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2025 BMW X3 First Look: New Design, Same Ol' SUV

The X3 is also the first BMW to drop the "i" from its gas-powered model names

2025 BMW X3 front three quarter
  • The BMW X3 is redesigned for 2025.
  • It has new tech, new bodywork, is a bit bigger in some places, and every engine is a mild hybrid.
  • The base car is only a little more expensive than before.

The new BMW X3 has arrived, and while it looks a bit different, it's largely the same underneath. The X3 is based on the same architecture as before — BMW's Cluster Architecture (or CLAR for short). BMW says the frame now weighs less than it used to but is more rigid. This should result in better agility and cornering stability while also making the car more comfortable for those long-distance hauls. The previous X3 was actually quite good to drive, even in its base form (as we learned with our X3 xDrive30i long-term test car), and we're hoping BMW only improves on that formula.

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2025 BMW X3 rear profile

The wheelbase for the new car is the same, at 112.8 inches, but the new X3 is a touch longer and wider while being lower overall. The rear track — the distance between the center of the two rear wheels — is also wider than it used to be to help give the SUV a more planted stance.

What's under the hood?

The BMW X3 will remain gas-only for now. Europe will likely get a new iX3 — the X3's fully electric counterpart — soon. But BMW will wait until its Neue Klasse EV crossover makes it to production to bring a fully electric crossover to the U.S. That means the X3 will retain its arrangement of four- and six-cylinder turbocharged engines for this new generation. Interestingly, you can't get a rear-wheel-drive version of either; the X3 is now all-wheel-drive only.

Both engines will be familiar to current X3 owners but are now augmented by mild-hybrid systems. The base 30 xDrive model's 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder makes 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The more powerful 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six in the X3 M50 xDrive makes 393 hp at 6,250 rpm and 428 lb-ft of torque at 1,800 rpm.

2025 BMW X3 B58 Engine

Both engines send their power through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 48-volt mild-hybrid system drives a starter-generator motor that's embedded in the transmission. That small electric motor is there to make the auto stop-start function smoother, as well as supplementing initial acceleration.

How's the new X3's interior?

The interior is recognizably BMW. You have the usual threaded screen design, with one for the gauge cluster and another just above the center console for the infotainment software and climate controls. Unlike the previous X3 — and in a move that mirrors a lot of the other BMWs on sale at the moment — there are very few physical controls in general. Even the buttons for the seat memory and vent control have moved to touch-sensitive pads. What is left of the physical controls are the iDrive controller and the associated shortcuts (media, phone, navigation, home and back commands) that surround the iDrive knob on the center console.

The interior mirrors a lot of what we've seen from BMW of late. The strips of ambient lighting and the "less than" and "greater than" arrows that light up on the doors is a design theme we've seen from BMW's more premium offerings like the new 5 Series.

2025 BMW X3 steering wheel detail

Because the X3 has a wheelbase identical to the old car's, you can expect the interior dimensions of the new car to mirror those of the previous generation, with similar legroom for front and rear passengers. That said, the added length and width mean there's now more cargo capacity than before. With the rear seats up cargo space grows from 28.7 cubic feet to 31.5 cubic feet. Fold the second row down and you get 67.1 cubic feet of space to work with (up from 62.7 cubes).

A new generation of tech

iDrive has been BMW's operating system for more than two decades now (having first appeared in the 2002 BMW 7 Series). The new X3 introduces what's called BMW Operating System 9, the company's latest iteration of its in-car software platform. BMW OS9 is now based on Android. Interestingly, even though BMW isn't calling it iDrive 9, it still refers to the knob mounted on top of the center console as the "iDrive controller."

The system looks and functions similarly to iDrive 8.5 (the software that's been rolled out in the recently updated 2 Series, 3 Series, and many other BMWs). Thanks to its Android-based software, OS9 can now accommodate a wide range of third-party apps and should allow the system to be more frequently updated over the air. The updates, BMW says, can include quality-of-life improvements, general software updates, or even additional features. BMW is also debuting a connected service it's calling BMW Digital Premium. It bundles together a litany of audio streaming apps (like Spotify and Amazon Music) and gaming apps for when the car is stationary.

2025 BMW X3 interior door

For the new X3, BMW's parking assistant is standard, but you can get an optional update package called Parking Assistant Professional with Maneuver Assistant. Essentially, the X3 can remember multiple parking routes and, with the help of GPS guidance and memory of your steering movements, can store routes with up to 10 different steering maneuvers and go up to 650 yards. It's a very fancy way of helping you park in your garage at home without you having to do anything. The mapping and route guidance systems have also been upgraded, with less lag time between traffic updates and a head-up display that can now show augmented reality directions directly in your line of sight.

How much will the new X3 cost?

The 2025 X3 30 xDrive will start at $50,675, only a slight bump over the current X3 30i xDrive's $49,895 starting price. The 2025 X3 M50 xDrive will start at $65,275 which is a larger jump compared to the previous generation equivalent — the last generation M40i model started at $62,895. Expect to see these in BMW dealerships near you toward the end of this year.

2025 BMW X3 rear three quarter

Edmunds says

We like what we're seeing here, BMW. Hopefully it drives as well as (if not better than) the car that came before it.