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2012 BMW X3

Research, photos, specs, and expertise
2012 BMW X3

BMW X3 highlights

Customer reviews

5 out of 5

RepairPal reliability rating**

3 out of 5


  • High-quality interior
  • Sharp handling and strong turbocharged engine choices


  • Expensive compared to many rivals
  • Less driver-focused rivals offer greater comfort

Mileage (EPA estimate)

19 city, 26 highway, 21 combined

Pricing for current inventory

(no current inventory)

Distance from

2012 BMW X3 drives like a sport sedan but has crossover SUV sensibilities

With its redesign for 2011, BMW positioned the X3 as a more driver-focused compact crossover SUV than its luxury rivals. Among its competitors, the X3 can count the Mercedes-Benz GLK, Volvo XC60, and Audi Q5, each differing slightly in their execution. The Mercedes-Benz goes big on sturdiness, the XC60 is the most family-friendly, and the Q5 offers a smooth, easy drive. The 2012 BMW X3 mixes all these elements and adds the brand's hallmark agility and performance. This generation of X3 appeals with an interior quality that meets the expectations of both the BMW badge and the premium price point.

The lineup is limited to two. Both come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive (called xDrive in BMW speak). The automatic is quick-shifting and smooth, working very well with either of the engine choices. The xDrive28i features a non-turbocharged six-cylinder 3.0-liter engine with 240 hp, and the xDrive35i adds a turbocharger for a 300-hp output. The interior layout is logical and generously proportioned, while standard equipment includes alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, leatherette upholstery, automatic climate control, BMW iDrive infotainment, and Bluetooth® connection. To that you can add several options, which BMW typically bundles into packages. The Premium package offers useful conveniences like power lumbar support, leather upholstery, auto-dimming/folding mirrors, and a panoramic sunroof. You'll want the Technology package, too, for the front and rear parking cameras combined with a navigation system. The X3 is a sharp all-rounder, if at the more expensive end of the spectrum.

All BMW X3 years

Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings

5 Stars4
4 Stars0
3 Stars0
2 Stars0
1 Star0

RepairPal reliability rating**

Above Average
RepairPal gave the BMW X3 an overall reliability rating of 3 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Above Average. This rating ranks BMW X3 14th out of 15 among Luxury Compact SUVs.
View RepairPal's full rating of the BMW X3

**RepairPal Reliability Ratings are based on the actual cost, frequency, and severity of unscheduled repairs and maintenance on make/model data for select 2006-2020 vehicles. The reliability of a specific vehicle may vary depending on its maintenance and driving history, model year, trim, and features. RepairPal Reliability Ratings are provided by RepairPal and CarMax is not responsible for their accuracy. These ratings are based on RepairPal Reliability data as of 09/01/2021. Learn more about RepairPal reliability ratings

Explore BMW X3 details

XDrive28i 4WD/AWD 4D Sport Utility

* Price excludes taxes, title, registration, and fees. Applicable transfer fees are due in advance of vehicle delivery and are separate from sales transactions.