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BMW is having a good year. The German luxury automaker recently released sales figures for the first quarter of 2023, and several models, including the X3 and X4, are doing well. Here’s why we think things are looking up for these two small luxury SUVs.

Sales are up for most BMW SUVs, especially the X3 and X4

A BMW X4 driving on a highway.
BMW X4 | BMW

BMW Group recently released North American sales figures, and almost every SUV has shown growth.

The automaker’s most popular model is the X5 midsize crossover. It sold 16,477 units in Q1 2022 and 17,315 units in Q1 2023, for a 5.1% gain.

The X3 compact SUV saw even more growth. It sold 13,941 units in Q1 2022 and 15,108 in Q1 2023 for an 8.4% increase. That makes it the second-best-selling model after the X5. 

BMW’s other small crossover, the X4, also saw a boost, although it didn’t move nearly as many units as the X3. In Q1 2022, the X4 sold 2,286 units. That increased to 2,456 in 2023 — a 7.4% gain.

Another model that experienced a significant increase was the iX all-electric crossover. In fact, it enjoyed a 577.5% gain. That jump is likely because BMW only released this EV in 2021 as a 2022 model, so consumers are finally learning about it.

In addition, the X7 full-size SUV saw a modest increase of 4.8%.

And though things are looking up for most models, the same cannot be said for the X6. It took a -17.4% loss.

Overall, the X3 and X4 saw the biggest percentage gains among gas-powered BMW SUVs. That could be because American consumers are tightening their spending thanks to inflation. So they’re choosing smaller SUVs, which typically cost less than their larger counterparts.

What makes the 2023 BMW X3 a good SUV?

The 2023 X3 is one of the more affordable BMW models. Its starting prices range from $46,200 to $74,400.

This compact SUV offers a choice of two engines. The standard is a 2.0-liter inline-four making 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and buyers can get all-wheel drive by upgrading to the xDrive30i model. Meanwhile, the X3 M40i is a mild hybrid with a 3.0-liter inline-six generating 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. AWD is standard.

In addition, the X3 boasts several advanced safety features. They include blind spot and lane departure warnings, driver attention alerts, and more.

This small crossover also has a 10.3-inch infotainment screen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, USB connections, and satellite radio. 

The X3 has spacious seating for five and generous cargo space. It has nearly 29 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the rear seats. And its maximum cargo volume is almost 63 cubic feet.

A typical BMW X3 lasts around 10 years or 150,000 to 200,000 miles. That’s plenty of value for the price.

Overview of the 2023 BMW X4

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The 2023 BMW X4 is sportier and pricier than the X3. It starts at $54,200 to $77,900.

The xDrive30i model is equipped with a 2.0-liter BMW twin-turbo inline-four producing 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The high-performance M40i packs a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six generating 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. And the M has the same engine as the M40i but harnesses 473 hp.

Standard advanced driver-assistance features include blind spot and lane departure warnings, rear cross-traffic alerts, driver attention alerts, and more. The X4 has a considerably larger infotainment screen, measuring 12.3 inches. It also has a USB port with external media control.

Other attractive features are a moonroof, heated mirrors, a rearview camera, roadside assistance, and concierge service.

However, interior comfort is not the X4’s forte. Its rear seats are low and uncomfortable, which explains why more consumers pick the practical X3. The X4 also has much less cargo space, providing only 18.5 cubic feet behind the back row.

Still, its improved sales show there’s a market for the X4. Though its sloped roof hurts its interior space, this sleek, stylish SUV stands out on the road.