2018 BMW X3 Review


Pros & Cons

  • Both available engines are powerful and fuel-efficient
  • Plenty of standard and optional features for ultimate personalization
  • Roomy cabin both front and rear
  • Apple CarPlay can be accessed wirelessly
  • Exterior and interior styling isn't much different from previous model
  • Android Auto conspicuously absent from options list
List Price Range
$32,788 - $46,490

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Which X3 does Edmunds recommend?

With a stout 248 horsepower on tap, we think most buyers will be satisfied with the acceleration offered by the xDrive30i and its four-cylinder engine. Just note that if you intended to equip your xDrive30i with some of the sport-themed add-ons (namely, the M Sport and Dynamic Handling packages) you'll find it costs nearly the same as the M40i, which includes those two packages plus extra features and the more powerful engine.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

7.6 / 10

Interest in any particular car typically wanes as its gets older. Unless, that is, you're talking about the BMW X3. The second-generation X3 was sold for seven years, yet BMW's constant enhancements made this X3 a sales juggernaut long past the traditional life span. Now the company has ushered in a fully redesigned 2018 X3 in hopes of keeping you within the BMW family, even as rival automakers introduce a host of new and recently revised luxury crossover SUVs.

From the outside, it's hard to tell BMW did anything. The 2018 X3 resembles the outgoing model to the point that you might not be able to tell the difference. The X3 itself is longer and wider, though, and the size boost produces tangible increases in head- and legroom for all passengers. Like the outside, the inside of the X3 is massaged rather than overhauled. The central display is now a touchscreen that sticks up from the dash, and it's loaded with the latest iDrive infotainment software and wireless Apple CarPlay functionality. 

The redesigned X3 isn't a revolutionary departure from its massively successful predecessor. From that vantage point, the 2018 BMW X3 might seem like a bit of a disappointment. But as the old adage goes, you don't fix what isn't broken. This newest X3 remains one of our top recommendations for a luxury crossover SUV.

2018 BMW X3 models

The 2018 BMW X3 is a five-passenger crossover sold in two trims, each with its own distinct powertrain. Under the hood of the xDrive30i is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (248 horsepower, 258 pound-feet of torque) paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. Standard exterior features include 18-inch wheels, LED headlights and foglights, automatic wipers, roof rails, a power tailgate, a rearview camera, and power-folding, auto-dimming and heated mirrors.

Inside, you'll find an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with wheel-mounted shift paddles, keyless ignition, adjustable driving modes, tri-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front sport seats, a 40/20/40-split rear seat with individual seat recline, simulated leather upholstery, driver-seat memory settings, a 6.5-inch central display, BMW's iDrive infotainment interface, a USB port and a 12-speaker audio system.

There are multiple options packages available for the xDrive30i. The Convenience package adds LED headlights, keyless entry, a panoramic sunroof, satellite radio and four-way power lumbar adjustment for the front seats. The M Sport package adds the contents of the Convenience package, plus 19-inch wheels, more aggressive-looking front and rear bumpers, a sport steering wheel and a simulated leather-covered dashboard. Selecting either of these opens the gates to the Dynamic Handling package, which includes adaptive suspension dampers, upgraded brakes and variable-ratio steering.

The M40i is driven by a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine producing 355 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Additional features includes adaptive LED headlights, automatic high beams, a sport exhaust, a sport-tuned suspension, front and rear parking sensors, a launch control feature and the contents of the above three packages.

A number of packages can be added to either model. Driver aids are available through the Driving Assistance (forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert), Driving Assistance Plus (Driving Assistance package, adaptive cruise control, front cross-traffic, alert and lane departure warning and mitigation) and Parking Assistance (front and rear parking sensors, an automated parking system and a 360-degree parking camera) packages.

Additional luxury features are included in the Premium (19-inch wheels, heated front seats, navigation, a 10.3-inch touchscreen, a head-up display and BMW Remote Services) and Executive (Premium and Parking Assistance packages, adaptive LED headlights, automatic high beams, leather upholstery, a digital instrument panel and hands-free gesture controls for the touchscreen) packages.

Some of the above features can be ordered as stand-alone options. Additional extras, depending on packages selected, include 20- and 21-inch wheels, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, manual side-window shades, wireless phone charging, Apple CarPlay, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and a trailer hitch.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 8-speed automatic | AWD).


Around town, the eight-speed transmission smartly keeps the 2.0-liter engine right in the heart of power delivery, returning smooth drivability and respectable acceleration. Capable brakes, accurate steering (depending on the drive mode), and enjoyable handling round out a solid driving SUV.


With 248 horsepower, the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine packs a strong midrange that doesn't peter out. It responds quickly and smoothly, so it feels as if you have a little more power than you need. The high 6.0-second 0-60 mph result we recorded should be quick enough for most people.


The light and linear pedal is easy to modulate, and the optional performance braking system easily withstood the abuse of repeated simulated-panic stops. The sensation of tires skittering on pavement can make distances feel a little longer, but not enough to impede the overall results.


It's too easy to turn the wheel in the Comfort setting, making it a little imprecise. Sport mode's additional heft and quickness make it fun and predictable to guide the X3 around. We prefer this X3's thin-rimmed wheel to the chunky one in the sportier M40i.


This is an enjoyable, composed compact SUV. Optional driver-adjustable adaptive dampers make appreciable differences between settings, though we question the real-world value of the sport settings. Despite its all-season tires, this X3 has the agility and cornering speeds often associated with BMW.


The automatic transmission is an excellent match to the engine, serving up appropriate gear ratios and nearly seamless shifts between them. Stop-start can be a bit clumsy, adding a thunk when the engine turns off. Cruise control uses downshifting and brake application to hold speed going downhill.


All-wheel drive and hill descent control come standard. The approach and departure angles are more generous than in the previous generation, and ground clearance is 8 inches. Don't expect to tackle a difficult trail, but the X3 should be fine on an unpaved road on the way to the campground.


The X3 offers all-day driving comfort. It has supportive seats with wide-ranging adjustments and a hushed interior, particularly at a stop. The ride quality is on the busy side, though the suspension soaks up big impacts well. The climate control microadjustments can be overkill.

Seat comfort

The front seats deliver the comfort and support needed for long stints at the wheel. A wide range of adjustments includes lumbar, side bolsters and thigh extensions, ensuring a good fit for everyone. The rear seats feel somewhat flat and firm by comparison, but they do recline.

Ride comfort

The ride falls on the busier side of the spectrum, in part due to the Dynamic Handling package outfitted on our test vehicle. The solid level of control means you feel impacts, but they don't reverberate through the cabin or bounce your head around. This is an adept-riding SUV.

Noise & vibration

At idle, the silence is such that you'll want to check the tachometer to see if the engine is running. There's a little bit of wind noise from the driver-side window at freeway speeds. Engine noise is pronounced under moderate to hard acceleration, but it's not unpleasant.

Climate control

The standard three-zone climate control is quiet and effective, and the optional seat and steering wheel heating acts quickly. You can adjust the intensity of the auto setting and the temperature of the front panel vents independently if you dive deep enough into the menus, which seems excessive.


The X3's cabin is spacious and smartly arranged. Most controls are immediately understandable, and BMW's shifter makes sense once you get used to it. The driver has a good view outward and of the instrumentation. Strangely, the vanity mirrors are tiny and the light placement is unflattering.

Ease of use

The primary controls sit right where you'd expect. It takes time to get used to the shifter, but you'll love it once you learn it. The same goes with the dense infotainment system. We can't figure out why the stereo sometimes shuts off with the engine and other times waits until you lock the car.

Getting in/getting out

The large doors make big openings and aren't too heavy to close. The sills are low enough so you don't have to step up into the cabin, while the seat height feels just right. The generous front and rear head clearances mean you don't have to duck while getting in or out.

Driving position

Various seat adjustment and a manual tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel ensure all instrumentation falls easily into view. The available head-up display sports multiple configurations but disappears when you wear polarized sunglasses. A digital speedometer is only visible in Sport mode.


While the interior measurements mirror those of its competitors, the X3's elevated cabin gives a strong sense of space. There's tons of headroom for all passengers, while foot- and legroom are adequate for even tall folks. Three full-size adults can fit the rear, though they might be uncomfortable.


A tall roof means big windows all around, so there's a good view outside no matter where you look. Cleverly, the rear headrests are short so they don't cut in to your view through the rearview mirror. The large side mirrors and optional blind-spot monitoring make lane changes safe and easy.


The X3's interior relays the look and feel you'd expect from a luxury vehicle, though the overall design doesn't impress as much as that of German rivals. Gaps are tight and uniform, and the switchgear feels solid. Leather, plastic, wood and other trim look a touch behind the curve.


Class-leading cargo space and plentiful interior storage options make the X3 a versatile SUV for family hauling. The door pockets are large and numerous, and we like the small compartment to the left of the steering wheel. Car seat attachments are easy to access, and towing capacity is excellent.

Small-item storage

Both rows of seats have numerous options. The big door pockets can hold a small handbag and sports bottle, while the center tray takes a phone or two. There's moderate storage under the armrest, and the driver even has a small compartment to the left of the steering wheel.

Cargo space

The X3 offers a healthy 28.7 cubic feet behind its second row, which can easily be lowered from release handles in the rear, revealing 62.7 cubic feet of space. The standard full-size spare limits underfloor storage and makes for a somewhat tall loading space. A compact spare is available.

Child safety seat accommodation

The lower LATCH anchors sit behind easily locatable plastic covers that conveniently fold back when you press them. The rear cargo cover blocks your hand while reaching for the seatback anchors, so you'll have to remove it during installation. Spacious interior makes moving a car seat around easy.


When equipped with the optional 2-inch receiver that includes seven- and four-pole connectors, the X3 can tow up to 4,400 pounds. We laud both the capacity, which is among the best, but also the clean integration of a Class III hitch.


The mixed digital and analog gauge cluster looks clean and classy, and the entertainment interface is powerful and quick. Driver aids are similarly impressive in scope but not always reliable. While wireless Apple CarPlay works great, you have to pay for it, and Android Auto is not supported.

Audio & navigation

BMW's latest entertainment interface looks pretty and reacts quickly to commands. It's powerful, too, which means there's a depth to the features that can take some time to figure out. The combination of a touchscreen and rotary dial with a touch-sensitive top makes for easy operation.

Smartphone integration

Apple CarPlay works wirelessly but costs $300. Wireless charging asks more, and Android Auto is not supported. BMW's Connected system integrates a limited set of apps into the vehicle's entertainment system, but none worked with our Android phone. Two USB ports up front and one 12-volt per row.

Driver aids

The surround-view camera system activates when it thinks you're parking, but it often turns on when approaching a stoplight. The availability of advanced safety features matches the segment, but we experienced an inexplicable false positive that triggered an emergency stop in traffic.

Voice control

BMW continues to impress us with its voice control system. It has little difficulty understanding natural language, and it provides control over an alarmingly extensive list of features. The button that activates the voice controls even launches Siri when you're using Apple CarPlay.


Overall7.6 / 10

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 BMW X3.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

xDrive30i 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
New .At 3,600 miles Drivetrain Malfunction - Total Lockdown- NO GEARS, no go. Stranded. 4 hour wait for BMW "Roadside Assistance" before tow to dealer. Dealer states "software " but remains vague re. cause. States they have "done all that BMW will allow", but there might be a bulletin coming soon ! Chassis G01, Engine code B46B20M0. Other BMW models with the same engine have experienced Crankshaft Sensor failure resulting in a bulletin requiring Sensor replacement. 2018 X3 is not included in the Bulletin, but SEVEN other models with the same engine are.. After 3 previous trouble free BMWs, this reflects an apparent departure from a commitment to customer safety and security in favor of cost saving for the company.
Ambient Lighting?
xDrive30i 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
Before I ordered this car I was told, by dealers, it came standard with the ambient lighting, it did not! Nowhere on the bmwusa.com build website nor the dealers computer does it describe this as standard or optional. I ordered leatherette along with M Package & Premium Tier for MSRP of $57,000. Subsequently found out that it is only available with the $1700 leather upgrade, beware when ordering. Otherwise this is a great car.
Great car - but drives bigger than I had expected
M40i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
First let me say that I love this car. It’s pretty heavily optioned which means the sticker was high, but it has met all my expectations. I moved up from a 2010 335i. I loved that car, and in many ways I miss it. It was a stick shift and drove like a sports car, brittle ride and all. The X3 is a fast family car, and feels every bit it’s size compared to my 335. Especially in tight spaces. People who have driven SUVs may not feel the same, but this is a first for me. Which is not to say that freeway onramps aren’t a hoot in the X3, because they are. In fact, in my highly scientific comparison, I am pretty sure my new X3 can take a corner at a faster clip than my old 335. Credit the bigger tires? Anyway... two features I want to address that have been lamented in the press. The first is the “too heavy steering” in sport mode. Huh? Honestly I don’t get this, as I can BARELY discern the different in weight from comfort mode. The transition itself from comfort to sport feels a little artificial while underway, but once set it feels great. I don’t get the too heavy comments. Second and perhaps most importantly, gesture control. People say this is a gimmick. Seems like a bunch of lemming journalists to me all jumping on the same bandwagon. Granted I have yet to use some of the call features, but the volume and “next channel / track” (i.e., custom gesture) features i use ALL THE TIME. And what’s more, there is no doubt these methods are FAR safer than looking down at the radio / steering wheel / whatever. Hope this helps!
BMW Cost - Buick Reliability
xDrive30i 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
The car looks the part. It's well styled, comfortable inside and out, and has the BMW feel that you pay for handsomely. However, I drove the vehicle for about a month and I got stranded in the middle of the road with a drivetrain issue of some sort. Things happen but for a brand new car to just start shaking and misfiring, something didn't make sense. I'm sure this is a one-off as Consumer Reports gave this model their best bet rating in the class but it certainly put a bad taste in my mouth, especially when I look at how BMW's service response was lacking. I've owned Acura's, Audi's, Infiniti's and have never experienced anything like this. I'd also add, that BMW puts a large premium (in this model) on small features such as Connected features that read texts and emails, and Apple CarPlay - these items are standards in cars that drive similarly. At this moment, I'm not satisfied with my purchase, as things change, I'll update.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2018 BMW X3 features & specs


Our experts like the X3 models:

Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go
Maintains a set distance between the X3 and the car in front. Can bring the X3 to a stop and resume speed when the car in front moves.
Adaptive Brake Lights
Brightens the brake lights to indicate a sudden stop and flashes them to indicate an emergency stop.
Parking Assistant Plus
Guides the X3 into a vacant parallel parking spot with minimal driver intervention.

More about the 2018 BMW X3

Used 2018 BMW X3 Overview

The Used 2018 BMW X3 is offered in the following submodels: X3 SUV, X3 M40i. Available styles include xDrive30i 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), and M40i 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A).

What's a good price on a Used 2018 BMW X3?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 BMW X3 trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i is priced between $32,788 and$45,889 with odometer readings between 8064 and51496 miles.
  • The Used 2018 BMW X3 M40i is priced between $46,490 and$46,490 with odometer readings between 17371 and17371 miles.

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Which used 2018 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) 2018 BMW X3 for sale near. There are currently 18 used and CPO 2018 X3s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $32,788 and mileage as low as 8064 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 2018 BMW X3.

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Find a used BMW X3 for sale - 3 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $12,834.

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Should I lease or buy a 2018 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.

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