2012 BMW X3

Research, photos, specs, and expertise

BMW X3 highlights

Customer rating


  • 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, 25 highway, 21 combined

Pricing for current inventory

(no current inventory)


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

What is new for the 2012 BMW X3?

  • X3 trims have been upgraded with Panoramic Sunroof as standard equipment this year.

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Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings


RepairPal gave the BMW X3 an overall reliability rating of 3 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Average. This rating ranks BMW X3 16th out of 18 among Luxury Compact SUVs.

View RepairPal's full rating of the BMW X3

BMW X3 features and specs

XDrive35i 4WD/AWD 4D Sport Utility

Standard Features

  • 4WD/AWD
  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alloy Wheels
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Automated Cruise Control
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • CD Audio
  • Cruise Control
  • Leatherette Seats
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Panoramic Sunroof
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Seat(s)
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Defroster
  • Run Flat Tires
  • Side Airbags
  • Traction Control
  • Turbo Charged Engine
  • Adjustable Suspension
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • Front Seat Heaters
  • Full Roof Rack
  • Head Up Display
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Leather Seats
  • Leatherette Seats
  • Memory Seat(s)
  • Navigation System
  • Panoramic Sunroof
  • Parking Sensors
  • Power Hatch/Deck Lid
  • Rear Seat Heaters
  • Rear Sunshade
  • Rear View Camera
  • Running Boards
  • Satellite Radio Ready
  • Smart Key

Drive Wheels

All Wheel Drive (4WD/AWD)

Engine size




Torque (ft-lbs)


Engine type

Turbo Gas

Fuel capacity




Overall length






Leg room

F 39.9"/R 39.1"

Head room

F 40.7"/R 39.1"

Front tires


Rear tires


Seating capacity


Max towing capacity

794/5291 lbs.



2012 BMW X3 FAQ

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