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?
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.