Crossover & Midsize

The 2020 BMW X3 Isn’t Letting the Misery of 2020 Stop Sales

As COVID-19 continues to hamper the economy in the U.S., car sales have slowed. Now that second-quarter numbers are in, the folks at GM Authority examined the sales of Cadillac’s XT5 and others in its segment. With a whopping 56 percent decrease in sales of the XT5 from the second quarter of 2019, the popular GM SUV found itself in seventh place in its class. At the top of the segment is the BMW X3.

How well did the X3 do in the second quarter of 2020? How did it manage modest success during a pandemic?

The top midsize SUV 

According to the numbers GM Authority published, the BMW X3 had 9,460 deliveries in the second quarter of 2020. Combined with the BMW X4, there was a total of 10,833 deliveries between them. The X3 made it past the Lexus RX in second place with 10,644 deliveries during the same quarter. 

Overall, the entire segment contracted 43 percent. According to GM Authority, the pandemic was the primary culprit. Many areas of the U.S. were under shelter-in-place orders beginning in mid-March and lasting for several weeks. That kept many from finding new vehicles to buy just as it kept dealership lots full through the rest of March and into April.

How did BMW keep sales going? They put measures in place to sell vehicles even under the circumstances. It was tricky since pandemic measures varied from one state to another. 

BMW boosted the use of digital selling, encouraging online sales. With virtual transactions in place, the sale could be completed online and the vehicle delivered to the customer. BMW also offered “invisible services” for customers in need of maintenance. The vehicles could be picked up and dropped off completely without in-person interaction.

The competition

The Lexus RX was in second place, with their sales including the two-row RX and the three-row RX L. The RX L was intended to compete against the new Cadillac XT6. The GM Authority team thinks it would be more equitable to have both the XT5 and XT6 up against the RX.

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Also between the BMW X3 and the Cadillac XT5 in Q2 sales is the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, Acura MDX, Audi Q5, and Volvo XC60. In seventh place, the Cadillac XT5 took a harder hit than its peers according to GM Authority.

Aside from the impact that the pandemic had on the entire auto industry, XT5 sales were hit hard by the two-month pause in GM production due to COVID-19. Production was up and running against in the middle of May where the XT5 is made. That being the case, the XT5 sales are expected to recover in the second half of 2020.

The 2020 BMW X3

To many, the BMW doesn’t invoke the excitement it once did. But the 2020 BMW X3 reminds us that luxury SUVs are still amazing to drive and own. The luxury SUV segment is crowded, but according to Car and Driver, the BMW X3 stands out from the crowd. 

BMW engines are powerful and cultured by nature. The 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine of the top-level M40i gets 382 hp and can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. 

The standard engine, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, is completely capable too. It gets 248 hp and is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission that Car and Drivers likes. According to them, navigating traffic is easy.

When it comes to performance, the BMW strikes a nice balance between fuel-efficiency and power. The team at Car and Driver considered the X3 to be more capable than some of the brand’s sedans. It offers a ride that’s firm but not so firm that you feel the rougher roads. It handles corners easily and the driving it is a lot of fun. 

You can seat up to five in the 2020 BMW X3. There’s plenty of passenger space though taller adults might feel a little cramped. 

The interior is upscale. The use of top-quality materials makes it both comfortable and sharp-looking. In 2020, the BMW X3 got navigation standard and there are switchgear changes from black to silver. The 30i models now have LED headlights with cornering lights.

If you’re shopping for a small crossover, the 2020 BMW X3 is a good choice. And based on sales, even in an ailing economy, many others think so too.