2021 X3 New Car Test Drive
The 2020 BMW X3 compact luxury crossover has a laudable, refreshing honesty about it. Last redesigned as a 2018 model, for its third generation, the tall-riding vehicle delivers on its promise of strong capability and versatility.
Little has changed for the 2020 model year. New standard equipment includes digital displays. The 30i version now includes Live Cockpit Plus, while Live Cockpit Pro with navigation goes into the M40i. LED headlights with cornering lights are standard on 30i models.
Three trim levels are offered: base 30i, more powerful M40i, and performance-focused X3 M. BMW divides the X3 lineup into xLine, Luxury, and M Sport trim packages.
In the base 30i, a 248-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine mates with an 8-speed automatic transmission and either rear-drive or all-wheel drive. Opting for AWD adds $2,000 to the price.
The M40i model matches a sweet 382-horsepower turbo-6 with 8-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. BMW estimates 4.4-second acceleration to 60 mph.
BMW also offers high-performance X3 M and X3 M Competition offshoots, equipped with a 3.0-liter turbo-6 that makes 473 or 503 horsepower, respectively.
Good crash-test scores complement standard and available active-safety features. The NHTSA gave the X3 a five-star rating overall, with five stars for both frontal and side impacts. Only the rollover score (a calculated figure) was four-star.
The IIHS named the X3 a Top Safety Pick+, provided it came with the Executive Package, which includes upgraded headlights. The X3 was rated “Good” in all instrumented tests, also earning a “Superior” designation for frontal crash prevention.
Every X3 is equipped with automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warnings, and city collision mitigation.
Prices include $995 destination charge.
The X3 30i base model ($42,945 with sDrive rear-drive, $44,945 with xDrive all-wheel drive) comes with the turbo-4 engine, an 8.8-inch touchscreen for infotainment, synthetic leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, and automatic emergency braking.
Offered only with rear-drive, the X3 M40i ($56,895) upgrades to a 382-hp turbo-6 engine. The X3 M ($56,895) and X3 M Competition ($70,895) employ a 473- or 503-horsepower turbo-6, respectively.