Two sound engines are available in the 2013 BMW X3, both of which should impress even the toughest critics. The first is a 2.0-liter inline-4 that is turbocharged and paired up with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This all-wheel drive option delivers 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, accelerating zero to 60 mph in a brisk 6.6 seconds. Not bad for a four-cylinder, right? Plus, fuel-economy is sure to put a smile on your face returning 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. For substantially more power without affecting fuel-economy too harshly, there is also a 3.0-liter inline-6 that is also turbocharged to boast 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. This engine also comes with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive, but fuel-economy remains impressive at 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Driving the X3 is a special treat. The steering is precise, allowing you to feel connected to every turn, and there is virtually no body roll around corners. About the only downfall is that it can only tow up to 3,000 pounds, which isn’t great, but considering the size of the engine, it is not awful either.
• Audio - An antitheft CD/MP3 audio system is powered by 205 watts, a digital amplifier, 12 speakers, USB and iPod adapters and HD radio.
• Navigation - The navigation system in the X3 is capable of storing directions and maps to all your favorite locations. Also, since it features an 80GB hard drive and is paired up with your entertainment services, you can upload photos, music and files from the USB port or CD and DVD reader.
• MyInfo - Send phone numbers and destinations from Google Maps directly to your vehicle to plan your route ahead of time.
• ConnectedDrive - Your iDrive screen can display text messages and emails and even includes Mobile Office.
As you would expect from BMW, the X3 scores remarkably in roof, side and front-impact crash tests, as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded it a “Good” rating in all three. The vehicle has also already been brake-tested, stopping from 60 mph in 123 feet, which is an average distance. BMW Assist is available in all models, an emergency communications system that provides an array of beneficial services. Other safety features include:
• Brake drying
• Four-wheel ABS
• Child seat anchors
• Tire-pressure monitoring
• Whiplash protection system in front head restraints
• Emergency braking preparation
• Post-collision safety system
• Traction control
• Rear door safety locks
• Dusk sensing headlamps
• Front seatbelt pretensioners
• Cornering lights
• Engine immobilizer
Available in 11 colors, the 2013 X3 is certainly one that will get attention on the road. A sporty body features chiseled lines on the sides and hood while body colored bumpers, mirrors and handles allow the iconic grille to be the focal point.
Seating for five is granted with generosity. Despite the fact that the vehicle looks a bit small on the outside, there is more than enough leg and head room for all passengers. Regardless where you sit, you will feel as though you are enveloped by luxury as high-quality materials embellish the seats, dash and console. The dash is stylish, and if you have driven a newer model BMW, you will find everything to be familiar. Otherwise, the gauges and clusters may take a little getting used to. Another thing that may take a little time exploring is the iDrive electronics interface that some find a little complicated.
In terms of cargo, the X3 blows away much of the competition in the small crossover category. With the rear seat down, there is an impressive 63.3 cubic feet, but even when the seat is up, you have 27.6 cubic feet.