2022 BMW X3 Review Highlights:
- 2022 BMW X3 ($43,700 – $70,100)
- “2021 Editor’s Choice Award” – Car and Driver
- Pro: The X3 exudes great handling and driving dynamics for an SUV
- Con: It’s a BMW, so it’s a little pricey
If you’re looking for a small SUV that offers comfort and capability with a big dose of driver engagement, then the 2022 BMW X3 is an excellent candidate. The X3 has been slightly refreshed for the 2022 model year and it continues to give rivals like Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC a run for their money. There’s a lot more to like about the X3 than its driving dynamics, this includes its tech-rich features and upscale interior materials that make you feel like your hard-earned dollars were well-spent.
I had the pleasure of driving the 2022 BMW X3 for a week and was pleasantly surprised at its on-road manners and supple ride. Admittedly, I’ve never been a huge BMW fan, but after spending time in the brand’s most popular crossover, I get it. You most likely will too.
What’s new on the 2022 BMW X3?
The BMW X3 was redesigned back in 2018, so it received a minor refresh for 2022. This small revamp includes a revised grille, new headlamps and taillamps, new front and rear bumpers, new wheel designs, and revised exhaust tips.
There’s a new M Sport appearance package available on the base model and the racier M40i trim gets a 48-volt hybrid system, although its power rating remains the same. On the inside, the center console switches have been repositioned and there’s the option for an upgraded 12.3-inch infotainment screen.
Which BMW X3 trim level is right for you?
For the 2022 model year, there are four different X3 trim levels available:
- X3 sDrive30i: $43,700
- X3 xDrive 30i: $45,700
- X3 M40i: $57,800
- X3 M: $70,100
Both the X3 sDrive30i and xDrive30i are powered by the same engine and are well-equipped, so I would highly suggest either one depending on whether you need an all-wheel drivetrain or not. My tester for the week was an X3 xDrive30i that was outfitted in the new Tanzanite Blue II Metallic paint job ($1,500). It also came equipped with the Premium package ($3,450) so the price as tested came out to $51,390.
The 2022 X3 looks subtly sharp yet sophisticated
The 2022 BMW X3’s revised look gives it a subtly sleek appeal. Of course, this premium crossover was always quite the looker, but with the new updates, it’s much sharper and modern-looking. Fortunately, BMW didn’t bless the X3’s front fascia with a massive bucktooth grille as it did with some of the other models, but I can only assume that it could be destined for the look in the future.
For now, we should all cherish the X3’s simpler exterior aesthetic. Also, I recommend the new Tanzanite Blue color – it’s dark, but it works well with the car’s body lines and curvatures.
The BMW X3 is a comfortable car to spend time in
While it may sound cliché to say that the BMW X3’s interior is a nice place to spend time in, truthfully, it is. The front seats are comfortable with their supple leather skins and power-adjustability and there’s plenty of headroom as well. There’s also an ample amount of room in the rear seat area, although middle seat occupants may not like the hump that they have to rest their feet on.
Otherwise, in true BMW style, the interior feels well put together and there are soft-touch materials everywhere including the dash and door panels. However, some may not find it as plush as the inside of a Mercedes GLC or even the Audi Q5. Nonetheless, the X3’s switchgear is easy to use and the center touchscreen is within easy reach. I also really like the snappiness of the tiny shift lever, it feels kind of video game-like.
The BMW X3 is filled with the latest tech features
Even in its base form, the 2022 X3 comes equipped with a healthy roster of features. According to Kelley Blue Book, the most notable standard features include 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights, a power tailgate, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, simulated leather upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable sport front seats, and tri-zone climate control.
There’s also a 10.25-inch infotainment screen that sits front and center on the dash that’s hooked up with satellite radio, navigation, Wi-Fi, and Apple Carplay/Android Auto phone integration.
Stepping up the M40i trim level unlocks some performance features like a sport-tuned adaptive suspension, variable-ratio steering, and torque vectoring. It also comes with a panoramic sunroof, larger brakes, and a 12.3-inch instrument panel.
The top-trim X3 M comes with more than just a powerful engine. It’s also equipped with a special lubrication system that’s made to operate under high g forces, an M-Tuned transmission and all-wheel drive system, M Dynamic mode for extra stability, 20-inch alloy wheels, and a premium Harman Kardon sound system.
There are also a couple of optional packages available for the X3:
Convenience package ($1,850)
- Comfort Access keyless entry
- Panoramic moonroof
- Lumbar support
Premium Package ($2,600)
- Heated front seats
- Front and Rear heated seats
- Gesture control
- Heated steering wheel
- Panoramic moonroof
- Lumbar support
The X3 handles exceptionally well for a crossover
I put the BMW X3 through its paces by taking it on my usual test route that consists of some highway driving, city driving, and canyon carving. On normal roads and at slower speeds, the X3 feels comfortable and well-composed. Its steering is sharp, but it’s not twitchy so you don’t tend to overcorrect when driving in a straight line. At highway speeds, the X3 feels solid and while it doesn’t ride as soft as a Mercedes-Benz, it won’t beat you up over rough patches in the road either.
However, when it comes to the canyon roads, that’s where the X3 tends to shine. To be honest, I was blown away at the car’s confidence-inspiring handling dynamics as it made quick work of every corner. It really felt more like a tall sports car than a grocery-getting crossover.
The base engine is powerful enough for the daily drive
The 2022 BMW X3 comes equipped with a standard turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine on the sDrive30i and Xdrive30i models. In case you’re wondering, the sDrive trim designates that it’s rear-wheel-drive while the xDrive trim denotes that it has an all-wheel drive configuration. Also, the base engine produces 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.
As for fuel economy ratings, the base engine is rated by the EPA to get up to 23 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway in rear-drive form. When spinning all four wheels, the X3 is rated at 21 city and 28 highway mpg. In my real-world testing, I averaged 26 mpg.
Those in need of more power can opt for the M40i trim, which comes with a more potent and larger turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 engine. This engine puts out 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque and returns an EPA estimated 21 city/26 highway mpg.
For maximum power, the X3 M is equipped with a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 engine that pushes out a whopping 473 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque. This racier version of the X3 has fuel economy ratings of 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway.
As far as daily driving goes, I found that the base engine was more than enough even at a mile-high elevation. There was plenty of power when accelerating from a standstill and passing cars on the freeway. However, I did notice a little lag at tip-in and when flooring it from a stop. I’m assuming it’s due to turbo lag, but it didn’t hinder the driving experience too much.
Of course, more power is always more fun, but in reality, it’s not completely necessary. However, it’s the buyer’s choice when it comes to the right powerplant to suit your needs. Especially if that need is for copious amounts of speed.
The BMW X3 is safe
Every BMW X3 is equipped with a set of driver-assist features that includes a forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, a rear-cross traffic alert, and a blind-spot warning.
There is also a Driver Assistance package that includes the following:
- Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go
- Evasive steering assistance
- Side-collision avoidance
- Active lane-keeping
- Extended traffic jam assistant
There’s also a Parking Assistance package that includes:
- Self-parking assistance
- 360-degree camera
How reliable is the BMW X3?
Consumer Reports gave the 2022 BMW X3 a predicted reliability score of 3 out of 5, which is about average. Keep in mind that the rating is based on problems that owners reported from previous years.
In terms of maintenance, Edmund’s True Cost to Own calculations predicts that it could cost owners an average of $7,180 to maintain an X3 during the first five years of ownership. As for repairs, owners can expect to pay an average of $2,887 during the first five years.
Fortunately, every X3 comes with BMW’s Ultimate Care package that includes free maintenance for the first three years or 36,000 miles. The crossover is also covered by a basic 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a 4-year unlimited mileage roadside assistance program.
MotorBiscuit gives the 2022 BMW X3 an expert rating of 8.2 out of 10
The editors at MotorBiscuit awarded the 2022 BMW X3 with an overall rating of 8.2 out of 10. The X3’s superb handling and excellent driving dynamics scored it high marks and we like its in-cabin technology. However, it may not suit every driver as some may prefer the suppleness that rivals from Audi and Mercedes-Benz have. Additionally, the X3 can get pricey when selecting the higher trim levels and ticking every option box.