2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i: What's It Like to Live With?

We're giving the 2022 X3, the best-selling BMW, a year to impress us as much as its larger sibling.

BMW X3 2022
Miles DrivenAverage MPG

Latest Highlights (updated 01/11/22)

  • We broke in the best-selling BMW with a trip to the Central Valley of California.

What We Bought and Why

by Jake Sundstrom, Editorial Assistant

Our test vehicle: 2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i
Base MSRP: $45,700
MSRP as tested: $51,390

Apparently Goldlöckchen is German for Goldilocks, but you could do worse than "new 2022 BMW X3." It's roomier than the small, sporty X1 but not as large or expensive as the X5. There's a reason X3s are the best-selling BMW. In some years they're not just the best-selling SUV but these bad boys have also been known to outsell the ever-popular 3 Series sedans. We spent a year in the X5 and were suitably impressed by its 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder and technology offerings. The X3 has the smaller engine and most of the tech. Can it deliver similar results?

What Did We Get?

We got a 2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i five-seater SUV with a starting MSRP of $45,700. In BMW speak, xDrive means all-wheel drive (AWD), which bumps up the overall cost from the base sDrive30i model. The 30i references the entry-level engine. In this case, that engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (248 horsepower, 258 lb-ft of torque). The EPA says it's good for 24 mpg combined (21 city/28 highway). Between us, I started daydreaming after typing "AWD." I've wanted to learn to snowboard ever since fracturing multiple bones last time I hit the slopes in high school, and I can't wait to drive this X3 to the mountains.

Standard equipment highlights include an eight-speed automatic transmission, stability and traction control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, iDrive 7.0 with voice controls, adaptive cruise control, a power tailgate, a rearview camera and LED headlights. It also has a long list of driver assistance features such as forward collision, lane departure and blind-spot warning systems. Adding the Premium package cost $3,450 and gave us a heated steering wheel, lumbar support, heated front seats, a head-up display and the ever-popular gesture control. We'll be flicking our fingers at the stereo in no time. I'm told Tanzanite Blue II Metallic is named for the gem stone found only in Tanzania; choosing this radiant color tacked on another $1,500.

We did save $80 by opting out of the BMW Digital Key and $175 by deleting the passenger lumbar support. Self-preservation demands that our partners not read this option was available. Factor in a destination charge of $995 and all that brought our total to $51,390.

Why Did We Get It?

The X5 really impressed the Edmunds staff. Getting a chance to drive its more popular and more economical (yes, yes, it's still a BMW — you don't have to tell me) sibling is an intriguing proposition. This is the best-selling vehicle BMW produces, better than both the X5 and 3 Series sedan. If we need another reason, well, we haven't had one in our long-term test fleet since the 2012 model year. We're talking Heat-Thunder NBA Finals, which I hate to mention was a literal decade ago now.

So follow us on our 12-month test drive of BMWs latest offering in the small luxury SUV segment. We'll see how the X3 xDrive30i stacks up against other trim levels like the rear-wheel-drive X3 sDrive30i or high-performance X3 M40i. We also look forward to comparing it to its top rivals: Audi Q5, Acura RDX, Genesis GV70, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Porsche Macan. Of course, there will also be plenty of feedback from our daily routines.

The manufacturer provided this vehicle for the purpose of evaluation.

2022 BMW xDrive 30i : What's New

When we discover something new, something old, something borrowed, something ... sorry, we've been trucking around to a lot of weddings in our 2022 BMW X3. Anyway, we'll keep you updated on what we learn about the best-selling BMW right here.

Logbook Highlights

A favorite feature of the X5 for the Carry A Giant Water Bottle Generation (millennials): enormous side pockets in the doors that can carry even the widest hydroflask. That's still true on the more compact X3. What the slimmer X3 does not feature? Anywhere for the passenger to put their phone … other than their grubby little hands of course. The arm rest is strictly for your arm, and that's a bummer.

I love wireless Apple CarPlay ... when it works. The early returns on the feature on our BMW X3 have been mixed, unfortunately. The system glitches, crashes and lags in equal measure, making it nearly useless.

I love the convenience of hopping in the car and not fiddling with cords and wires. That only works if, well, it works. So far ... it hasn't.

When one of the X3 doors isn't closed all of the way, the interior door light turns red, alerting occupants to the problem. Up until this point in my life, this wouldn't have mattered much to me. But my kids are infamous soft-closers. We spend far more time than I'd like to admit opening and re-closing doors. This light feature has them adjusting their doors without a prompt. It is a small victory, but I'll take it.

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i: Real-World Fuel Economy

The X3 has just about performed to its EPA expectations through 3,000 miles with a solid mixture of long-distance and city driving.

Average lifetime mpg: 23.5
EPA mpg rating: 24 combined (21 city/28 highway)
Best fill mpg: 28.1
Best range (miles): 364.2
Current odometer: 3,275