2021 BMW X3

Rating8.1

Ranked #5 in Compact Suv

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Starting MSRP 

$43,000 - $45,000

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Key Spec of 2021 BMW X3
fuel economy

-

fuel type

premium unleaded

horsepower

248 hp @ 5200 rpm

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

2021 BMW X3 Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: December 28, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

The BMW X3 was launched to be a sporty SUV and it does live up to that claim. In its new iteration, the X3 looks stunning and delivers mind-boggling performance and driving dynamics. It is truly a fun-to-drive car in an SUV form factor. The X3 has been the hallmark for BMW’s SUVs over the years.

2021 BMW X3 Latest Updates

  • Mar' 31, 2022 : Battle Of the Compact Premium SUVs: 2022 Audi Q5 V/S 2022 BMW X3 Read More »
  • Feb' 17, 2022 : BMW $10.1 Billion Export Value Makes It The 2021's Largest Automotive Exporter in the US Read More »
  • Feb' 4, 2022 : Which Luxury Small SUV To Buy - 2022 BMW X3 or 2022 Audi Q3? Read More »

ProsConsWhat's New

Stunning design

The rear-seat legroom is tight

The 2021 BMW X3 gets Hitech safety features as standard that were optional in the previous model

Plush ride quality

Auto Start/Stop function doesn't work well

The X3 now comes with Android Auto as standard.

Agile handling and great driving dynamics

Conservative dashboard layout which looks a bit dated

Variety of powertrain options

Over All Rating

8.1

Out of 10

Pricing and Features7.00
Engine and Performance8.40
Fuel Economy8.00
Interior8.20
Exterior8.00
Safety9.00
Competition9.00
Notable Rankings

#5 in Compact Suv

#10 in Suv

#12 in Midsize Suv


Pictures & Videos


Trims

30i$43,000 onwards

  • 2 - 1st row LCD monitor
  • ABS and driveline Traction control
  • Dual zone automatic front air conditioning
  • Rear air conditioning, with separate controls
  • SiriusXM AM/FM/HD/Satellite, Radio


Colors and Styles

2021 BMW X3 in Dark Granite Metallic color
Dark Granite Metallic

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

 The striking looks, conservative well laid out instrument panel and dashboard which is surprisingly easy to use, loads of space for passengers as well as luggage, and sporty driving dynamics with two different powertrain options to choose from, all of which makes the BMW X3 so much popular. 2021 X3 rivals the likes of Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, Volvo XC60, and Audi Q5.

2021 BMW X3 SUV front view
2021 BMW X3 SUV rear view

Features

The BMW X3 is available in the following options – sDrive30i, and xDrive30i. The Base trims retail for around $43,000 and come with a turbocharged 2.0 L inline-four engine under the hood which produces 248 hp of power. The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic. Power is sent to the rear wheels in the sDrive30i whereas the xDrive30i gets an All-Wheel Drive System. 

Model

sDrive30i

xDrive30i

MSRP(AWD)

$43,000

$45,000

Key Features

Auto Start-Stop function

Power-folding heated mirrors

 

Satin Aluminum roof rails and exterior trim

Front and rear parking sensors

 

3-spoke telescopic leather-wrapped multi-function sport steering wheel

Tri-zone automatic climate control

 

Anthracite Headliner

10.25-inch central touchscreen

 

Android Auto Compatibility

Navigation system

 

18" Satin Carbon Aluminum Wheels

Wi-Fi hotspot

 

Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning

12-speaker audio system

 

Advanced Vehicle & Key Memory

Remote monitoring and control via a smartphone app

 

Automatic 3-zone Climate Control

Wireless Apple CarPlay smartphone integration

 

10.25-inch central information display

Front and rear parking sensors

Which Trim should you buy?

We recommend the xDrive30i powertrain of the 2021 BMW X3 because it is the best value-for-money variant. Plus it offers All-Wheel Drive which proves beneficial while cornering at high speeds and in wet road conditions. It is also helpful for mild off-roading since the X3 has a considerably good ground clearance.

Engine and Performance
8.4/10

The 2021 BMW X3 gets a modest turbocharged 2.0 L inline-four engine under the hood which churns out 248 horses and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The turbocharger is of a twin-scroll type with variable valve control (Double-VANOS and Valvetronic) and a high-precision direct injection system. The automatic transmission gets sport and manual shift modes along with steering-mounted paddle shifters and Launch Control. The X3 also gets an Active Kidney Grille, and Air Curtains which practically make the car more aerodynamic. 

2021 BMW X3 SUV engine bay

The active kidney grille shuts off the vents in the front to improve aerodynamics and opens only at intervals to cool down the engine. The X3 also gets a Driving Dynamics Control with ECO PRO, COMFORT, and SPORT modes. The powertrain provides sufficient performance for all traffic conditions and allows for quick overtakes as well as comfortable cruising at triple-digit speeds but the performance is nothing exhilarating. In that case, if you want a heart-wrenching performance, the X3 M40i would solve your cravings.

Models

2021 BMW X3

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300

2021 Volvo XC60

2021 Audi Q5

MSRP

$43,000

$43,200

$44,000

$43,300

Engine

2.0L Twin-Scroll Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

8-speed automatic

9-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

7-speed auto-shift manual

Power

248 hp @ 5,200 RPM

255 hp @ 5,800 RPM

250 hp @ 5,500 RPM

248 hp @ 5,000 RPM

Torque

258 lb-ft @ 1,450 RPM

273 lb-ft @ 1,800 RPM

258 lb-ft @ 1,500 RPM

273 lb-ft @ 1,600 RPM

0-60 MPH (secs)

6.0

6.1

6.1

5.9

Quarter-Mile (secs)

15.1

15.5

14.9

15.5

Top Speed (MPH)

130

147

130

130

In terms of performance and engine capacity, all the cars go neck in neck. But the X3 appears to be a bit more responsive and agile than the others. The 8-speed automatic transmission with manual mode and paddle shifters is smooth and precise. This combination is what makes it the most fun-to-drive car in the lot. Audi Q5 and Merc GLC Class offer much higher peak torque but they are on the farther end of the engine revs.

How well does the 2021 BMW X3 handle?

The 2021 BMW X3 handles pretty well for an SUV with 8 inches of ground clearance. There is considerable body roll, but the car remains stable due to the Front and rear anti-roll (stabilizer) bars. The X3 also gets Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) which keep matters in control while cornering at speed.

2021 BMW X3 SUV ride and handling

The vehicle also gets Twin-tube gas-pressure shock absorbers and 5-link rear axle suspension. The ride quality is on the firmer side, but it is nothing uncomfortable. The xDrive all-wheel-drive system also intervenes and sends power to the inside wheels while cornering to give a planted and stable experience.

2021 BMW X3 Braking Performance

The 2021 X3 gets 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes with an anti-lock braking system (ABS). The vehicle also gets composite front rotors along with Dynamic Brake Control (DBC). To further enhance the deal, it also gets brake-pad wear indicators and Cornering Brake Control (CBC). All this tech means that you get superior bite and feedback from the brakes, along with a good feeling of progression. The Brake Fade Compensation system does a good job of improving brake feedback.

Models

2021 BMW X3

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300

2021 Volvo XC60

2021 Audi Q5

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

13

13.5

13.6

13.3

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

13

12.6

12.6

13.0

Curb Weight (lbs)

3931 lb.

3889 lb.

4105 lb.

4079 lb.

70-0MPH (feet)

175

172

170

N/A

The brakes of the Volvo XC60 are the best in its class measuring 13.6 inches and 12.6 in the front and rear respectively. The considerably lighter Mercedes offers a great braking performance too followed by the Volvo XC60 with a stopping distance of 172 feet. The BMW is expected to offer a great braking performance but sadly it is not up to the mark.

Fuel Economy
8.0/10

The 2021 X3 gives 25MPGin the city while it gives 29MPG on the highway. The car returns a combined MPG of 27 which is better than the competition. The X3 will give around 447 miles of combined range from a 17.2-gallon fuel tank. The car consumes even less fuel in ECO mode, improving the fuel economy by quite a bit.

Models

2021 BMW X3

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300

2021 Volvo XC60

2021 Audi Q5

MPG (City)

25

22

21

23

MPG (Highway)

29

29

28

28

MPG (Combined)

27

24

24

25

Fuel Tank Capacity (Gallons)

17.2

17.4

18.8

18.5

Range (City/Highway/Combined; Miles)

430/499/464

383/505/418

394.8/ 526/451.2

425/518/462

X3 is the most economical car among the competition. The Volvo also offers dismal fuel economy figures but it offers the maximum driving range in the competition, as it gets the largest fuel tank of 18.8 gallons. The BMW returns an extraordinary city/highway/combined range of 430/499/464 miles. The Audi Q5 manages to offer a tad less than the BMW X3.

Interior
8.2/10

The 2021 BMW X3 gets two-tone Sensatec upholstery – Canberra Beige and Black. There is an option of Vernasca Leather Upholstery for $1,450. The vehicle gets power front sport seats. tri-zone climate control and rear seatback adjustment as standard. The seats are plush and comfortable even for long hauls. The car also gets a front-seat center console with an armrest and storage compartment. Moreover, you get Dark Oak Wood trim on the dashboard and Anthracite headliner as standard. But heated front seats, heated steering wheel, panoramic moonroof, and HUD display are optional extras. 

2021 BMW X3 SUV cockpit area

The fit and finish quality are exceptional. But the interior looks a bit outdated in some aspects considering 2021 standards. The ride quality is on the stiffer side but it is comfortable. The cabin also offers superiorly low NVH levels with the road and engine noise completely insulated. Moreover, the X3 has a fully finished cargo area with velour carpeting and remote trunk release. 

2021 BMW X3 SUV front seat

Models

2021 BMW X3

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300

2021 Volvo XC60

2021 Audi Q5

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

41.1/57.6/40.3

37.8/57.3/40.8

38.0/58.2/41.5

39.6/57.7/39.3

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

38.5 /56.0/36.4

38.5 /56.5/37.3

38.0/56.3/38.0

39.3/56.5/38.0

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)

28.7

19.4

29.7

25.8

All these SUVs come with a seating capacity of 5. The BMW X3 offers the maximum amount of space in the front but the rear-seat legroom is a bit tight. All the cars offer considerably good cargo space, except the Merc. The Swedish maker Volvo on the other hand offers 29.7 cargo capacity. All these cars offer similar interior spacing. Standout interior features:

  • Sport Bucket Seats
  • Leatherette Door Trim Insert
  • Sport Leather/Metal-Look Steering Wheel
  • Leather/Piano Black Gear Shifter Material
  • 3 12V DC Power Outlets
  • Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting

What’s there to keep you entertained?

 The 2021 X3 comes equipped with a 10.25-inch touchscreen display infotainment system in the center of the dashboard. The infotainment system is equipped with Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. The vehicle also comes with HD radio and SiriusXM satellite radio as standard. Also, BMW's Live Cockpit Professional option gets you a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster behind your steering wheel. 

Moreover, the instrument cluster displays all essential information about the car and also doubles up as a navigation display. The 2021 X3 gets a 205-watt 12-speaker HiFi audio system In short, the infotainment system on the BMW is one of the best in the market and it is very intuitive to use. Standout infotainment features:

  • 10.25-inch touchscreen display infotainment system
  • HiFi Sound System with 12-speakers and a 205-watt digital amplifier
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio
  • Streaming Audio
Exterior
8.0/10

The 2021 BMW X3 doesn't get any new changes to the exterior. This means that it gets the LED automatic headlights coupled with LED DRLs and the imposing front fascia with the dual kidney grilles from the 2020 model. It looks quite stunning and impressive due to the nicely integrated layout. It gets 18-inch Y-Spoke alloy wheels wrapped in 225 section run-flat tires. It also gets a lip spoiler at the back, with LED taillights. 

2021 BMW X3 SUV 

Moreover, the automatic rain-sensing wipers come in handy and the powered tailgate is very convenient to use. The X3 also gets cornering lights. To sweeten things up, you can opt for two non-metallic colors and six metallic colors for a premium. Moreover, if you opt for the Executive package you also get automatic high beam assist, panoramic sunroof, and a comfort access keyless entry system.

Models

2021 BMW X3

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300

2021 Volvo XC60

2021 Audi Q5

Curb Weight (lbs)

3931 lb.

3889 lb.

4105 lb.

4079 lb.

Length (inches)

185.9

183.3

184.6

184.3

Width (inches)

74.4

74.8

78.7

74.5

Height (inches)

66.0

64.7

65.3

65.5

Ground Clearance (inches)

8.0

5.0

8.5

8.2

Wheelbase (inches)

112.8

113.1

112.8

111.0

The BMW X3 is the longest, widest and highest car amongst the competition. It commands a great deal of attention and has an exceptional road presence. It also gets a stellar ground clearance of 8 inches and coupled to that is the xDrive AWD system which means that the vehicle can handle quite a bit of moderate off-roading. In this aspect, the Mercedes offers the least with just 5.0 inches of ground clearance, which is not respectable for a crossover SUV. Standout exterior features:

  • Automatic LED headlights with LED DRLs
  • Heated and powered side mirrors
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Powered liftgate
  • LED taillights
Safety
9.0/10

In the 2021 BMW X3, a lot of driver assistance features like Lane Keeping Assist, Frontal Collision Warning, Active Blind Spot Detection, and Lane Departure Warning have been made standard. As a result, the NHTSA has given the 2021 X3 a complete 5 Star safety rating. Though IIHS did not include the X3 in the Top safety pick for 2021, the organization gave good ratings in most of the subsections. Apart from the normal airbags array and ABS, traction control, and driver assistance features, it also comes with BMW Assist eCall which includes Emergency Request (SOS button) and Enhanced Automatic Collision Notification. Standout safety features:

  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Forward collision warning with pedestrian detection
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • BMW Assist eCall
Competition
9.0/10

2021 BMW X3 vs 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300

The Mercedes-Benz GLC 300, comes at a base MSRP of $43,200 and provides better power and torque output than the BMW. It is also lighter than the X3 and that results in peppier performance. The interior is also a lot better and more futuristic than the BMW. But the Merc lacks cargo space and ground clearance. BMW offers a better driving experience, ride quality, much more ground clearance, more cargo space, and better gas mileage. Hence, the X3 definitely comes out as the winner here.

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300

2021 BMW X3 vs 2021 Volvo XC60

The Volvo XC60 which comes for $44,000 offers a comfortable ride, a spacious cabin, a feature-rich infotainment system, and the best-in-class fuel efficiency of 26 MPG. But it is not actually very engaging and does not provide a good driving experience. The X3 is much more exciting to drive and therefore it takes the crown.

2021 Volvo XC60

2021 BMW X3 vs 2021 Audi Q5

The 2021 Audi Q5 is one of the best cars in this segment. It offers a great driving experience, exceptional interior comfort and features, a futuristic dashboard, sharper styling, and greater ground clearance, and a bit peppier performance than the X3. The gas mileage is a bit lower than the BMW at 24 MPG, but overall the Audi Q5 at $43,300 is a much better deal than the BMW.

2021 Audi Q5

 

Final Verdict

The engagement and driving dynamics of the BMW are unmatched, and while the BMW X3 has a bit outdated interior layout, the infotainment system in itself is very intuitive and easy to use. The vehicle also has good interior space, an exciting powertrain, and offers great gas mileage which is why we recommend you to buy the 2021 X3. But if you are looking for a better interior, then the Mercedes GLC 300 seems to be the better pick.

Features

vehicle bio
base price

$43000

body style

4dr SUV

engine type
displacement

122 cu in

horse power

248 hp @ 5200 rpm

torque

258 lb.-ft. @ 1450 rpm

transmission

8-Speed Automatic

dimensions
length

185.9 in

wheelbase

112.1 in

width

74.4 in

curb weight

4034 lbs

Height

66 in

Ground Clearance

8 lbs

capacity
passenger volume

11.4 cu ft

cargo volume

62.7 cu ft

passenger capacity

5 Seats

warranty
basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.


BMW X3 5 year Cost To Own


Cash Price(MSRP)
$50,899
5 Year Cost To Own
$72,121
Total 5 year Cost To Own -  $72,121
Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5total
Depreciation$8,551$5,767$4,782$5,298$4,678$29,076
Insurance$1,333$1,426$1,500$1,531$1,582$7,372
Fuel$1,959$2,005$2,030$2,060$2,160$10,214
Maintenance$-30$-42$934$3,332$3,891$8,085
Repairs$-45$-48$-2$1,141$1,821$2,867
Financing Interest$3,139$2,581$1,939$1,216$433$9,308
Taxes and Fees$4,224$272$325$213$165$5,199
Total Cost-To-Own$19,131$11,961$11,508$14,791$14,730$72,121
Read more about Cost-To-Own »

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