BMW X3 Review: A budget X5?!

This is the !

It received a mid-life facelift in late 2021, and Mat's ready to learn whether the M-Sport plug-in hybrid edition still stands the test of time versus more recent competitors such as the new Mercedes GLC & Genesis GV70.

Well for beginners, let's have a look at the style. It's reasonably comparable to the initial X3, but there are a number of design modifications. Around the back, there are updated 3D-effect taillights, some genuine exhaust tips and an updated diffuser (which to be sincere, is most likely to have little to no impact). Around the side, there are vibrant creases across the doors and extending side skirts to aid with the sporty appearances, and in advance there's an upgraded bumper and a couple of brand-new vents. Naturally, though, there's a big grille in advance, which does not do much for the appearances.

Step inside and there are just a couple of modifications to the original X3. There's an updated infotainment screen and full digital dials; otherwise, it's all the same. That's not such a bad thing, but when you consider newer BMWs come with a full-length, curved infotainment/dial screen, this currently appears a bit out-of-date. The good news is there are quality materials throughout the majority of the cabin, although if you reach a bit lower you might be satisfied by some scratchy plastics.

In this video, we've got our hands on the xDrive30e. It's powered by a 2-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with an electric motor, which combines to deliver 292hp and 300Nm. declare it will strike 60mph in 6.1 seconds, and it is available in at a cost of around ₤ 56,000.

The variety starts from around ₤ 47,000. However should you still select it over the competitors? And if you're in the market for a plug-in hybrid SUV, is it actually the wise option rather of the newer GLC? Stick to Mat and see for yourself!

00:00 Introduction
00:36 Design
02:04 Interior
04:40 Rear seats
06:31 Boot
07:30 5 Annoying Things
09:02 5 Cool Things
10:50 Engine
11:14 Town Driving
13:11 Freeway Driving
14:20 Country Road Driving
15:48 0-60mph
16:23 Verdict

Mat's X3 deal:

Genesis GV70 review:

Volvo XC60 review:

Lexus NX review: Lexus-NX-Review-2023

Sell your with :


59 responses to “BMW X3 Review: A budget X5?!”

  1. carwow Avatar

    BMW X3 vs Mercedes GLC: Which is best? VOTE BELOW!

    1. carwow Avatar

      VOTE: BMW X3!

    2. carwow Avatar

      VOTE: Mercedes GLC!

    3. User??? Avatar


    4. Shaurya Singh Avatar
      Shaurya Singh


    5. Michael Rigby Avatar
      Michael Rigby


  2. Bob Dave Avatar
    Bob Dave

    This car looks amazing from every angle especially in the white colour

    1. Tim Win Avatar
      Tim Win

      This is M Brooklyn Grey I guess 🙂

    2. Purwanti Allan Avatar
      Purwanti Allan

      @Tim Win Brooklyn Grey??

    3. Gyula Avatar

      Meh, it looks decent from every angle tbh

    4. oscar7364 Avatar

      Looks decent at best to me. X5 looks far more proprtional

    5. Wazenight Avatar

      after reading the comments, I am the only one thinking it looks like a toy with this black plastic and finding it ugly for its price.

  3. Sasha Butorac Avatar
    Sasha Butorac

    X3 was never a looker but this one is by far the best one.

    1. Neal P Avatar
      Neal P

      Weird to think a new BMW can actually look good.

    2. Purwanti Allan Avatar
      Purwanti Allan

      @Neal P still nowhere close to BMW 1 SERIES Tii Coupe.

    3. ciyber sal Avatar
      ciyber sal

      Once Zeekr X Volvo EX30 Xpeng G9 hits it’s over for Germans

    4. d3at45tr0k3 Avatar

      @Neal P it’s an outgoing model. 2024/25 X3 will probably look horrible like every new BMW

    5. Kronos Avatar

      It’s only because all other BMW cars have gotten so ugly this looks ‘pretty’.

  4. Chandler Bing Avatar
    Chandler Bing

    It may be out of date, but the interior in the X3 is infinitely more beautiful and useful than the one in the newer BMWs. Same goes for the outside. They have lost the plot.

    1. Purwanti Allan Avatar
      Purwanti Allan

      Yep. X3 had been out of date since 2020 basically.

    2. Bingo Bongo Avatar
      Bingo Bongo

      Nah I vastly prefer the new styling of the interiors. One might dislike the lack of buttons but the screens are much better and everything looks much cleaner.

    3. Shamut Avatar

      True, newer models lose 1-8 programmable buttons which I find very useful.

    4. Kronos Avatar

      @Bingo Bongo New interiors are better but the tradeoff of having that disgusting exterior is not worth it.

    5. Ali Ibn-Muhammad Al-Sharif Avatar
      Ali Ibn-Muhammad Al-Sharif

      I disagree! I own the M340i in idrive 8 guise and the tech is a game changer, I had the pre facelift 330i and the new idrive sets a new benchmark in tech and use ability.

  5. George Yung Avatar
    George Yung

    I brought a X3 2.0i M sport with lots of options last year.
    Took 7 months to order it.
    It a good car to be honest.
    Does everything I need it to do.
    Very frugal average around 50 miles per gallon on motor way, around town it drops to 25mpg
    Can’t complain

    1. Purwanti Allan Avatar
      Purwanti Allan

      GLC300E and CLK 200 are still better than X3.

    2. Tr0ll Patr0l Avatar
      Tr0ll Patr0l

      where does ur money come from?

    3. Daniel Choritz Avatar
      Daniel Choritz

      i can complain, X3 2.0i M sport. sounds like a insider joke. because if you want a sporty car this is not.

    4. 3mr Avatar

      ​@Purwanti Allan no

    5. BABBER ਸਿੰਘ ਲੋਹਬਾਣਾ Avatar
      BABBER ਸਿੰਘ ਲੋਹਬਾਣਾ

      So many jealous people replying to this comment

  6. JD Avatar

    I really think Matt was the one who started the load cover storage campaign that manufacturers now do.

    1. QB TRAILERS Avatar


  7. Ricchezza Avatar

    as an owner, I cannot recommend one of these enough

  8. Nomad 6-1 Avatar
    Nomad 6-1

    Would love to see how it drives compared to a Stelvio and a Macan. I’d never buy an SUV but I’d like to see the mechanical differences between them, supposedly they are the three ones with the best handling

    1. E53 Avatar

      macan and stelvio far better

    2. Nomad 6-1 Avatar
      Nomad 6-1

      @E53 As an hardcore Alfa Romeo fan and Giulia lover I’d personally take the Stelvio, no doubt, if I was forced to drive an SUV.
      However the new X3 is based on the BMW G20, which is a project I respect a lot, and the Macan has the PDK and well it’s just a 2013 MLB platform car, but somehow it feels like it isn’t. So I’m just curious about seeing them underneath, what technical solutions they adopted.

  9. Leandros Zoidis Avatar
    Leandros Zoidis

    Very good car! Its cockpit is for sure better than the newer BMWs. More driver focused. The new design with huge screens and no gear shift is not as driver focused as this.

    1. Crispy Avatar

      I much prefer the cockpit and interiors of the newer BMWs.

  10. yesitsme Avatar

    Happily driving an X3 M40i as a daily. Prefered it over a bulky X5 M50D (yes Diesel, not Petrol – due to low down torque). But also prefer it over the X5 40i. For me it’s a perfect all rounder, but I realise I’m probably in the minority 🙂

    1. Graham Stephens Avatar
      Graham Stephens

      I’m the same. Couldn’t agree more. The performance is excellent.

    2. MaZo Avatar

      Same here!

    3. Noah Mayer Avatar
      Noah Mayer

      Many people are probably ok with 250hp I4, or the 330hp I6 engines. But BMW caters to the enthusiast like you

    4. DanielWTang Avatar

      been driving an X3 M40i for two years now and absolutely loving it. Perfect size to drive the family around and definitely fun when driving alone😂

    5. Graham Stephens Avatar
      Graham Stephens

      @DanielWTang And the sound!

  11. Q Avatar

    The grill on this is not as hideous as new BMWs.
    It actually looks good.

  12. SB123 Avatar

    I have never had an issue with BMW styling, and even if I did, the design has grown on me. This one is another great one. One thing though, BMW designs always stay modern.

  13. mr V Avatar
    mr V

    I think this X3 looks very much like the previous X5. Excellent design and timeless. Also inside. Their latest cars.. hmmm

  14. TechBaffle Avatar

    I actually quite like the front end design. BMW hasn’t gone bonkers – the lights and grille look well proportioned. I guess it reminds me of slightly older BMW’s – same with the interior – but to me that’s a good thing!

    1. loukas antoniou Avatar
      loukas antoniou

      yes but the graffic details are completly outof proportion. there is no purpose to the design

  15. Whoopo Avatar

    Loved the review!
    I would love to see the BMW X3 30d and see how it compares to the hybrid version

    1. PheonixUchiha Avatar

      I got the 30d and it has power. Even driving fast on the autobahn never pushed it beyonds 11 litres per 60 miles

  16. Jonah Avatar

    Would take this X3 over a GLC or a Q5 any day! Great looks & great performance and sound the M40i

  17. Thomas vandeBeek Avatar
    Thomas vandeBeek

    As an ix3 owner – the 2022 update – I can only say it is the best BMW choice, no weird high luggage floor and definitely a pretty decent actual range. Plus it has no real disadvantages compared to the iX.
    It’s a lot of fun with the rear wheel drive!
    Conclusion: Plug-in hybrids are obsolete.

    1. Luka Fucek Avatar
      Luka Fucek

      Also, as a 2022 iX3 owner.. After watching this I am quite surprised on how compromised the hybrid is. I’m extremely happy with the the choice so far.

    2. Phoe Nix Avatar
      Phoe Nix

      We have an iX3 on order (since last August, due to arrive in October, more than a year later). I’m happy we seem tohave made the right choice then.

    3. Jerry Avatar

      X3 looks way better than an iX!

  18. MaZo Avatar

    The facelift has only been available at the dealership for little over a year now. So definitely not a couple of years old.

  19. Robert W. Avatar
    Robert W.

    I’ve been driving this exact same car, same colour, same hybrid version since October 2021. So, here’s my take on it. Brilliant!!! I even have the real M-Sports seats (not these standard seats shown here), which are a delight, both optically and from a comfort aspect. The engine, in Sport Mode, with that extra battery power to boost acceleration, is really amazing. Top speed? Well, I live in Germany so am often on the Autobahn. 200kph is no problem and the car sits like it’s stuck to the road. Handling is good, interior is pleasing and very functional, I agree that the front is not the most attractive car on the road. Negatives? The battery range is crap. However…. The displayed battery range depends on how you have driven the car before depleting the battery. If you were pedal to the metal all the time, the range after the next charge will be crap. If you were driving conservatively, accelerating slowly and using the cruise control, you will get a displayed range of over 40 km. What you won’t ever get is the advertised 55 kms. My last car was the 2 litre X3 diesel. The car before that was the 3,5 litre 4 Series Grand Coupé. I do have some small complaints, but on the whole am very happy. Oh yeh, I test drove the Mercedes GLC 300e Plug in Hybrid. Full battery, in October, 19 degrees C ambient temperature. Range, 19 kilometers. Yes, Mercedes bullshits too!!!

  20. Nicholas P Avatar
    Nicholas P

    Having lived with an Xdrive30i X3, i loved using it simply because it wasn’t all that complicated. It was logically laid out and the boot was large enough to live with. Ended up switching to a G05 Xdrive30d X5 later on

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