X3 Rival Comparison

2018 BMW X3 Overview
How does the X3 stack up against the competition?

As one of the pioneers of the compact luxury SUV space, the BMW X3 has returned with a new look and new performance credentials. Yes, 14 years after breaking into the SUV landscape, the BMW X3 is back with a vengeance, armed with a new exterior, a redesigned interior, plenty of powertrain options to choose from. Most importantly the X3 shows confidence in its ability to stand toe-to-toe with notable rivals like the Audi Q5 and the Mercedes GLC-Class, as well as upstart hotshots like the Jaguar F-Pace and the Range Rover Evoque.

Compare Cargo Space:
Cargo Space (seats in place)
Cargo Space (seats stowed)
28.7 cu ft
62.7 cu ft
Audi Q5
21.5 cu ft
54.7 cu ft
Mercedes GLC
20.5 cu ft
56.5 cu ft

The Center Stack?


Audi Q5:

Mercedes GLA:


The Power Comparison

 Model Power Torque 0 to 60 MPH Top Speed MPG (Highway) MPG (City)
 360 horsepower 369 pound-feet 5.0 seconds 155 mph (electronically limited) 28 mpg
 19 mpg
Audi Q5 360 horsepower 369 pound-feet 5.1 seconds 155 mph (electronically limited) 24 mpg 19 mpg
Mercedes-AMG GL43 362 horsepower 384 pound-feet
 4.8 seconds 155 mph (electronically limited) 24 mpg 18 mpg

2017 Audi Q5 vs. 2017 BMW X3: Head to Head

Q5 vs. X3: Which Luxury Compact SUV Is Best for You?

The 2017 BMW X3 is a top-ranking SUV in the class, and winner of the 2017 Best Luxury Compact SUV for Families award. The 2017 Audi Q5 ranks in the middle of the class, likely for its higher starting price than for its capability and features.

The 2017 BMW X3 hits all the right notes: sporty handling, potent engines, a handsome cabin, and high predicted reliability and safety scores. The X3 also offers plenty of room for your passengers and cargo, so it's as good at commuting during the week as it is playing on the weekend.

X3 Pros & Cons

Pros: Powerful lineup of enginesSporty handling and steeringPlenty of passenger and cargo room. High-quality materials. Punchy yet frugal performance; brilliant auto; benchmark handling and comfortable ride; biggest overall cargo space.

Cons: Distracting engine stop-start featureMany luxury features don't come standard (can be disabled). Some equipment shortfalls; rear bench could be more comfortable.

Audi Q5 2.0 TDI Pros & Cons

Pros: Versatility of sliding rear bench; tidy dynamics; high cabin quality.

Cons: Laggy and lethargic diesel; wooden spoon for fuel economy; fidgety ride; aloof steering; rear camera and nav among options.

BMW X3 Rankings and Research

The X3 ranks near the top of the luxury compact SUV class for its strong on-road performance, classy cabin, and above-average predicted reliability and safety scores. While the BMW X3 is fun to drive, it's practical as well. It's the winner of the 2017 Best Luxury Compact SUV for Families because it has the best combination of space, available family-friendly features and positive reviews from professional automotive writers in its class.

Drivers who crave a luxurious cabin and lithe handling will find the X3 is a willing partner. Even for daily driving, the X3 has a lot to like, with excellent fuel economy, plenty of passenger and cargo room, and lots of features. You may find some rival cars more compelling, however. The Mercedes-Benz GLC isn't as sporty as the X3, but it is comfortable and upscale inside. The all-new Jaguar F-Pace checks all the boxes, pairing nimble handling with ride comfort and high-tech features.

BMW X3 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: BMW X3 or Audi Q5?The X3 and the Audi Q5 have many similarities. Both cars have a range of potent engines; they both have nimble handling that sacrifices some ride comfort; and they both have roomy, high-end cabins. They even come standard with many of the same features. Still, the X3 edges out the Q5 for a couple of reasons. There's more cargo room in the X3, whether you have the rear seats up or folded down. The X3 earns a higher predicted reliability score and better fuel economy estimates than the Q5, as well.

X3 Engine: Potent Powertrains The 2017 X3 features multiple engines that will likely provide as much power as you could need, which is the case with most vehicles in this class. The standard offering is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that puts out 240 horsepower. With this engine, acceleration from a standstill is quick. At highway speeds, the X3 stays strong and can pass other vehicles with ease.
If you want a greater thrill, an available turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine delivers an exhilarating 300 horsepower. It might even make you feel like you're in a sports car like the BMW 3 Series rather than an SUV.

X3 Gas Mileage: Fun Without Emptying the Tank While the X3's engines are definitely performance-oriented, they don't sacrifice much in the way of fuel economy. The base engine - whether you have rear- or all-wheel drive - will get you 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, which is on the upper end for the class. The base X3's fuel economy is right on par with the estimates for the base Mercedes-Benz GLC and the Audi Q5. The larger six-cylinder isn't much thirstier; it will get you 19 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway. Still, you'll add around $250 in annual fuel costs by choosing the six-cylinder, based upon current gas prices and average driving habits.
In every X3 model, a stop-start function helps save fuel by shutting off the car during idle situations, such as waiting at a red light. This feature can be a bit frustrating, as it doesn't turn the engine back on quickly enough, but you can manually disable it. That's the smart move if you sit in a lot of stop-and-go traffic during your daily commute.

X3 Ride and Handling: Putting the "Sport" in Sport Utility Vehicle If you've driven a BMW coupe or sedan before, you'll probably notice some of the same legendary handling characteristics in the X3. If you have no frame of reference, you'll be even more surprised that an SUV can drive like a smaller car. The X3 delivers athletic performance and feels light and agile through turns and twisty roads. Steering is sharp and provides good feedback from the road, so you'll always feel in control. That sporty handling comes as a result of a somewhat firm suspension, which has an impact on ride quality as well. Still, the X3 handles bumps and rough roads with ease.

X3 Reliability: Is the BMW X3 Reliable? J.D. Power and Associates gives the X3 3.5 out of five circles in predicted reliability, which is slightly above average compared to all other cars. The Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC earn slightly lower reliability scores.

Industry Talk:

"The X3 delivers the sportiness and refinement you expect from the brand in a package that's small but highly versatile." -- Consumer Guide

"It may not be the newest vehicle in its segment, but if you're shopping for a compact luxury SUV, the 2017 BMW X3 remains a go-to choice. It's capable of meeting both your practical needs and luxury aspirations, while stacking up well to new and more recently redesigned competitors." -- Edmunds

What's new with the BMW X3?

First, the third-generation model gets all-new sheet metal with same design language as the smaller X1 and larger X5. BMW has also improved the X3's aerodynamic properties with better-regulated air flow around the car using active grille shutters, under-body cladding, and a rear spoiler.

Underneath the X3's skin, the chassis has been re-engineered to reduce un-sprung mass, and its wheelbase has been extended to reach perfect 50-50 weight distribution.

Power for the base X3 will come from a 248-horsepower, 2.0-liter TwinPower turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine. Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the X3 can make the sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in six seconds and reach a top speed of 130.

Higher-grade X3s can opt for a 3.0-liter, 335-horsepower turbocharged inline six-cylinder unit. In performance "M" spec, the new X3 can make the 0-60 mph run in 4.6 seconds and hit a top speed of 155 mph.

Inside the cabin, the X3 gets the latest goodies from BMW's high-tech bag of tricks, including a larger, full-color head-up display, as well as a 10.25-inch touchscreen running the latest version of BMW's iDrive infotainment system.

In addition, the X3 gets BMW's gesture-control technology that allows passengers to answer phone calls and adjust the volume of the radio with a wave of the hand or a twirl of the finger.

The new X3 will also receive BMW's latest driver-assistance and crash-prevention technology, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, cross-traffic alert, and frontal collision mitigation.

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