Crossover & Midsize

Buying the 2018 BMW X3 Could Be a Luxurious Mistake

Many enthusiasts still consider BMWs as the ultimate driving machines. And while BMW still lives up to this claim in numerous ways, predicted reliability is not this German carmaker’s strong suit. Take the 2018 BMW X3 for example. This luxury crossover is surprisingly quick and offers a deluxe car cabin. But buying this BMW used could really cost you. 

What makes the 2018 BMW X3 an exceptional ride 

The 2018 X3 is a dapper model, inside and out. In 2018, the X3 was completely redesigned. It ranked toward the top of the luxury crossover class for its extraordinary driving dynamics as well as for its efficiency. There are two refined powertrain options on the X3.

The base xDrive30i models are powered by a 248-hp, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes for an enjoyable and powerful driving experience. With the xDrive30i, you get both luxury and practicality. This variant gets a combined 24 mpg which makes it one of the most fuel-efficient options in its class.

If you desire more power, the performance-oriented M40i  trim level is available as an option. The M40i is equipped with a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine that generates 355-hp. This trim level also features a firmer suspension which only elevates the X3’s overall driving performance.  

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The X3’s deluxe car cabin

No matter which trim level you pick, you are bound to enjoy this crossover’s gorgeously quilted cabin. The X3 gets high marks for its accommodating seats that are comfortable enough for long drives. This crossover can seat up to five people and comes standard with synthetic leather. The X3 also features an easy-to-use 6.5-inch infotainment display that includes Bluetooth connectivity and HD Radio. A 10.3-inch touchscreen, a wifi hotspot, and Apple CarPlay were available as upgrades on this model. 

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But all this could really cost you 

A BMW X3 driving on a dusty road
A BMW X3 on a test drive | Dasril Roszandi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The 2018 X3 offers many bells and whistles, but it has a pretty terrible predicted reliability score. Consumer Reports gave this model its lowest possible score. Over the years, CR has given the X3 low marks for areas including its electrical system and power equipment. In 2018 specifically, the X3 was recalled eight times for issues related to these areas.

The first recall on the BMW X3 was related to a potential issue with its electrical system. Then it was recalled for a potential issue with its spoiler, as well as for its lane departure safety feature. Subsequently, the X3 was recalled for potential problems with its turn signal, service brakes, seats, and backup camera. The X3 was recalled a second time for its electrical system too.

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Poor ownership costs

RepairPal also gave the X3 a low-reliability score. Based on RepairPal’s data, annual repairs for the X3 cost $1,034 which indicates that the model has poor ownership costs. It’s also worth noting that the X3 typically requires more repairs compared to other BMW models. We recommend going with a more reliable option such as the 2018  Lexus NX.