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The BMW X3 xDrive30i comes from a heritage rich in sportiness, luxury and driving fun. In those departments, the refreshed X3 delivers. Pricing is competitive and offers an array of welcome features like an updated 10.3-inch touchscreen, comfortable sport seats, capable all-wheel drive and a fuel-efficient powertrain. The X3 is a great pairing of traditional BMW verve in a practical, do-it-all package. 

Find all BMW X3 listings on KSL Cars here

Price and Value 

Pricing for the 2022 BMW X3 ranges from $43,700 to $69,900. BMW offers a myriad of luxury and performance-based options for each model appealing to the needs and wants of every buyer. Features like Apple CarPlay, three-zone climate control and sport seats are standard across the board. Some of the major differences in trim levels are noted below. 

  • X3 sDrive30i: $43,700
    • Rear-wheel drive 
    • Four-cylinder turbocharged engine 
  • X3 xDrive30i: $45,700
    • All-wheel drive 
    • Four-cylinder turbocharged engine 
  • X3 M40i: $57,800
    • All-wheel drive
    • Six-cylinder turbocharged engine. 
  • X3 M: $69,900
    • All-wheel drive
    • Performance six-cylinder turbocharged engine 

The BMW xDrive30i is a great value if driving fun is a priority to you. Some might feel the cabin and technology isn’t enough to justify the price, but the enjoyable nature of the turbocharged four-cylinder engine, responsive transmission and agile handling make the BMW X3 xDrive30i a great place to spend your daily commute and weekly errand runs. 

Photo Credit: BMW U.S.A. Newsroom

Performance 

BMW has a reputation for creating the “ultimate driving machine” and that DNA was passed on to the X3 xDrive30i (and presumably even more so in the racy M40i and M models). The standard four-cylinder engine is perfectly punchy for most driving scenarios. The eight-speed automatic transmission shifts quickly and smoothly, especially under hard acceleration in manual shifting mode. 

Engine 

The BMW X3 xDrive 30i is powered by a turbocharged, gasoline four-cylinder engine that produces 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The 2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i has a 4,400-pound towing capacity when equipped with the optional trailer hitch, which means you can easily pull a small boat, camper or a couple of ATVs.

Fuel Efficiency

The BMW X3 xDrive30i has an EPA rating of 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, for a combined fuel economy rating of 24 mpg. Real-world testing found those estimates to be a bit conservative as I experienced 26-27 mpg combined city and highway driving.

Drivetrain 

The X3 features a traditional eight-speed automatic transmission that is very responsive and quick-shifting. The transmission always felt smooth and found the right gear effortlessly. BMW’s intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive system handled the lightly snowed on roads well and put power exactly where it needed to be to maintain traction and control. 

Acceleration and Handling 

Providing 248 horsepower and 258 pound feet of torque, the X3 was zippy and perfectly manageable in every driving scenario. The X3 handles curves and corners more like a sports sedan than a conservative, compact SUV. The ride is well balanced — not too firm, not too soft. The suspension and steering give the driver a connected feeling to the vehicle and the road, inspiring confidence in its athletic agility. 

Braking 

The X3 has strong brakes if a bit sensitive in their modulation. Regardless, the X3’s brakes worked well in all driving conditions. Car and Driver rates the X3’s braking from 70-0 mph in 175 feet. Automated emergency braking with forward-collision warning is standard. 

Photo Credit: BMW U.S.A. Newsroom

Interior Comfort and Convenience 

The X3’s stylish interior is comfortable, open and well thought out in its layout with adequate room for four adults on short trips. BMW has used a combination of leather (or BMW's synthetic leather dubbed “SensaTec”), glossy wood grain trim and nickel finish metal trim to give the X3 an upscale and modern appearance — especially with the ambient lighting BMW has included in many of the door and dash panels. Two children in car seats occupied the back seat and had plenty of legroom with their 5’9” parents sitting in the front two seats.  

Seats 

BMW has always had a reputation for comfortable seats, and the heated sport seats in the X3 are no exception. They  are supportive, adjustable and offer great bolstering for all body types whether you’re road-tripping or taking a spirited canyon drive. Our tester had “Canberra Beige” perforated SensaTec seats which gave the interior an element of luxury and sportiness and paired nicely with the blacks, browns and metals in the rest of the interior.

Climate Control 

The BMW X3 offers three-zone climate control (driver, passenger and rear-seat passenger) that heats up quickly. Each zone has easy-to-use tactile buttons and dials within reach. The front two seats are heated (no ventilation in the xDrive30i trim).

Cargo Space and Cabin Storage 

The BMW X3 has 28.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up and 62.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat folded down. There are large door pockets and bottle holders in each door and decent storage space in the center console and glove box compartments. With two kids in the rear seat, there was plenty of space for an average Costco run and all the gear that comes with hauling small children. 

Infotainment System 

BMW’s infotainment system is very responsive and is presented on a crystal-clear 10.3-inch display. Our tester had the $3,450 premium package which included fun, if a little gimmicky, features like gesture control. Gesture control is where you control the volume, muting and more through gestures with your hand. It’s fun for a few minutes. 

There is also a dial near the gear selector in which you can navigate much of the touchscreen’s functionality. Overall, I found the infotainment system to have a bit of a learning curve. It didn’t feel very intuitive and took some time to learn to navigate the different screens. If you want a second USB port or a wireless charging pad, those are optional upcharges. The stereo sounds great, with excellent clarity and deep bass from its 205-watt digital amplifier and 12 speakers.

Photo Credit: BMW U.S.A. Newsroom

Exterior Appearance and Functionality 

The BMW X3 was ready for a mid-cycle refresh in 2022, and BMW delivered a look that is fresher, sportier and younger looking than the previous model years. An all-new grille and headlights are present, as are new vents, taillights and exhaust pipes. In short, the X3 looks how it drives: composed, luxurious and athletic — especially if you spring for the aggressive-looking M Sport package (which our tester did not have). 

Our tester was sprayed with a $1,500 Tanzanite Blue color option, which looked good in the shade and breathtaking in the sun, reflecting bits of bright blue amidst the navy hues. Other color options such as Aventurin Red Metallic, Brooklyn Grey Metallic, Carbon Black Metallic and Phytonic Blue Metallic are available. 

Towing Capacity & Payload 

If you are buying an SUV, you probably expect some capability towing and hauling. Outfitted with its turbocharged four-cylinder, the X3 is more capable of more than you might think. The 2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i has a 4,400-pound towing capacity when equipped with the optional trailer hitch and a 904-pound payload capacity, which is plenty for a Saturday trip to Lowe’s. Loading is easy, too with the standard power liftgate. 

Wheels 

Our tester came equipped with 19 x 7.5-inch Y-spoke wheels shod with 245/50 run-flat all-season tires in the front and rear. Larger, sportier wheel and tire choices are optional. On the highway, there was very little road noise coming from the tires and the 19-inch wheels provided a smooth ride that hit the sweet spot between supple and compliant. 

Lights and Turn Signals 

BMW updated the headlights and taillights for 2022. The standard LED headlights provide crystal-clear illumination and give the X3 a luxurious and sporty presence. The X3 also had bright welcome lighting that projects on the ground as you approach the vehicle, making entering the vehicle at night easy to see. 

Cameras and Side Mirrors 

Our xDrive30i tester had a wide-angle, high-resolution backup camera that worked well with the sensors to let me know what was behind me while in reverse. For the price, I was surprised to see the lack of a front camera. The heated side mirrors and rearview mirror provided great coverage of the vehicle. An automatic-dimming interior rearview mirror and driver's-side exterior mirror are standard.

Front and Rear Windshield 

One of my favorite aspects of the X3 was its visibility. The windshield has a nice upright stance, and all windows are large and easy to see out. I never felt closed in, or anxious about not being able to see. Power front windows with key-off and "one-touch" up and down operation and power rear windows with "one-touch" down are standard. Rain-sensing windshield wipers with adjustable speed are standard.

Safety 

If you are looking for a vehicle that will keep you and your loved ones safe, the X3 is an excellent choice. The 2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i boasts a five-star overall vehicle score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, including five-star ratings in frontal and side crashes for the driver and passenger(s) in the front and rear seats. 

Features 

A full suite of safety and driver-assistance features are available, and BMW offers many as standard equipment. As our tester came equipped with: 

  • Fatigue and focus alerts
  • Adaptive brake lights
  • BMW assist (includes SOS button and enhanced automatic collision notification in the event of an accident) 
  • Impact sensors (activates a battery disconnect from the alternator, fuel pump and starter, as well as automatically unlocks doors and turns on interior and hazard lights) 
  • Active driving assistant (frontal collision and lane departure warning, active blind spot detection, dynamic cruise control and speed limit info) 

Awards and Ratings 

The 2022 BMW X3 earned an NHTSA five-star overall safety rating, the administration's highest grade. The X3 received Good scores in all but its child seat anchors from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Photo Credit: BMW U.S.A. Newsroom

Final Impression 

The BMW X3 is a great choice for someone shopping for a “just-right” sized, luxury SUV with a healthy dose of sporty spice thrown in. The drivetrain and driving experience are the highlights here, whereas the infotainment might leave some scratching their heads. If it’s capable, practical, guilt-free fun SUV driving is what you’re after, the X3 xDrive30i will leave you satisfied. If you want a more aggressive appearance the M Sport package might be worth it. If you want more power, the M40i and X3 M are available, but those start at a minimum of $12,000 more than the xDrive30i. Whether that extra power and performance are worth it is up to you. 

FAQs 

Is the BMW X3 good for families?

Whether the BMW X3 is a good vehicle for a family all depends on the size of your family and what your needs are. I have two small children, six and three years old, and the X3 toted them around just fine. Was there enough room in the back for them? Yes. Did they still kick the seats? Yes. Would I take the X3 on a road trip with them? Maybe. I prefer a larger vehicle with more space for a road trip, but for around-town errands, the X3 was great, even without a third row. 

Is the BMW X3 good in the snow? 

As with any vehicle, tires make the biggest difference for traction in the snow. This X3, shod with all-season tires, performed well in the few inches of fresh snow I took it through. BMW’s xDrive system has been around a long time and it does an admirable job of putting power where it needs to be for best control. 

Is the BMW X3 fun to drive? 

Yes. The X3, even in its base four-cylinder form, is fun to drive. BMW has long sought to make the “ultimate driving machine” and the X3 is a respectable carrier of that badge. 

Find all BMW X3 listings on KSL Cars here.

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About the author: Having owned everything from a DeLorean to an E46 BMW M3 and a Toyota Land Cruiser, Jason Bell is a lifelong car enthusiast who loves sharing his passions as a teacher, freelance automotive journalist, speaker and social media manager. Contact him at jasonbellcars@gmail.com for comments/questions, or just to say "hi."