Consumer Reports Raved About the 2020 BMW X3

Consumer Reports have tested several of the vehicles competing in the luxury SUV class and right near the top, you’ll find the BMW X3. When you look at the individual scores, the newer version of the X3 really impressed them.

We know BMW vehicles had some issues in the past and have been able to overcome them with some improvements. Were they able to gain more ground and take the top spot in the luxury SUV class? Let’s look at the scores Consumer Reports gave it, and see just what they liked and didn’t care for with this vehicle.

What did Consumer Reports like about the BMW X3?

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City circuit. The first-ever BMW X3 M Competition. #TheX3M #BMW #X3M #BMWM __ BMW X3 M Competition: Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 10.5. CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 239. Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 4.1 s. Power: 375 kW, 510 hp, 600 Nm. Top speed (limited): 250 km/h (with optional M Drivers Package: 280 km/h). The values of fuel consumptions, CO2 emissions and energy consumptions shown were determined according to the European Regulation (EC) 715/2007 in the version applicable at the time of type approval. The figures refer to a vehicle with basic configuration in Germany and the range shown considers optional equipment and the different size of wheels and tires available on the selected model. The values of the vehicles are already based on the new WLTP regulation and are translated back into NEDC-equivalent values in order to ensure the comparison between the vehicles. [With respect to these vehicles, for vehicle related taxes or other duties based (at least inter alia) on CO2-emissions the CO2 values may differ to the values stated here.] The CO2 efficiency specifications are determined according to Directive 1999/94/EC and the European Regulation in its current version applicable. The values shown are based on the fuel consumption, CO2 values and energy consumptions according to the NEDC cycle for the classification. Further information on official fuel consumption figures and specific CO2 emission values of new passenger cars is included in the following guideline: 'Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO2-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch neuer Personenkraftwagen' (Guide to the fuel economy, CO2 emissions and electric power consumption of new passenger cars), which can be obtained free of charge from all dealerships, from Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH (DAT), Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760 Ostfildern-Scharnhausen and at

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Being one of the top-rated compact SUVs, according to Consumer Reports, this BMW got high marks in quite a few areas. The X3’s braking impressed them quite a bit on the road test. It managed short stopping distances, not only for dry conditions but also for wet, which isn’t always seen with some SUVs of this class. Transmission shifting was responsive and smooth, while the ride remained quiet throughout.

The interior cabin was much roomier than the previous model, and the front seats felt more firm and more supportive than before. Rear seating wasn’t as good as the front, but they still ranked well with Consumer Reports testing.

The best feature of the BMW X3 was the way it handled the road. They felt it was not only agile and smooth, but the steering was so responsive it made it fun to drive. Dips, ruts, and bumps in the road seemed to be no match for the SUV’s suspension.

Where did the BMW X3 fall short?

While Consumer Reports had mostly good things to say about the BMW X3, it still had a few areas that didn’t quite give them goosebumps. One of those areas was in the vehicle’s handling.

While they felt it drove superbly, the one area that gave them trouble was something they’ve seen on other SUVs. The stability control would lock up the front wheels when performing emergency handling. This only happens for a quick couple of seconds, but for that moment, it makes the X3 a bit hard to control steering.

Predicted reliability ranks fairly low as previous models of the BMW X3 saw a few issues with the engine, fuel system and, recently, electronics found inside the car. They have made many improvements over the years, and 2019 saw fewer issues than before, but there were still reports of the in-car electronics as well as some with the powered equipment.

Three recalls on the X3 came out, and they relate to the steering as well as a problem with the backup camera. Overall, there weren’t many marks against this car.

How well does it rank with its competitors?

The BMW X3 rates #3 in the luxury SUV category. Consumer Reports rated the Lexus NX and the Porsche Macan higher because they have better reliability ratings.

Lexus, which ranks #2, has worse fuel economy than the X3, putting the BMW a few points under the NX. The Porsche comes in at the #1 spot for its sporty driving and impeccable material quality.

Another reason the X3 comes in at #3, has to do with the value of the vehicle. Owners of the BMW didn’t feel the X3 offered decent equipment and amenities relative to the price they had to pay to get one. The Lexus NX had slightly better markings for value for their owners, but not by much.

Consumer Reports really liked the BMW X3, giving it some of the highest scores in quite a few areas. Their overall rating of 78 is only a couple of points less than the Lexus NX, which has a rating of 80.

It’s also a mere 4 points behind the Porsche, which holds the top spot. With some more improvements with their reliability reputation, and BMW can overtake the #1 spot sometime in the future.