There are two versions of the X3, the 240-hp xDrive28i and the turbocharged, 300-hp xDrive35i. Both feature all-wheel drive, engine start-stop technology, hill descent control and an 8-speed automatic transmission. A 5-link rear axle gives the X3 a much smoother ride than many other SUVs and its modern shape creates plenty of cargo space.
The X3 can be set to one of four different modes; Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and brand new for 2013, Eco Pro, which uses just about every trick in the book to eke as many miles to the gallon as possible. Electronic Damping Control, which is standard on the xDrive 35i and optional on the XDrive 28i, utilizes sensors for lateral force, steering wheel position, wheel rotation speed and more to adjust the driving experience accordingly. Standard dynamic stability control includes brake drying; start-off assist and brake fade compensation.
Though the X3 is not a hybrid, it uses a unique technology to help charge the battery through brake energy regeneration. When the battery is charged, the alternator disengages from the engine to reduce the demand placed on the engine, which lowers emissions.
BMW has worked to make the X3 more functional than ever, with an optional 3-way 40/60/40 rear seat and a 12-volt power outlet in the rear cargo area. Technology like the heads-up display improves safety as well as functionality. ConnectedDrive uses Bluetooth to deliver email and text messages from your phone to your iDrive screen, or you can have the messages read aloud through the speakers. The same screen displays the images from the optional rear-view and top-view cameras.
The interior of the X3 has been improved, with a focus on driver ergonomics. The X3 includes an 8-way power driver's seat and automatic climate control. BMW's iDrive system, whose control knob is found in the center console, has been vastly improved in recent years.
X3 options include a heated steering wheel, heated front seats and a power tailgate. The available Sports Activity package adds a leather steering wheel, light alloy wheels and aluminum roof rails. You can take it a step further with the X-Line Equipment package, which adds bling with aluminum and matte titanium touches to the exterior.
The 2013 BMW X3 receives a brand-new turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, replacing the naturally aspirated 6-cylinder on x3 xDrive28i models. The new engine displaces two liters and makes 240 horsepower, the same number as the outgoing 6-cylinder. However while the old engine made 211 foot pounds of torque, the new 4-cylinder makes 260 foot pounds of torque. This torque is available lower in the rev range as well, making power more accessible for 2013 models.
This sport-luxury crossover has a lot of competition, but the X3 fares especially well when it comes to horsepower and performance from its pair of turbocharged engines. BMW's EfficientDynamics technologies boost the X3's mileage to 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. The X3's starting price is still under $40,000.
- 2.0L dual overhead cam (DOHC), 16-valve, 240-hp inline 4-cylinder engine -inc: twinpower turbo technology, high precision direct injection, valvetronic, double-VANOS steplessly variable valve timing, auto start/stop function
- 8-speed steptronic automatic transmission -inc: sport & manual shift modes, adaptive transmission control
- Electronic throttle control
- xDrive all-wheel-drive system
- Front & rear anti-roll (stabilizer) bars
- Gas-pressure shock absorbers
- Servotronic vehicle-speed-sensitive pwr steering
- Trailer hitch prewiring
- 4-wheel ventilated anti-lock disc brakes w/dynamic brake control
- Brake energy regeneration
- Chrome tailpipe finishers
- V-Spoke (Style 307) 18 x 8.0 light alloy wheels -inc: 245/50R18 run-flat all-season tires
- Halogen free-form foglights
- Privacy glass
- Rain-sensing windshield wipers w/automatic headlight control
- Door handles in matching body color
- Pwr tailgate
- Anti-theft AM/FM stereo/CD/MP3 audio system -inc: 12 speakers, 205-watt digital amplifier, Radio Data System (RDS), Auto-Store, 3-channel FM diversity antenna system & auxiliary audio input adapter compatible w/portable music players
- HD radio w/multicast FM station reception
- Pre-wiring for satellite radio
- iPod & USB adapter
- Bluetooth wireless technology for hands-free calling -inc: (w/Bluetooth compatible mobile phone, if so equipped), phonebook downloading capabilities (please visit your authorized BMW center for details on standard & optional services)
- 8-way pwr adjustable front bucket seats -inc: 2-way manual headrests, & driver-seat & mirror memory
- Leatherette upholstery
- Rear-seat backrests w/40/60 split
- Front center console armrest
- 3-spoke leather-wrapped multi-function sport steering wheel -inc: controls for audio system, cruise control, & Bluetooth wireless communication for hands-free mobile phone (if so equipped)
- Tilt/telescopic steering wheel column
- Dynamic cruise control
- iDrive system w/on-board computer & controller -inc: (8) programmable memory buttons
- Pwr front windows w/one-touch up/down operation
- Pwr rear windows w/one-touch down operation
- Vehicle key memory
- Front & rear floor mats
- Central locking system w/center console switch (leaves gas filler door unlocked), double-lock feature & 2-step unlocking
- Anti-theft alarm system
- Automatic climate control w/micro-filter & air recirculation
- Rear-window defroster
- Dual cupholders
- Silver matte trim
- High-gloss black instrument panel
- Ambiance light package -inc: front exit lights, front/rear map-reading, footwell & visor-mirror lights
- Dynamic stability control -inc: brake drying, brake stand-by, start-off assistant & brake fade compensation
- Hill descent control
- Crash sensor that activates battery safety terminal disconnect of alternator -inc: fuel pump & starter from battery; automatically unlocks doors, & turns on hazard & interior lights
- Daytime running lights
- Driver & front passenger airbag supplemental restraint system -inc: advanced technology: dual-threshold, dual-stage deployment; & front-passenger seat sensors designed to prevent unnecessary airbag deployment
- Front safety belts w/automatic pretensioners
- Automatic-locking retractors (ALR) on all passenger-seat safety belts (for installation of child-restraint seats)
- LATCH for child-restraint safety-seat installation
- Child safety rear door locks
- Driving dynamics control w/eco pro
- Tire pressure monitor
- Active head restraints in front seats
- Head protection system (HPS), front & rear