BMW X3 review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
A premium cabin and lots of space make the BMW X3 both luxurious and useful
The first thing you notice when stepping into the BMW X3’s cabin is the luxurious ambience created by stylish design and good quality materials. All models get leather upholstery and, as usual for BMW, seat comfort, the driving position and the layout of controls are exemplary. It’s quiet and refined on the move too, and with a well-controlled ride and a decent infotainment system part of the standard spec, it’s definitely a good place to rack up some miles.
As it’s based on the 5 Series saloon platform, the BMW X3 enjoys a longer wheelbase than its predecessor. It’s a large car anyway, measuring up at 4,708mm long, 1,891mm tall and 1,676mm wide. The Mercedes GLC is only 4.656mm long, while the Audi Q5 measures up at 4,663mm. A Jaguar F-Pace is longer though, at 4,731mm nose-to-tail.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
The latest BMW X3’s extended wheelbase means there’s plenty of space inside for occupants, and the interior feels noticeably more spacious than the old car’s. In fact it feels pretty similar to the amount of room offered by the larger BMW X5 model.
More reviews for X3 SUV
Car group tests
- Land Rover Discovery Sport vs BMW X3 vs Volvo XC60
- BMW X3 vs Mercedes GLC
- BMW X3 M vs Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
- New BMW iX3 2020 review
- New BMW X3 M 2019 review
- New BMW X3 xDrive30e 2019 review
- New BMW X3 M40i 2018 review
Used car tests
Up front the driver and passenger are spoiled for space, but you can also get full-sized adults into the rear – there’s enough legroom for a six-foot adult to sit behind a similarly tall driver.
Headroom is not an issue wherever you sit, even when the airy panoramic sunroof is fitted. You can get three people onto the rear bench comfortably too, as long as they don’t mind rubbing shoulders. As mentioned previously there’s no option to fit a third row of seats – presumably BMW believes it would take the X3 too far into the territory of the larger X5
THE X3’s size hasn’t changed much, so practicality is strong. The 550-litre boot is square, and with its low lip it’s no trouble to load and unload heavy items. It’s not as spacious as the Jaguar F-Pace, though, which has a 650-litre luggage area. The Jag’s total capacity of 1,740 litres makes it the winner in terms of sheer load volume, too. However, the X3, offering 1,600 litres of loadspace, is bigger than the Volvo XC60 by a comfortable 150 litres.
The BMW X3 keeps things simple when it comes to towing. It doesn’t matter which engine, drivetrain and transmission you go for, the maximum braked trailer towing capacity is 2,000kg.
In this review
- 1BMW X3 reviewThe third generation BMW X3 raises its game to take on the likes of the Jaguar F-Pace and Volvo XC60
- 2Engines, performance and driveStrong performance from all engines, and handling that’s close to the best in class
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe BMW X3 isn’t a budget option, but running costs should be as good as rivals
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe sharpened up exterior wraps a more premium cabin, with no shortage of tech
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingA premium cabin and lots of space make the BMW X3 both luxurious and useful
- 6Reliability and SafetyTop notch NCAP results, but BMW makes you pay extra for some of the best tech