New for 2015

The BMW X3 receives a number of changes for the 2015 model year, including the introduction of the rear-drive sDrive28i and the first diesel-powered model for the U.S. market. Interior and exterior styling changes also bring the X3 into line with the rest of the BMW lineup.

Vehicle Overview

The BMW X3 is a two-row crossover that seats five passengers, which fits above the smaller X1 and below the sleek, X3-based X4. BMW’s three-row SUV is the X5.


The 2015 BMW X3 is powered by a trio of engines, all paired with the automaker’s eight-speed automatic, with rear- and all-wheel drive. The standard engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 that makes 240 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, which is good for an EPA-estimated 21/28 mpg city/highway (RWD or AWD). The more powerful available engine is the turbocharged 3.0-liter I-6 that makes 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque that is EPA rated at 19/26 mpg. Buyers wanting the best fuel economy possible can opt for the turbodiesel 2.0-liter I-4 that makes 180 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, which earns an EPA rating of 27/34 mpg (a figure that also beats its German competition).

Some of the most notable 2015 X4 features include a 6.5-inch iDrive infotainment screen, a Harman Kardon premium sound system, a power liftgate (that can be operated by waving a foot underneath the rear bumper), an Eco Pro mode that increases fuel efficiency (the system can decouple the drivetrain and coast), a full-color head-up display, frontal collision warning, pedestrian warning, city collision mitigation, parallel parking assist, an engine stop/start system, and a lane departure warning system.

The 2015 BMW X3 has not been rated by the NHTSA, but the crossover received four ratings of good in IIHS testing (the highest possible rating is good).

What We Think

The 2015 BMW X3 is a capable entry in the luxury crossover segment, and with the model year updates has matched or exceeded the competition. A RWD sDrive model brings the entry price down, but an upgrade to AWD doesn’t carry the same penalty as it usually does between models that feature RWD and AWD. Buyers who want to wring as many miles as possible out of each gallon should look to the turbodiesel I-4 powering the xDrive28d, which gives up only a little power and performance for stellar fuel economy. The 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque available in a wide powerband on the xDrive35i coupled with an excellent eight-speed auto and eager handling makes the xDrive35i the sportiest one of the bunch, but not quite as much fun as the popular 3 Series sedan.

You’ll Like

  • 34 mpg in the diesel X3
  • Powerful turbocharged I-6
  • Interior much improved over launch model

You Won’t Like

  • Gets pricey with options
  • No fuel economy gain with RWD sDrive28i model

Key Competitors

  • Lexus RX
  • Audi Q5
  • Mercedes Benz GLK-Class
  • Acura RDX
  • Volvo XC60


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