Used BMW X3 (Mk2, 2010-2017) review - What should you look out for?

The BMW X3 Mk2 isn’t afflicted by many issues. The diesel versions were the subject of a comprehensive recall campaign, though

The BMW X3 Mk2 hasn’t been struck by many major problems, save for annoying rattles and the so-so navigation system. The car has also been recalled a few times, so it may be worth making sure all the necessary repair jobs have been carried out before you decide whether or not you should buy the used X3 Mk2 you’re looking at.

Common used BMW X3 Mk2 problems

Model names

Pay close attention to the BMW X3 Mk2’s model name, because this will determine whether the car you’re looking at is rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Rear-wheel drive models will be badged as sDrive cars; all-wheel drive versions will have the xDrive moniker.


Creaks and rattles are quite common on the BMW X3 Mk2. Parts of the car that can be affected by this include the doors, seats, tailgate and parcel shelf.


Map updates for the built-in navigation system are out there, but they aren’t the easiest to come across. Even by the standards of the time, the factory-fitted sat nav wasn’t a particularly great system, either.

Door mirrors

The large door mirrors provide excellent visibility, with the downside that they also generate quite a bit of wind noise at motorway speeds.


The BMW X3 Mk2 has been recalled a total of eight times to date. The first was issued in December 2013 for a defective front passenger airbag unit, and a campaign was issued in July 2014 to rectify a glitch with the engine’s variable valve timing system that could cause the car to go into limp-home mode.

Loose ISOFIX child seat mounts prompted a safety recall in June 2016, and a new recall was issued six months later in response to a faulty power steering system. In April 2018 the BMW X3 Mk2 was recalled for a fuel flow-restriction problem, which could cause the engine to cut out while driving.

The most recent recalls to date for the BMW X3 Mk2 provide a fix for a potential fire risk due to a fluid leak in the exhaust gas recirculation system. BMW launched three exhaust gas recirculation-related recalls for the X3 Mk2 between November 2018 and February 2019, and affected a large number of examples.

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