BMW X3 (2010 – 2018) Review

BMW X3 (2010 – 2018) At A Glance

Twin-scroll turbocharging gives strong performance, economy and low emissions. Bigger and much better than previous X3. Good quality cabin and comfortable ride.

Rear legroom is tight behind tall driver. Runs out of off-road ability in more challenging conditions.

Insurance Groups are between 23–43
On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure

It may not be BMW's most handsome design - especially when viewed alongside newer competition like the Mercedes-Benz GLC - but the X3 remains one of the best all-round SUVs. Comfortable, affordable to run and with a solid interior, it makes an ideal family car that's great at covering long distances.

The X3 is more than merely a motorway cruiser though. While it may be an SUV, it handles as well as any BMW saloon with impressive cornering performance and lots of grip. The steering is nicely weighted too. As a result it's just as handy on twisty B-roads as on dual-carriageways. 

While it's been on sale since 2010, the X3 was significantly revised in 2014. It may not look that different but all models now have an electric tailgate and a revamped cabin. But most importantly, the 18d and 20d models get a new all-aluminium 2.0-litre diesel engine with more power and better fuel economy. 

The manual-only sDrive18d shuns all-wheel drive in favour of rear-wheel drive, but this is good news for economy with a claimed figure of more than 55mpg. The xDrive 20d with 190PS is our preferred choice though - especially as it comes with the option of an eight-speed automatic. Yet it's still economical with Real MPG users seeing close to 40mpg.

The 2014 facelift also brought improvements to the interior with a less plastic-heavy and more sophisticated look. But as before it's still spacious and feels durable. The boot has a minimal load lip so getting heavy shopping or bulky pushchairs in and out is made a little easier.

While the X3 now has far more competition than when the first generation model pitched up, BMW’s mid-size SUV remains one of the most appealing. It’s spacious, comfortable and sure-footed on the road, while its engine keep running costs at a sensible level.

Real MPG average for a BMW X3 (2010 – 2018)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

27–52 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.


I bought a falsely advertised ULEZ-compliant car. What can I do?
I bought a 2012 BMW X3 diesel advertised as ULEZ-compliant. I discussed the necessity for Euro6 with the salesman in the initial telephone conversation and was assured that the car is Euro6 so is ULEZ charge exempt. After buying the car, I became aware of the TfL ULEZ status checker and searched for the registration number, only to find that the car was not ULEZ charge exempt. I then requested a Certificate of Conformity from BMW to either correct the TfL record or to prove the car had been falsely advertised. The Certificate of Conformity confirms the car to be emissions category 5J, and therefore not ULEZ exempt. I raised the issue with the dealer who refuses to respond to the complaint. As always I have saved copies of the advertisements. What recourse do I have?
A clear cut case of a car being mis-sold. The car is clearly not as described. This falls under misrepresentation, as a result, you are entitled to a full refund. For your legal rights, see:
Answered by Dan Powell
What's the best dash cam for my BMW?
I'm looking to install a dash cam in my 2016 BMW X3, with front and rear cams. What would be the best make or do BMW have their own make and installers?
I believe that BMW actually does its own dash cam - a Google should bring it up. However, we'd personally recommend a Nextbase or Garmin dash cam for the best quality dash camera we've tested. Seeing as Garmin doesn't really offer a dual set up, we'd suggest the Nextbase 522GW and rear module. You can read the review here: You can see rear footage (with the camera connected to the cheaper Nextbase 422GW model) here: For all our other dash cam reviews: Halfords will hard wire any dash cam that you can buy in the shop (as far as we know), so that's a good shout in terms of where to get it fitted.
Answered by Georgia Petrie
What Super fuel do you recommend?
I've followed your advice for a number of years regarding premium fuel, both petrol and diesel. I usually put BP Ultimate or Shell V Power in both cars, a petrol MINI and a diesel BMW X3. I appreciate that you may not be able to give testimonials, however, is one better than the other? Both cars have only had the premium fuels since being purchased from new. Your thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated.
You mean 'Super' fuels. 'Premium' fuels is the misnomer used by oil companies to describe regular fuels. I always used Shell V-Power, but where an oil company such as Shell, Esso or BP advertises the benefits of its Super they have to be true or the Advertising Standards Authority comes down on them like a ton of bricks.
Answered by Honest John
My new car has been broken into twice recently - is this done through keyless entry?
I have a 2017 BMW X3. It was broken into two times in less than eight weeks, perhaps using some sort of keyless entry. In both cases, there wasn’t any physical damage to the car. On the second incident, which happened today, all doors were left wide open. I live in a gated community in San Jose, CA. I was wondering if there has been any similar incidents with 2017 BMWs?
If the car has keyless entry, then the signal from the key to the car can be boosted by various hand-held devices to make the keyless entry system think you are standing next to the car with the key. Keyless entry is rapidly becoming one of the most stupid gizmos ever fitted to an automobile.
Answered by Honest John

What does a BMW X3 (2010 – 2018) cost?

Buy new from £48,133 (list price from £54,605)
Contract hire from £380.80 per month
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