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The BMW X3, which shares the platform with the BMW 3 Series, has been made by the German automaker since 2003 and currently is in the second generation.

If you look for a family vehicle, the 2016 BMW X3, the review is dedicated to, is the best choice as it masterly combines high performance, contemporary safety technologies, cabin’s practicality and comfort as well as beautiful design demonstrating decent fuel economy rates at the same time. The model competes with the Audi Q5, Cadillac SRX, Volvo XC60, and Mercedes-Benz GLK.


The 2016 BMW X3’s exterior is well known to those who aren’t indifferent to the BMW vehicles. Their evolution can be easily traced in the model. In fact, its appearance has a strong resemblance to the X5’. The SUV is considered to be one of the most attractive models in the line-up.

Among other things, the 2016 BMW X3 got new headlamps and exterior mirrors with signal lights this time; redesigned double kidney grille and wheels (they are larger on some models). Aluminium trim makes the new X3 look even more luxurious and exquisite.


Inside, the BMW X3 is as sophisticated as outside featuring nice-looking seats and uncluttered centre console and instrument panel. They are turned toward a driver by several degrees. It contributes to their easier usage so that a driver is concentrated on the road even while operating the controls. In addition to its stylish design, the cabin is homey and finished with soft-touch materials.


Although the 2016 BMW X3 is rather short (it isn’t as long as mid-size sedans usually are), it’s surprisingly spacious inside. It’s exactly what you need if you have a big family. The car can comfortably accommodate all the passengers as well as provide space for their luggage.

The sports front seats provide plenty of head- and legroom together with side and thigh bolsters. There’s enough space for 3 in the 40/20/40 sliding-and-folding rear seats. When they are in place, luggage capacity makes 19 cu ft; when folded up, it increases to 56.6 cu ft. Although noise made by other vehicles on the road and wind sound do penetrate the cabin, they aren’t loud enough to annoy you.

Powertrain & Fuel Efficiency

The 2016 BMW X3 comes in 4 trim levels: the sDrive 28i and xDrive 28i, xDrive 28d, and xDrive 35i. All the models offer the only 8-speed automatic transmission.

The sDrive 28i and xDrive 28i models are both powered by a 2.0-litre inline 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that generates 240 hp and 260 lb/ft of torque. It’s capable of accelerating the vehicle to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. Besides, they both return 21 mpg city and 28 mpg hwy. The fundamental difference between the models is the layout: the sDrive comes with RWD while the xDrive – with AWD.

With the 2016 X3, a new diesel engine is introduced. A 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine that makes 180 hp and 280 lb/ft of torque powers the xDrive 28d. The 60 mph mark is reached in fewer than 8 seconds. This model is the most fuel-efficient in the range – it covers 27 mpg city and 34 mpg hwy.

The xDrive 35i is equipped with a 3.0-litre 6-cylinder turbocharged engine. It produces 300 hp and the same amount of torque that lets it accelerate to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds while top speed is 150 mph. The engine makes 19 mpg city and 26 mpg hwy.

Select one of three driving modes – the Normal, Sport, and Sport Plus – and the vehicle will automatically adjust steering response, transmission, dampers, and throttle to a desired driving style.


The 2016 BMW X3 offers a very wide range of standard equipment. Actually, it’s so wide that some customers don’t need optional features for extra money.

It counts LED fog lamps, remote garage door opener, auto-dimming mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, and power tailgate. There are power-adjustable front seats, tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, automatic climate control, and cruise control inside. An infotainment system is represented with the newest version of the iDrive system, Bluetooth/USB connectivity (mobile office functions are fulfilled via the ConnectedDrive), 12-speaker 205-watt sound system, and satellite/HD radio.

For some models, the standard feature list is complemented by HID headlamps and LED running lights as well as hill descent control and panoramic sunroof.

If you want more, look through the packages that contain optional features:

- The Driver Assistance Plus package: speed limit information and lane departure warning system;

- The Technology package: head-up screen (can also be ordered separately), sat nav, BMW Apps, real-time traffic information, and remote services;

- The Dynamic Handling package: variable sport steering and dynamic damper control;

- The Lighting package: adaptive light control and xenon headlights;

- The Cold Weather package: heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, and headlamp washers.


The 2016 BMW X3 is exactly what you expect from the Bavarian engineers – it’s reliable and safe. The SUV got the top ‘Good’ score from the IIHS (except for the small overlap frontal test – it hasn’t been brought to this test yet) and maximum 5 stars from Euro NCAP.

Standard safety technologies count a set of airbags, active front head restraints, ABS with stability and traction controls, fog, HID, and daytime running lights, and post-collision safety system (some of them have already been mentioned).

Among optional safety features are lane departure and blind spot warning systems, parking sensors front and back, collision mitigation braking system, adaptive cruise control, and some others.

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