After recently driving the high-performance 355-horsepower 2018 BMW X3 M40i, we decided to spend some time with a more subdued variant of the X3 — the X3 xDrive30i. As we mentioned in our review of the X3 M40i, the new-generation version of the crossover is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessors in terms of design, quality, and luxury.
The explosive growth of the luxury crossover market has really given consumers the better end of the bargain as automakers fight to offer the most compelling competitor. Competing with the likes of the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, and the Volvo XC60, the 2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i has its work cut out for itself. Let’s take a closer look and find out how the 2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i compares to its rivals.
2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i Exterior
Yes, this is indeed the BMW X3. Once known for its overly reserved exterior and being the least dramatic model in the brand’s lineup, the 2018 BMW X3 has grown up quite a bit.
With a bold new “three-dimensional” signature kidney grille, the new X3 finds the excellent balance between looking elegant and sporty. Besides the giant grille, other front-end highlights on the BMW X3 include fog lights in a hexagonal design and the optional adaptive LED Icon or adaptive full LED headlights. The rear features a three-dimensional tail light housing, a downward-sloping roof spoiler, and twin exhaust tailpipes.
The 2018 BMW X3 sits on a wheelbase that measures 112.8-inches with an overall length of 186-inches. The width stretches a total of 74.4-inches and the height stands at 66-inches. That means the new X3 is both longer and wider than the outgoing models.
Overall, the design of the 2018 BMW X3 balances muscular and luxury design themes with ease. In a crowd of stellar looking luxury crossovers, the new BMW X3 really holds its own and we’re very pleased that BMW has given this crossover more attention.
2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i Interior
BMW has always been focused on building its interiors around the driver and that remains the same for the new 2018 X3. Everything in the front of the cabin is ergonomically laid to be within reach of the driver.
Standard features include ten-way power adjustable front sport seats, tri-zone climate control, push-button start/stop a HiFi Sound System with 12-speakers, BMW’s iDrive 6.0 infotainment system, USB audio connection, Bluetooth with audio streaming, and a rearview camera. Depending on the packages you pick, the 2018 BMW X3 comes with a long list of optional features including navigation, heated front seats, heated steering, a panoramic moonroof, a 12.3-inch Dynamic Digital Instrument Cluster, BMW’s new Gesture Control system, a 16-speed Harman Kardon surround system, Apple CarPlay and much more.
Cabin space in the 2018 BMW X3 allows for a total of 40.3-inches of legroom for front passengers and 36.4-inches for rear passengers. If you’re thinking about loading up the cargo area you’ll have a total of 28.7 cubic feet of space with the seats in user position and a total of 62.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.
When compared to its competitors, the interior of the 2018 BMW X3 is more on the subtle side. While most of its rivals have started offering a long list of standard features and more luxurious cabin, the 2018 BMW X3 sticks to the basics.
2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i Performance
Our test vehicle, the 2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i is powered by a 2.0-liter TwinPower turbo inline four-cylinder engine that makes a total of 248 horsepower and a peak torque of 258 lb-ft. The engine is mated to an eight-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission that allows the 2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i to run from zero to 60 mph in six seconds flat with a top speed of 130 mph.
Take it to the gas station and you’ll have a total of 17.2 gallons of fuel tank capacity. Fuel economy comes in at an EPA-rated 23/30 mpg* (city/highway) — which isn’t bad for a vehicle that weighs in at 4,034 pounds.
Depending on your mood, the 2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i allows you to use the Driving Dynamics Control toggle switch to circle through different driving modes including Eco Pro, Comfort, and Sport.
When it comes to overall drive quality, the 2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i has a satisfying heft to the steering which is reminiscent of BMWs from the past. You can feel the near-perfect balance of the vehicle a general feeling of solidity when driving the new X3. It is comfortable when you’re taking it on a long cruise and is able to handle some sharp turns with much ease.
Compared to its rivals, the 2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i is more on the sportier side than trying to be a luxurious cruiser — and that doesn’t make us the slightest bit upset.
2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i Safety
Along with the standard features, the 2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i offers a list of optional safety packages. Depending on the package you pick, you can add on blind spot detection, lane departure warning, active driving assistant, parking assistant, active park distance control, and the awesome BMW surround view camera with 3D view.
2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i Overall
In a market that is being flooded with some really strong options, the 2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i stands out by not offering a gratuitous amount of luxury and tech, but by staying true to BMW’s roots of being a fun-to-drive vehicle. Unlike its competitors that are focused on a soft-riding crossover for the family, the 2018 BMW X3 xDrive30i focuses on being a fun crossover for the driver. If you’re in the market for a luxury crossover and are looking for something that will really satisfy the enthusiast in you, visit your local AutoNation BMW dealership and test drive the new 2018 BMW X3 today. Prices start at $42,650**.
*Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.
**MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.