Since the release of the first models in its current generation, the BMW X3 has advanced significantly. The BMW X3 is now commonly regarded as the luxury SUV that can, which is even more impressive given that it is in direct competition with vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class or Audi Q5. But which are the BMW X3 years to avoid?
BMW is a renowned company, but their cars, including the BMW X3, aren’t always dependable. The X3 line-up receives a 2.5 out of 5.0 reliability rating from RepairPal. Do yourself a favor and continue reading if you’ve got your eye on a second-hand BMW X3.
We’ll quickly take a look at the BMW X3 years to stay away from as well as the ones that are genuinely worth your time and cash in today’s automobile comparison guide.
Sports sedans have typically been the cars that best reflected the essence of the BMW brand. Not anymore, really. The latest X3 SUV’s gratifying balance of refinement, as well as driver engagement, allows it to approach the territory of its four-door cousins.
The X3, as its name suggests, is the popular 3-series sedan’s crossover counterpart and uses the same drivetrains. Entry-level models have a 248-hp turbo-four engine, while M40i models have the renowned 382-hp turbo engine from the firm, which never fails to astound us with its smooth power.
The X3’s attractive body provides it with enough curb appeal to blend in with fashion-forward vehicles like the Genesis GV70 or Volvo XC60. The X3’s roomy cabin is soberly designed but equipped with high-end materials and modern amenities.
But the X3’s sporty handling is what enthusiasts like the members of our team find most appealing. As something of an added bonus, the athletic road manners don’t compromise either its genteel demeanor when cruising or its all-around SUV versatility.
1. What’s New For 2023 And Beyond
The 2023 X3 gets a few changes after a minor aesthetic update last year. The optional Premium package no longer features gesture controls for the iDrive infotainment system, and remote proximity keyless entry is now standard across the lineup. Four-cylinder 30i versions can now be painted in Skyscraper Grey Metallic.
No matter how much power they produce, all BMW engines have a similarly robust, upscale personality. We advise customers to continue with the four-cylinder because it is more than capable, even though the M40i’s 382-hp 6-cyl engine accelerates this one to 60 mph within 4.4 seconds.
Together with the outstanding eight-speed automatic, the turbocharged four-cylinder makes passing other vehicles in traffic simple and consumes less fuel on the highway.
Only the rear wheels are driven by the base X3 sDrive30i. Anyone who lives in the Sun Belt won’t have a problem with that, but purchasers in states with heavy snowfall will need to upgrade to the AWD xDrive30i variant.
2. Engine, Transmission, And Performance
The RWD sDrive30i and AWD xDrive30i have a 248-hp turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder under the hood, which gives them enough power to easily navigate practically any traffic situation but isn’t particularly thrilling. 6.2 seconds were needed for the xDrive 30i to reach 60 mph.
The Porsche Macan S, as well as the Audi Q5 both, are faster—the Porsche by a significant margin. The X3 M40i will suit crossover buyers who are looking for performance far better.
Furthermore, the powerful 382-hp turbo 3.0-liter inline-six cylinder engine achieved a zero-to-60-mph time of 4.1 seconds. Although it doesn’t quite provide Macan levels of agility, the X3 feels more capable than other of BMW’s existing sedans; it’s enjoyable to drive and eager to speed over corners better than expected.
The ride quality is perfectly adjusted, providing just the right amount of stiffness for a sporty sensation without making the ride uncomfortable on uneven road surfaces.
3. Fuel Economy And Real-World MPG
Based on its EPA ratings, the X3 ranks just in the middle of its competitors. However, in real-world testing, an xDrive30i as well as an M40i, surpassed their efficiency predictions.
There isn’t much of a highway fuel-economy cost for all that extra power, as the more powerful M40i (29 mpg) finished surprisingly close to the four-cylinder xDrive30i (31 mpg). Visit the EPA website for additional information on the X3’s fuel efficiency.
4. Interior, Comfort, And Cargo
There is no talking about the X3 without taking a look inside. This is a BMW after all and any car buyer expects to find top-notch materials, trims, and upholstery.
Before you select a single option, the X3’s attractive inside is well-equipped; the front seats’ 10-way power adjustments, which include movable side bolsters, make it simple to locate a comfortable position. All seats have comfortable adequate padding for lengthy trips, and the backs of the rear seats recline.
The remainder of the X3’s cabin appears attractive and expertly constructed, with carefully chosen materials and few panel gaps. Despite a plastic frame, the glossy woodgrain trim appears and feels authentic. The stitched faux-leather door panels and dash offer an added touch of opulence. In the carry-on suitcase test, the X3 performs approximately averagely for the category.
Seven carry-ons may be stowed behind the second row, which is enough for each passenger to have one with room to spare, and 20 can fit altogether with the back seats folding. However, the Cadillac XT5 is the segment’s cargo-hauling champion; big transporters should consider that model on their shortlist.
BMW X3 Reliability
The expected dependability rating for the 2022 BMW X3 is 81 out of 100. A predicted reliability score from J.D. Power of 91 to 100 is regarded as the best, 81 to 90 as great, 70 to 80 as a medium, and 0-69 as fair and below average.
The X3 is a leader in the compact SUV market and one of the best choices, but reliability is not one of its strong suits. Our analysis leads us to the conclusion that perhaps the X3 is a moderately reliable SUV.
The X3 receives a reliability rating of 4.3 out of 5.0 from Kelley Blue Book’s customer rating index.
BMW X3 came in at number 10 out of 11 upscale small SUVs according to RepairPal, which gave it a below-average dependability rating of 2.5 out of 5.0.
The X3 was rated as the 11th most reliable luxury compact SUV out of 14 by UK auto website WhatCar.
According to research, many X3 owners place a higher priority on a car’s appearance and performance than reliability, and the X3 succeeds on both counts.
BMW X3 Maintenance Cost
The typical cost a BMW X3 owner might anticipate paying for these vehicles can change depending on a number of factors, including the maintenance costs. Owners should evaluate the price of the automobile as well as the overall cost of ongoing auto payments, planned maintenance, and any unforeseen costly repairs when deciding whether to buy a new or used car.
After the manufacturer’s warranty has expired, a BMW dealership should be ready to give its clients a price quote for typical repairs and services that a car could require.
What Is The Estimated Average Cost To Repair An X3
The anticipated average cost to fix a BMW X3 is $318, according to YourMechanic, which also includes the expected average maintenance cost. The price of upkeep and repairs can be from $80 to $4473, and oil changes as the most frequent service you’ll probably need to pay for. However, problems with the brakes, air conditioning, and alternator are all frequent requirements for a BMW X3.
Despite these being the most typical fixes, upgrades, and services, BMW X3 owners could require extra maintenance, just like owners of other cars. The average cost of repairs, according to RepairPal, is $1034 a year. However, costs can change depending on factors including location, vehicle mileage, age, as well as the specific repair shop that owners choose to take their cars to.
For the majority of repairs necessary following a collision or damage from a significant storm or fire, car owners can also resort to their insurance company.
What Is The True Cost Of Owning A Used BMW X3
The actual cost of owning a BMW X3 is significantly influenced by the model year of the car. Older X3s could require more maintenance than their more recent equivalents, which could increase the overall cost of ownership over the duration of ownership.
According to Edmunds’ analysis of the 2018 BMW X3, the true cost of ownership over a 5 years period is $62,865, up $16,642 from the $46,223 total cash price. Their study found that the vehicle’s natural depreciation ($28,138) accounted for the majority of the 5-year ownership costs, followed by:
- Fuel costs -$9970
- Maintenance – $7270
- Financing – $7226
- Insurance – $4048
- Taxes and fees – $3503
- Cost of repairs – $2710
The first year accounts for the largest depreciation charges (and overall costs), whereas the 5th year comes in second for a total annual cost. Owners can anticipate the largest costs in year five when compared to years one through four, with the exception of financing, depreciation, and taxes and fees.
Problems With BMW X3
1. Engine Oil Leaks
Like all BMW motors, the X3 engines also are susceptible to oil leaks. Valve cover cracks or deteriorated gaskets are the two most frequent reasons for oil leaks. Oil can spill onto the engine’s surface as a result of the rubber valve cover gasket degrading over time from regular wear and tear.
On the bulk of BMW engines, the valve cover on its own is constructed of plastic as well. As a result, the cover is often under a lot of strain and heat, which over time may lead to cracks that allow oil to flow into the engine room.
The most likely vehicles to leak engine oil are those that are older and have high mileage. Once the cars pass the 80,000-mile mark, these problems frequently start to appear.
Fortunately, the gasket, which costs $20–$40 and can usually be DIYed, is the most common culprit. If you’re not a do-it-yourselfer, a repair business can usually fix the leaks for $300 to $400. If you have a crack in the valve cover, you’re looking at $400 to $500 in replacement costs and, if you’re not a DIYer, a few hundred dollars in professional repairs.
2. Sunroof Rattle & Leaks
The first-generation E83 X3s usually have this problem. With this problem, different trim pieces would rattle or knock around as the driver opens and cracks the sunroof, making a loud noise.
Some people also claim to hear this noise, which is often due to the wind when the sunroof is open.
Fortunately, this problem doesn’t interfere with the driving and is just annoying for the driver. You can fix the rattle by applying more felt tape to the sunroof’s rattle-causing regions. This patch is free for those who still have factory warranties. For those who lack expertise, the repair is inexpensive and reasonably simple to complete at home.
Another frequent issue with the X3’s sunroof is water leakage. Some cars may require a complete sunroof replacement (which is often quite costly), while others may only require drain cleaning and vapor barrier resealing.
3. Timing Chain Guide Failure
The timing chains of the X3 are of metal construction. It guides are plastic since metal-on-metal contact is harmful to any engine.
The timing chain connects to the crankshaft as well as the camshaft by the timing chain guides. The guides are plastic, which makes them prone to cracking, which might cause the engines’ timing to be off.
Incorrect timing can cause significant internal engine damage, necessitating the purchase of a new motor.
You only need to change the guidelines and adjust the timing if you detect the issue in time. The approximate cost of this repair is $500. If you keep driving a long distance with messed-up timing, your engine may completely fail, costing you $5,000 or more to repair.
Lack of power as well as acceleration, poor idling or bad driving conditions, and loud whining, rattling, or knocking noises originating from the engine are common signs of timing chain failure.
In X3s with more than 100,000 miles on them, this problem gets more serious. It can make sense to change the guides for preventative maintenance if you are purchasing an X3 with high mileage.
4. Window Rattle & Regulator Failure
If the window regulator malfunctions, the window won’t open or close. You will spend a few hundred on parts and labor for a repair.
Similarly to a sunroof rattle, door and window rattles are also frequent problems. Instead of the actual windows, this noise usually originates from the door seals.
The doors lack a tight seal to the car’s body as they accumulate dust and debris over time, which causes excessive vibrations as well as the sound you hear from the windows.
Cleaning your door seals plus applying some ‘Gummi Pflege’ will remedy this.
5. Engine Overheating And Coolant Leaks
You have a problem with your cooling system if your X3 routinely overheats. You may also find that the coolant seeps onto the floor of your garage.
The most frequent offenders on the X3 are the radiator as well as the coolant expansion tank. A defective thermostat or housing may possibly be the source of this problem.
A faulty radiator will set you back in the high triple digits. This is where an expansion tank fix would cost you about $500.
Stop your automobile if it’s overheating and tow it to a mechanic! Driving an overheated engine might cause internal warping and necessitate the purchase of an entirely new engine.
BMW X3 Years To Avoid
Find the years of the BMW X3 years to avoid because of dependability and safety risks below.
Realistically speaking, the 2007 BMW X3 is not an unreliable SUV. It does, however, have a number of significant problems that many people looking to buy a car would prefer to avoid. This puts it on the list of BMW X3 years to avoid. These include coolant loss, oil leaks as well as a failure of the engine mount bolt.
According to CarComplaints.com, the 2007 X3’s most common problem is oil leaks. The X3 engine is fairly prone to leaks, not unlike any other BMW.
This problem may be due to deteriorated valve cover gaskets or fractured valve covers. Older and high-mileage vehicles, like the 2007 X3, are particularly prone to engine oil leaks.
Another issue that frequently affects the 2007 X3 is coolant leaks. Many X3 owners have complained that their vehicles frequently overheat or that coolant leaks into the ground.
The radiator, as well as the coolant expansion tank, are probably to blame. 2007 is among the most difficult years to avoid purchasing a BMW X3 due to these major problems.
2013 BMW X3
The 2013 model is among the BMW X3 years to avoid. 2013 X3 seems to be the X3 lineup’s poorest year, claims CarComplaints.com.
The 2013 X3 has a number of issues, albeit expensive ones at that, as seen by its over 300 NHTSA reports. The damaged timing chain guide for this model may be the most obvious issue.
The timing chains for the X3 are of metal construction, but the guides are plastic. Guides’ propensity to break can affect the engine timing as they comprise plastic.
Some owners have complained that the X3’s engine stalls or dies while the vehicle is in motion. Fortunately, the timing chain bracket is simple to fix, and it’s not too expensive.
2014 BMW X3
Another one of the BMW X3 years to avoid is the 2014 model. BMW has worked out some issues with the X3 for the following year. Nevertheless, the 2014 X3 is not without its problems.
Consumer Reports gives the 2014 BMW X3 a customer satisfaction rating of 2 out of 5. It also got a reliability rating of 1 out of 5.
The majority of owner complaints mainly focus on the body hardware. While other users reported hearing creaks or squeaks originating from the sunroof, one user reported cracks on the glass.
The 2014 X3 also experienced some minor engine issues. The engine computer reportedly sent erroneous warning signals. This is through modules like the check engine light or low oil, according to a number of owners.
2017 BMW X3
Another model year you ought to buy used is the 2017 BMW X3. This model isn’t as troublesome as the last one, but it does have some problems. This causes it to get a 2 out of 5 reliability rating from Consumer Reports.
The breakdown of the brakes may be the most catastrophic problem. On Car Complaints, a customer described how the X3’s brakes failed as she was traveling down an exit ramp. Additionally, according to Consumer Reports data, the BMW X3 brake system only got a pitiful 1 out of 5 for reliability.
The 2017 X3’s climate control system is another problematic area. Numerous reports indicated defective thermostats or air conditioning, which typically occur on longer travels.
2019 BMW X3
The 2019 model is also on the list of BMW X3 years to avoid. The X3 line is now in its third generation, and things have significantly improved. To be quite honest, we’re hesitant to mention the 2019 X3 because of how infrequently it has problems. Consumer Reports does give it a low-reliability rating, though.
The majority of issues with the 2019 X3 are minor. For instance, numerous customers expressed their dissatisfaction with the in-car technology.
This is specifically the Apple CarPlay function’s sporadic performance when pairing devices. In addition, some consumers asserted that rather than solving issues, software updates for the car actually made them worse.
The X3 tailgate has also been reported to open by itself by users. This is even while the car is locked and parked.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re curious to learn more about BMW X3 years to avoid, our FAQs here might help…
Why Are Used BMW So Cheap
Why do used BMWs cost so little? They have high repair costs, an oversaturated market, little residual value, and must compete with the pricing of new BMWs.
Is BMW X3 All Wheel Drive
BMW’s AWD system, featuring default 40:60 torque distribution between the front and the rear axles and the option to send all torque to either axle, is a standard feature of all X3 variants.
Where Is BMW X3 Made
In 2010, BMW Spartanburg, the company’s first assembly factory outside of Germany and currently its largest production unit internationally, began producing the luxury small crossover SUV.