The mid-level luxury car segment is a hotly contested arena where buyers often find themselves choosing between sedans and SUVs. But what if there’s a car that offers the best of both worlds? Yes, the BMW X3 is an SUV that’s capable of making mid-level luxury sedans question their purpose. It does so on the back of powerful engines, superb dynamic ability, and a fittingly equipped cabin. The 2023 BMW X3 took things a step further with the launch of its M40i variant which, if you go by the book, sits in a class of its own thanks to its specifications, performance, and price. As a prospective X3 owner, if this has you confused, here’s a BMW X3 buying guide to clear things up.
BMW X3 Specifications
BMW X3 Engine and Transmission
xDrive20d M Sport
BMW X3 Dimensions
BMW X3 Safety Features
8 airbags standard
ABS with EBD
Rear Parking Sensors
All-Wheel Disc Brakes
Electronic Stability Program
Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
Hill Hold Assist
Hill Descent Control
Why you should consider the BMW X3
Despite the discontinuation (albeit temporary) of the Mercedes-Benz GLC, the mid-level luxury SUV segment remains as competitive as ever. Here are three reasons why the 2023 BMW X3 continues to be a strong rival to the Audi Q5 and Volvo SC60.
Just before the M40i was launched, BMW had discontinued the X3’s petrol engine, leaving just a solitary diesel engine option. The latter is a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder unit that produces 193 PS and 400 Nm. On the road, these figures translate into a 0-100 kmph time of under 8 seconds and an ARAI mileage of 16.5 kmpl, impressive figures for a nearly 2-tonne luxury SUV. The M40i’s 3.0-litre 6-cylinder petrol engine is even more powerful with 365 PS and 500 Nm, propelling the SUV from 0-100 kmph in 4.9 seconds and to a top speed of 250 kmph. Despite the brutish numbers, both petrol and diesel are refinement personified as the power delivery is smooth and linear throughout the rev range.
Feature-loaded, Comfortable Cabin
In terms of dimensions, the BMW X3 is on-par for this segment and offers generous seating space for up to 5 passengers and their luggage (550 litres of boot space). BMW has further enhanced the comfort of this spacious cabin by including a 3-zone climate control, sunblinds, a 16-speaker Harman-Kardon audio unit, and a panoramic sunroof. For infotainment, there’s a 12.3-inch unit with a gesture control feature that actually makes life easier while driving instead of being just a gimmick. The M40i is identical to the standard X3 in terms of equipment and features but does get a few distinguishing flourishes, such as an all-black interior (the standard X3 gets a dual-tone finish) and the M insignia at different places.
Fun to Drive
The BMW X3’s primary characteristic is brisk yet refined straight-line performance, making it an apt tool for long-distance highway cruises. But switching to the Sport mode opens a new world altogether where the SUV’s secondary characteristic comes to the fore. Armed with BMW’s Dynamic Damper Control suspension and all-wheel drive, the X3 in Sport mode is eager to take on corners in a manner that betrays its SUV stance. The effect of the Sport mode is not restricted to the suspension alone as even the steering weighs up while the gearshifts become sharper.
The M40i only amplifies this fun-to-drive aspect further with its M Sport suspension, M Sport differential system, M Sport brakes, and larger 20-inch wheels with lower profile tyres than the standard X3’s 19-inchers.
Why you should not consider the BMW X3
As great as the BMW X3 is, it does fall short on a few vital parameters, especially given the segment it competes in and the price it retails at. Here are two aspects where the BMW X3 might disappoint you.
Ride Quality Biased More towards Performance than Comfort
An obvious casualty of gunning for greater dynamic performance is comfort and the BMW X3 can be held guilty of the same. Yes, switching to the Comfort mode can make things notably smoother thanks to the X3’s self-regulating dynamic dampers. However, the tech can’t mitigate the fact that inherently, the X3 leans towards better performance and a planted ride, in contrast to the supple and cushy ride its competitors offer.
Luxury Quotient Could’ve Been Higher
The BMW X3 is pricey and it’s fair for buyers to expect the car’s equipment levels to reflect that priciness. However, this is where some buyers might be in for a rude surprise as the X3 doesn’t get some creature comforts that are available even in lower-priced cars. For instance, there’s no seat ventilation for the front seats, even as an option. Similarly, the rear seat is devoid of any kind of adjustment whatsoever.
BMW X3 Variants
The BMW X3 is available in three variants, including the M version. The M40i is the only petrol-engined option here but is also the most expensive at Rs 86.50 lakh. The xDrive20d variants share the same diesel powertrains and are priced at Rs 67.50 lakh and Rs 69.90 lakh.
BMW X3 Variants & Price
Price (Ex-showroom, Delhi)
2.0-litre diesel & 8-speed Steptronic
Rs 67.50 lakh
xDrive20d M Sport
2.0-litre diesel & 8-speed Steptronic
Rs 69.90 lakh
3.0-litre petrol & 8-speed Steptronic
Rs 86.50 lakh
Best BMW X3 Variant to Buy
The xDrive20d M Sport is the best BMW X3 variant to buy and here’s why. For a premium of just over Rs 2 lakh compared to the base xLine variant, the xDrive20d M Sport variant buys you BMW’s DDC adaptive suspension, a surround-view camera with a 3D view, gesture-enabled infotainment system, and a head-up display. Each of these features makes a notable difference to the driving experience and justifies the M Sport’s higher asking price. Moreover, this variant also features all the usual M Sport embellishments on the X3’s entry sills, pedals, instrument cluster, and steering wheel.
BMW X3 Warranty & Service Cost
The BMW X3 comes with a standard 2-year/unlimited mileage warranty. You can extend this for up to 6 years with unlimited mileage by opting for BMW’s Repair Inclusive package. In terms of BMW X3 service costs, expect an annual expenditure of Rs 25,000 – 30,000 for an interval of 8,000 km/1 year.
BMW also offers service packages to rationalise this yearly expense. Known as BMW Service Inclusive and BMW Service Inclusive Plus, these service packages cover the cost of consumables, parts, and labour that go into the scheduled maintenance of your BMW X3.
BMW X3 Buying Guide Summary
In the mid-level luxury SUV segment, the 2023 BMW X3 occupies a unique position. It leans towards the sportier side in terms of driving dynamics, packs in a punch when it comes to performance, offers a spacious and well-equipped cabin, and is quite refined. Sure, there are more luxurious offerings in the segment, just like there are more glamorous ones. However, if you desire an SUV that can do it all without breaking a sweat, the X3 is ideal. With this BMW X3 buying guide, we hope you have a clearer idea of which X3 variant you should buy.