2021 BMW X3

Research, photos, specs, and expertise
7 photos

BMW X3 highlights

Customer rating


  • Plenty of space and comfort in the classy, easy-to-use interior
  • Good performance from all engines


  • The plug-in hybrid's EPA-estimated fuel economy isn't that spectacular
  • X3 M model has an overly firm ride

Mileage (EPA estimate)

14 city, 19 highway, 16 combined

Pricing for current inventory

(no current inventory)

7 photos

2021 BMW X3 adds some desirable standard equipment

The BMW X3's continued success is unquestionably due to its combination of qualities. Not only is it among the most upscale and enjoyable of compact luxury SUVs, but it's also comfortable, spacious, and practical, making it a very talented and desirable all-rounder. BMW offers the 2021 X3 in a number of models, including the plug-in hybrid xDrive30e and, at the other end of the range, the high-performance X3 M. The plug-in allows some electric-only motoring, but it typically comes at a hefty price point and its EPA-estimated fuel economy isn't overly impressive beyond those short-run battery-powered trips. The X3 M fulfills a different aim: It's a wickedly fast yet still very capable premium compact SUV. The thing is, the X3 M's power comes with a stiff suspension that makes it uncomfortable on all but the smoothest of roads.

In the middle, the rear-wheel-drive sDrive30i, the all-wheel-drive xDrive30i, and the M40i have all the X3's strengths without the compromises found on opposite ends of the lineup. Even the entry-level 248-hp 2.0-liter turbo engine in the 30i models provides good performance, backed with solid EPA-estimated fuel economy. The M40i raises the stakes a bit, adding more power via a turbocharged six-cylinder 3.0-liter engine for very enjoyable, quick driving. It might prove the sweet spot, because it comes with equipment that you'd have to add as options to the 30i models, and it benefits from the sharper M Sport styling. Also of note for 2021, the X3 adds some standard driver-assistance features and Android Auto™ capability joins the existing Apple CarPlay®.

All BMW X3 years

What is new for the 2021 BMW X3?

  • The Competition trim has been discontinued for 2021.
  • X3 trims have been upgraded with Android Auto as standard equipment this year.
  • The M40I trim now comes with Blind Spot Monitor as standard equipment.
  • The sDrive30i trim now comes with Blind Spot Monitor and Satellite Radio Ready as standard equipment.
  • The XDrive30i trim now comes with Blind Spot Monitor and Satellite Radio Ready as standard equipment.
  • The M trim now comes with Leatherette Seats and Run Flat Tires as standard equipment.

2021 BMW X3 trims

Curious how BMW X3 trims differ? Use our side-by-side vehicle comparison to see the differences and similarities


  • Includes LED headlights, roof rails, power tailgate, selectable driving modes, tri-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, navigation, parking sensors, and more

  • View all BMW X3 sDrive30is in stock



  • Adds the more powerful six-cylinder engine, sport exhaust, upgraded brakes, sport-tuned suspension, M Sport styling features, plus everything from the Convenience package, including a panoramic sunroof and keyless entry

  • View all BMW X3 M40Is in stock


  • Features a twin-turbo engine, upgraded brakes, sport seats, leather upholstery, Harman Kardon® premium audio, a carbon fiber interior trim, and unlocks the available Competition package for extra horsepower

  • View all BMW X3 Ms in stock

BMW X3 photos

5 reasons to buy the 2021 BMW X3

1. Thoughtful details

2021 BMW X3 Review: Dashboard | CarMax

The details on the 2021 BMW X3 are designed to make life easier for you as the driver. For example, you get a standard power tailgate, but inside there's also a handy strut to hold up the trunk's floor while you pack or access luggage. If you love to travel with family and friends, this is a convenient detail that you'll wonder how you lived without. There's also the digital assistant, which gives you voice control over settings, navigation, and entertainment so you can always keep your eyes on the road.

2. Trim levels to suit you

2021 BMW X3 Review: Front seats | CarMax

Whether you want something easy to drive and refined, a sporty weekend warrior, or an off-road adventurer, you'll be able to find the BMW X3 to suit you. If you're looking for luxury and creature comforts, check out the sDrive30i, which features 10-way power front seats, power tailgate, universal garage door opener, and dynamic cruise control. If it's power and sporty handling that excites you, the 2021 BMW X3 M is the way to go. The 473-hp engine is a whole lot of fun, plus you get sport suspension and sport brakes, too. Add the Competition package for an extra boost of power and bolstered sport seats.

3. Plenty of features on every trim

2021 BMW X3 Review: Cell | CarMax

Even if you find a base model sDrive30i or its AWD counterpart (xDrive30i), you won't be disappointed at the level of equipment inside 2021 BMW X3 models. You'll get everything you need for an engaging drive, including navigation, Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth connectivity, and tri-zone climate control. As you move up the trim levels and package options, more features get added. The 2021 BMW X3 xDrive30e hybrid, for example, adds a digital gauge cluster and Android Auto connectivity.

4. Upscale, comfortable interior

2021 BMW X3 Review: Backseats | CarMax

The front seats in the 2021 BMW X3 are supportive and comfortable, with plenty of legroom and headroom. You'll get 40.3 inches of legroom up front and 36.4 inches in the back, which is plenty for an adult. Plus, everyone gets 41.1 inches of headroom. The BMW X3 features synthetic leather upholstery as standard; upgraded models boast genuine leather, as well as heated and ventilated front seats. If you're regularly transporting children, look for the available rear sunshades, too.

5. Ready for adventure

2021 BMW X3 Review: Exterior | CarMax

The 2021 BMW X3 xDrive30i has standard all-wheel drive, which makes it ready for all your adventures. On models with the dynamic handling package, you also get a slightly stiffer ride, which is great if you want to put the all-wheel drive to good use on mountain roads. While the standard equipment is mostly the same as the rear-wheel-drive sDrive30i, the all-wheel-drive package adds hill descent control so you can have confidence on tricky slopes.

Similar vehicles

If you're interested in the 2021 BMW X3, you should also check out these similar vehicles from Previous generation years.

Image of Acura RDX

The Acura RDX is a compact luxury SUV with seating for five. Model years 2016–2018 come standard with a 279 hp, 3.5-L V6 engine paired with front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is an available option. In 2019 Acura redesigned the RDX, swapping the V6 for a 272 hp 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Even in the base trim, the Acura RDX has standard leatherette seats for all model years.

2016–2021 Acura RDXs come with the following features:

  • 279-horsepower V6 on model years 2016–2018; 272 hp turbo-four on model years 2019 and later

  • Standard seven-speaker audio system with USB and Bluetooth connections

  • Standard leatherette seats, heated in the front

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Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings

4.7 out of 5

3 customer reviews

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

sDrive30i 2WD 4D Sport Utility

Standard Features

  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alloy Wheels
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • Cruise Control
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Leatherette Seats
  • Memory Seat(s)
  • Navigation System
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Parking Sensors
  • Power Hatch/Deck Lid
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Seat(s)
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Defroster
  • Rear View Camera
  • Run Flat Tires
  • Satellite Radio Ready
  • Side Airbags
  • Traction Control
  • Turbo Charged Engine
  • 20 Inch Plus Wheels
  • Automated Cruise Control
  • Automated Parking
  • Front Seat Heaters
  • Full Roof Rack
  • Harman Kardon Sound
  • Head Up Display
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Leather Seats
  • Navigation System
  • Panoramic Sunroof
  • Parking Sensors
  • Power Hatch/Deck Lid
  • Rear Seat Heaters
  • Rear Sunshade
  • Running Boards
  • Smart Key
  • Tow Hitch

Drive Wheels

Rear Wheel Drive (2WD)

Engine size




Torque (ft-lbs)


Engine type

Turbo Gas

Fuel capacity




Overall length






Leg room

F 40.3"/R 36.4"

Head room

F 41.1"/R 39.1"

Front tires


Rear tires


Seating capacity




2021 BMW X3 FAQ

More about the 2021 BMW X3

Color options

Exterior colors:

  • Alpine White

  • Black Sapphire Metallic

  • Dark Graphite Metallic

  • Glacier Silver Metallic

  • Jet Black

  • Mineral White Metallic

  • Phytonic Blue Metallic

Interior details

  • Seat five across two rows

  • 28.7 cubic feet behind the rear seats

  • 62.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded

  • 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster (M40i and xDrive30e) and 10.25-inch central display

  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto­ connectivity

NHTSA Safety Ratings

The 2021 BMW X3 received received an overall 5/5 rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Find out more about this rating and how NHTSA’s 5-Star Safety Ratings program evaluates the crash protection and rollover safety of new vehicles.

Keep in mind that certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle.

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