While delivering luxury and practicality, the 2022 BMW X3 SUV also channels sports sedans from BMW’s past to blend driving fun into the equation. Its balanced chassis and well-tuned steering makes it a surprisingly willing partner on a twisty road, and both of its available turbocharged powertrains—either a four- or six-cylinder—provide plenty of power. The X3’s cabin is comfortable and upscale if conservative in its design. It’s a nice place to spend time, even if some rivals, including the Mercedes-Benz GLC-class and the Volvo XC60, have it beat on style. BMW has incorporated plenty of tech into the X3, including two digital dashboard displays as well as a host of driver-assistance features. Overall, the X3 is well-rounded, but it’s the agile handling and gutsy turbo engines that make it one of our favorite BMWs.
What’s New for 2022?
The X3 receives a refresh to its styling for 2022, which includes a revised grille, new headlamps and taillamps, updated front and rear bumpers, new wheel designs, and tweaked exhaust tips. The base X3 is now available with an M Sport appearance package which dresses it up to look similar to the racier M40i model. Speaking of the M40i, it gains a 48-volt hybrid system for 2022, but combined horsepower remains the same 382-hp as the 2021 model. The plug-in hybrid xDrive30e has been discontinued. Inside, the center console has been reworked and some secondary controls have been repositioned. While a 10.3-inch infotainment display and a matching digital gauge display are still standard, BMW now offers 12.3-inch upgrades for both.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Regardless of the exact power output, all BMW engines exude a similar strong and refined character. While the M40i’s 382-hp six-cylinder motivates it to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, we suggest buyers stick with the standard 248-hp four-cylinder, which is plenty powerful. The turbocharged four-cylinder collaborates with the excellent eight-speed automatic to make easy passes in traffic and sip fuel on the highway. The entry X3 sDrive30i only drives the rear wheels. That won’t be a problem for anyone living in the Sun Belt, but buyers in snowy states will want to upgrade to the all-wheel-drive xDrive30i model.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
With the 248-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder under its hood, the rear-wheel-drive sDrive30i and all-wheel-drive xDrive30i provide enough power to comfortably negotiate almost any traffic situation, but they’re hardly exhilarating. At our test track, the xDrive 30i required 6.2 seconds to reach 60 mph; we haven’t tested an sDrive30i model. and the Audi Q5 are both quicker in our testing—the Porsche substantially so. Those seeking a performance-oriented crossover will find the X3 M40i more to their liking. Its 382-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine provides almost brutish power, out-accelerating all but the most potent version of the Macan Turbo and the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 with a 4.4-second zero-to-60-mph time. The X3 still feels more competent than some of BMW’s current sedans; it’s fun to drive and willing to arc around corners better than expected, although it doesn’t quite offer Macan levels of athleticism. The ride quality is well balanced with just enough firmness for an inspired feel without resulting in a rough ride over bumpy road surfaces. Our test vehicle came with an option we highly recommend, the adaptive suspension. Called Dynamic Damper Control, it adds Comfort, Sport, and Eco Pro driving modes to the xDrive30i. An adaptive M suspension, available on the M40i, lowers the chassis 0.4 inch.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Judging the X3 by its EPA ratings places it only mid-pack among its rivals. But both of our test cars, an xDrive30i and an M40i, outperformed their efficiency estimates in our real-world testing. The higher-powered M40i (29 mpg) came in surprisingly close to the four-cylinder xDrive30i (31 mpg), meaning there’s little highway fuel-economy penalty for all that extra power. For more information about the X3’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The X3’s stylish interior comes well equipped before you check a single option box; 10-way power-adjustable front seats, which include adjustable side bolsters, make it easy to find a comfortable position. Rear-seat occupants are treated to reclining seatbacks, and the cushioning on all seats is plush enough for long journeys. The rest of the X3’s cabin is handsome and put together competently, with well-chosen materials and tight panel gaps. The glossy woodgrain trim on our test vehicle looked and felt real despite being plastic; the stitched faux-leather dash and door coverings add an extra element of luxury, as do the nickel-finish metal trim. The X3 is about average for the segment in our carry-on suitcase test. Seven carry-ons fit behind the second row—enough for each occupant to have one, with room left over for two extras— and 20 fit in total with the rear seats folded. The cargo-hauling champ in this segment, however, is the Cadillac XT5; heavy haulers should put that one on their short list.
Infotainment and Connectivity
BMW’s iDrive interface provides everything a modern luxury car’s infotainment system should. A 10.3-inch infotainment display is standard and features in-dash navigation as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A larger 12.3-inch infotainment display is optional. Bluetooth phone connectivity, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and one USB port are standard, but every other infotainment feature is offered as an optional extra; for those looking to juice two devices at once, a second USB port is optional as is a wireless smartphone charging pad.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
A full suite of driver-assistance features is available, but BMW offers the basics as standard equipment. For more information about the X3’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with forward-collision warning
- Standard lane-departure warning
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
BMW’s warranty offerings on the X3 don’t stand out among its rivals; a four-year or 50,000-mile basic warranty is basically par for the course in this segment. Three years of complimentary scheduled maintenance are nice, but it’s something that the Volvo XC60 and the Cadillac XT5 also offer.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary scheduled maintenance covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles