 with odometer readings between 14759 and97963 miles.
- The Used 2017 BMW X3 sDrive28i is priced between $17,535 and$28,990 with odometer readings between 24368 and97464 miles.
- The Used 2017 BMW X3 xDrive35i is priced between $24,995 and$30,590 with odometer readings between 28950 and66671 miles.
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Which used 2017 BMW X3S are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2017 BMW X3 for sale near. There are currently 90 used and CPO 2017 X3S listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $17,535 and mileage as low as 14759 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2017 BMW X3.
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Should I lease or buy a 2017 BMW X3?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.