The 2019 X3’s forte is its features but none of them come cheaply. Like other cars with a roundel in the hood, it’s possible that the BMW really means “Bring My Wallet.”
Starting from an average score, we give the X3 points above average for its base content—including newly standard automatic emergency braking—and exceptional list of features but bring it back down to earth with a plan for smartphone compatibility that we still can’t understand. It earns a 6. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Base X3s get 18-inch wheels, a power liftgate, power adjustable front seats, synthetic leather upholstery, parking sensors, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, USB charging ports, and a 6.5-inch display for infotainment for $41,995, including destination.
Want any color other than black or white? That’ll be $550 more, please.
Interested in all-wheel drive? It’s $2,000 more. Leather? It’s $1,700.
And so on, until you’ve reached nearly $66,000 like our X3 M40i tester that was equipped with nearly every option including leather hides, Harman Kardon premium audio, 20-inch wheels, wireless smartphone charging, adaptive suspension, a 10.5-inch touchscreen for infotainment, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and blue metallic paint.
A patient hand can keep the 2019 BMW X3 near $50,000 with navigation, all-wheel drive, premium paint, the larger touchscreen, 19-inch wheels, and leather—if that’s what you’re into.
An M Sport package at $5,300 adds 19-inch wheels (or 20s for an additional $950), a sport-tuned suspension (with adaptive dampers for another $1,000), a panoramic roof, a soft-touch dash, aluminum interior or matte wood trim, LED headlights, satellite radio, gray exterior trim and aero add-ons, a sport steering wheel, and keyless entry. Its value is debatable, but will be a popular pick for many buyers.
Apple CarPlay compatibility is also available, but we say skip it for several reasons.
First, BMW offers the first year of Apple CarPlay compatibility free, but charges $80 per year thereafter.
Second, using Apple CarPlay on the big BMW touchscreen isn’t seamless. The wide BMW screen crops the edges of the smartphone user interface and creates “dead zones” on the edges that are useless and unattractive. (Anyone who’s watched an old TV show on a new widescreen TV will know our pain.)
Third, BMW’s native infotainment system is powerful and can be used for a wide range of functions including navigation, making restaurant reservations, calendar notifications, even texting friends or family when the car is set to arrive.
Review continues below