You could be excused for missing BMW's all-new 2018 X3 since it looks so much like its predecessor. That's understandable because BMW had no trouble finding buyers for its compact luxury SUV even in its outgoing year. The 2018 is bigger, with more passenger and cargo space, though neither area was really lacking in the previous model. BMW also finessed, rather than overhauled, the interior materials and layout to very good effect.
The engine lineup is familiar, though the diesel has quietly been dropped. The entry-level engine, badged xDrive30i, is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged unit with 248 hp. Above that there's the M40i, that M badge underlining BMW's more overtly sporty intent in its top-flight model. The M40i's 355 hp from its turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine gives this X3 the firepower to really enjoy the X3's fine handling. Both models are all-wheel drive with an automatic transmission. Standard equipment is more generous than before, and both X3 models come with a decent base level of features. Even so, there's a sizable array of individual and option packages to help personalize your X3, usually with a corresponding swell in price when you do so. It's worth it, though, and while the rival Porsche Macan remains the favorite driver's pick, the X3 runs very close, and adds far more practicality, for a good deal less money.