BMW has long maintained a reputation for producing fun-to-drive automobiles. So, it comes as no surprise that the 2019 BMW X3 ranks among today’s most exciting small luxury crossovers. You’ll love the X3’s sensational handling and responsive performance. However, this German-engineered crossover also gets high marks for its comfortable seating. Despite the SUV’s compact design, generous legroom makes it a great choice for families.

With a starting MSRP of $41,000, the 2019 BMW X3 is a good alternative to the larger and more expensive BMW X5.

Performance Specs

All versions of the 2019 BMW X3 deliver a heavy dose of performance. Drivers seeking the maximum fuel economy should stick with the 2.0-liter, TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder engine. BMW rates it to develop a punchy 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The X3’s eight-speed automatic transmission is an ideal match for the engine. A swift zero to 60 mph time of 6.3 seconds proves the X3 can accelerate quickly when called upon. If you simply crave more muscle under the hood, step up to the M40i model. It comes equipped with a turbocharged six-cylinder engine, which pushes out a stimulating 355 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. You’ll be able to hit 60 mph in a scorching 4.4 seconds.

When it comes to road handling, the 2019 BMW X3 jumps ahead of the competition. It rips around corners like a sporty wagon. Ride comfort is also especially good with the standard suspension. Featuring a variable-ratio steering system and adaptive dampers, BMW’s Dynamic Handling package gives the X3 an even more confident feel. A sports-tuned suspension comes standard on the more powerful M40i model.

Unlike some of its competitors, the 2019 BMW X3 is not built for extremely rough terrain. Nevertheless, standard hill descent control and an 8.0-inch ground clearance help X3 to perform well on a light off-road trail. You’ll also find the X3 to be a great vehicle for wintry weather. BMW’s available xDrive AWD system enables the SUV to confidently churn through the snow.

Fuel Economy

Although the 2019 BMW X3 must be fed premium gasoline, it will still reward you with good fuel economy. Plus, automatic start/stop technology helps improve efficiency in heavy traffic.

Models equipped with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine can return 23 mpg in town and 30 mpg on the highway. Stepping on to the more powerful engine lowers fuel economy to 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the open road.

Safety and Entertainment Features

You can trust the 2019 BMW X3 to provide a secure atmosphere for your family and friends. While the new X3 has yet to be crash tested by the NHTSA, it was named a Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS.

Self-drying brakes come standard, which helps you to confidently maneuver in wet conditions. BMW also gives you two different safety packages to choose from. Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and blind-spot monitoring are included in the Driver Assistance package. Meanwhile, the more advanced Driver Assistance Plus package adds a lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control. Along with the package also comes front cross-traffic alert, which makes driving in crowded areas less nerve-racking. Automated parking and a 360-degree camera are offered as well.

For good reason, many X3 buyers choose to stick with the base sDrive30i trim, which comes loaded with an impressive list of high-end features. Although the standard 6.5-inch display is a bit on the small side, BMW’s iDrive infotainment system is easy to operate. You’ll also appreciate the X3’s standard 12-speaker sound system. Many people will be interested in the optional 10.3-inch infotainment screen, which impresses with its high-resolution graphics. Gesture Control technology enables you to control the interface by simply waving your hand. The available Wi-Fi hot spot is a must for the folks who need a reliable connection to the web. A digital gauge cluster and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system are also on the X3’s list of options.

How It Stacks Up Against the Competition

2019 Audi Q5

Like the 2019 BMW X3, the 2019 Audi Q5 has earned praise for its impressive performance capabilities and luxurious interior. However, you’ll be able to save more fuel driving the new X3. Some people will also prefer the X3’s signature exterior styling.

2019 Acura RDX

While the 2019 Acura RDX is a fine crossover, it does not offer a high-performance engine upgrade. When equipped with a turbocharged six-cylinder engine, the 2019 BMW X3 is noticeably quicker off the line. You can also expect the Acura RDX to sip a bit more fuel. Furthermore, all-wheel drive is an extra cost on the Acura RDX.

2019 Volvo XC60

The 2019 Volvo XC60 boasts several great qualities, including top-notch crash protection and outstanding passenger comfort. However, you’ll find the BMW X3 to be more entertaining to drive.

2019 Porsche Macan

In the eyes of many car reviewers, the 2019 Porsche Macan is just as fun to drive as the BMW X3. However, it does not provide as much room for your backseat passengers. There’s also less cargo space inside the Macan. A lower price tag gives the BMW X3 yet another advantage of its German rival.


High on Driving Excitement

If you’re looking for a vehicle that’s more versatile than a sports sedan, take a serious look at the new 2019 BMW X3. It promises to fulfill your need for driving excitement. While the base four-cylinder engine is strong, there’s no overlooking the six-cylinder engine’s powerful kick. Along with the additional power comes a sport exhaust, which gives the crossover a throaty growl. Precise handling makes the new X3 even more rewarding to drive.

Great Daily-Driver

While the 2019 BMW X3 is indeed luxurious, it’s practical enough to be your primary family vehicle. There’s ample passenger and cargo room inside the new X3. In terms of safety, this compact SUV ranks among the class leaders. Solid fuel economy further solidifies the X3 as a great vehicle for traveling. Several creature comforts are available, including ventilated front seats and standard tri-zone automatic climate control.


Apple CarPlay is Not Standard

For many iPhone users, Apple CarPlay will be a must-have feature. Unfortunately, it’s a costly option on the 2019 BMW X3. Furthermore, BMW still fails to offer Android Auto.

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This article was worked on by a variety of people from the Autoversed team, including freelancers, editors, and/or other full-time employees.