As BMW continues to celebrate its legacy as a revered luxury car brand, you might be eyeing the X3, one of the popular models from this automobile manufacturer.
The X3 appeals to SUV lovers with a fascination for elegance and luxury.
BMW has been producing this car since 2003, and to date, it has launched three generations of this car.
Interestingly, the BMW X3 happens to be the first compact luxury crossover in the world.
Blending quality, technology, and dynamics intelligibly, the brand mesmerizes car lovers with its X3.
It makes sense to explore the expected mileage, the lifeline of the parts, and reliability of this luxury SUV before you make your purchase.
Let’s take a look at these specifications that would help you make an informed decision.
How many miles do BMW X3 last?
Your BMW X3 should serve you for 150K to 200K miles, provided you warrant timely service and maintenance.
With conservative driving habits and proper care, you can make the car last up to 200K miles. On average, if you drive 15K miles a year, this car should last for 14 years.
Following this, you might have to invest heavily in repairs.
BMW carries a legacy of its innovation and craftsmanship. Being a German automaker, the brand prioritizes engineering excellence.
The BMW X3 happens to be a specimen of this excellent craftsmanship. This explains why you can still find some of the first-generation cars of this model plying the roads.
Considering the standards of a compact luxury SUV, this car looks fine. Some of these cars that have already hit the 150K mile mark still have the original transmissions and engines.
However, you should expect big-ticket repairs beyond this mark and these repairs would become uneconomical.
Following up the service appointments, changing oil routinely, ensuring timely tire rotations, and replacing the air filters regularly hold the secret for a long lifeline for your BMW X3.
Along with this, you need to adopt smooth driving habits.
Is BMW X3 reliable car?
The BMW X3 has set benchmarks in the compact SUV segment with its dynamics.
In terms of reliability, the car has got mixed reviews against its name.
- For instance, it has got an impressive rating of 4.3/5 according to the consumer rating index of Kelly Blue Book.
- Again, RepairPal has rated it 2.5/5, which is below average. Besides, the BMW X3 finds its place in the 10th position out of 11 cars in this category.
- According to RepairPal, several other models boast a better reliability score than the BMW X3. Some of these models include the Lexus RX 450h, Acura MDX, Lexus RX 350, Volvo XC70, and the Lincoln MKX. On the other hand, the BMW X3 enjoys a better reliability rating than cars like the Land Rover LR4, Porsche Cayenne, and the BMW X5.
- On average, the reliability score of a midsize luxury SUV is 3.5/5. Based on this parameter, the BMW X3 still has some doors for improvement.
- At 79/100, the reliability rating from J.D. Power looks moderately good. WhatCar, one of the automobile platforms in the US, has placed this car in the 11th position among 14 luxury SUVs in the compact category.
- When you consider a luxury SUV like the BMW X3, reliability doesn’t turn out to be the priority for most owners. What they consider is the performance of the car and good looks.
- The chances of your BMW X3 requiring unscheduled repairs a year is 0.84 times, which is quite high. Also, the chance of severe problems affecting this car is 14%.
- On average, owners need to shell out $1,034 a year to repair the car. This is way higher than the maintenance cost of a luxury SUV in the midsize category, which is around $652. While this isn’t that cheap for a car, considering that you would be owning a luxury SUV, you need to fork out the high maintenance costs. Similar models from Mercedes and Audi also involve high annual costs of maintenance. The specialty parts and sophisticated technology from BMW make the repair expenses higher than the average.
- Insuring your BMW X3 would cost you around $1,562, while you need to shell out a bit less for the older models. So, this comes to around $130 a month.
- Comparing similar cars, you would find some models like the Lexus RX350, Acura RDX, and the Audi Q5 offering higher mileage. Particularly, the RX350 turns out to be the best of the lot, with the expected mileage of 275K miles. On the other hand, the Porsche Macan turns out to be the worst model on the list.
Are used BMW X3 reliable?
Used models of BMW X3 might be reliable, depending on the kind of maintenance it received from the first owner.
For a BMW X3, 100K miles would be high mileage. Beyond this mark, your investment would be a risky one.
It would be wise to evaluate the condition of your vehicle and get it inspected by a certified mechanic before you purchase it.
However, purchasing a car beyond this mark wouldn’t be a bad decision every time.
Even used BMW X3 models can last up to 200K miles with the care and upkeep it deserves.
Does BMW X3 have a lot of problems?
Although the BMW X3 doesn’t have too many problems, it does have its share. We have evaluated the technical glitches based on the three generations of this car.
1. First-generation (2004 – 2010)
The first-generation BMW X3 cars had serious engine issues.
The brand has recalled many vehicles, which implies that most of these issues won’t bother the owners anymore.
Besides, some cars had problems with the PCV valve heaters, leading to fires.
Oil leaks and high fuel consumption issues also troubled the owners.
Besides, the drivers faced some electrical glitches in these cars.
Thanks to the numerous recalls that BMW made, most of these problems are now gone.
2. Second-generation (2010 – 2017)
Some serious technical glitches affected several second-generation models of the BMW X3.
Some of these issues bothered the owners with some engine parts.
They experienced braking power loss, problems with the EGR-cooler, and the timing chain.
Unlike problems in the other generations, most of these issues were expensive. These made the repairs heavy on the pockets of the owners.
3. Third-generation (2017 – Present)
While BMW addressed most of the flaws in the first two generations of its X3, the third generation is not foolproof.
Most of the model years under this category have recorded more than 20 complaints.
This is reasonable when you consider the standards of luxury cars.
It would be wise not to go for the 2019 model, which has already registered 55 complaints against its name.
The brand has already made 9 recalls for this particular model year.
Common issues include the loss of backup camera and braking power, problems in the hybrid battery, non-functional sunroof, and problems with the steering tie rods and swivel bearing in the front axle.
Factors that can impact the longevity of BMW X3
While you have other luxury cars out there in the market boasting a longer lifeline than the BMW X3, you can try and maximize the durability of these cars.
Here are some recommended strategies that should help you prolong the lifeline of your BMW X3.
- Adopt defensive driving habits and drive as smoothly as possible. Refrain from braking your car hard, or applying the brakes suddenly.
- For the engine, use branded fluid and oils. Also, refrain from overloading your car that might stress the engine.
- During the routine upkeep, reach out to a certified BMW mechanic and follow the schedule that the manufacturers recommend.
- Scan through the user’s manual to know where important components in your SUV are located. Besides, get a thorough understanding of what the warning lights and symbols on the dashboard indicate.
- To maintain the sheen on your car and prevent rusting, wash your BMW X3 regularly. This would prevent grime and dirt from affecting the paint. Also, take care of the undercarriage and secure it from developing rust.
- Top up the transmission fluids, coolants, and engine oil at the right time, besides replacing the brakes at the right time.
- Although the BMW X3 is capable of navigating through snow or gravel paths, be extra vigilant while crossing these patches. After all, luxury cars shouldn’t travel through these terrains.
- Properly store your X3 in a covered shed or garage to keep away bird droppings and the elements of weather.
- In case a problem arises with your BMW X3, get it addressed at the earliest. Neglecting it can aggravate the issue, leading to expensive repairs.
What is the best year for BMW X3?
With zero complaints so far, the 2020 model of the BMW X3 happens to be the best pick among all the model years.
This car comes with a next-generation engine, along with a plethora of advanced technologies.
Moreover, this model brings you a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
The IIHS has awarded the 2020 model for its safety features.
In terms of reliability, this model has earned the titles ‘Good’ and ‘Superior’.
However, this applies to the selected BMW X3 models that come integrated with specific headlights and front crash prevention features.
Also, the 2017 model would be a good pick if you are willing to settle with an older car.
According to Consumer Reports, this car enjoys a reliability rating of 4/5.
What is the worst year for BMW X3?
The 2013 model of the BMW X3 is the worst on the list, which you need to avoid.
This model bothered the owners with its perpetual engine issues.
Particularly, the engine problem cropped up once the car reached the 83K mileage mark. Repairing this problem often cost the owners as high as $3,400.
There are 36 complaints registered against the 2013 model. Comparing all the model years, this is the highest.
Other issues included problems in transmission, suspension defects, and broken timing chains.
However, what bothered the luxury car owners the most was the engine problem. While driving, many owners reported that the engine shuts down abruptly.
Also, fixing a broken timing chain guide used to cost the owners around $6,600, and this issue affected the cars after they crossed 80K miles.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
The average lifeline of the tires of your BMW X3 would be between 50K and 60K miles. So, you need to get the tires replaced every 3 to 5 years.
To make sure that the tire wear isn’t uneven, rotate them every 5K miles.
Also, inspect the pressure in all the tires every few weeks.
Otherwise, you might end up damaging the car’s suspension system.
In case you detect any vibration or noise in the tires, schedule a professional inspection.
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
In the BMW X3, the spark plugs can last up to 60K miles.
During your routine car maintenance, the experts will inspect these components and get them replaced whenever required.
How Long Do the Batteries Last?
You can expect your BMW X3 batteries to serve you between 3 to 5 years.
Based on your battery type, climate, and driving habits, the durability of these batteries significantly varies.
- Fasten the battery properly to its place. When you drive, the connections might become loose due to vibrations.
- Try not to go for short rides. Quick rides often prevent the battery from charging completely. Drive the car for a longer period to optimize the battery, so that the system doesn’t stop and start frequently.
- Store your BMW X3 in a cool space or garage away from high temperatures.
How Long Do the Brakes Last?
The longevity of the brakes in your BMW X3 largely depends on your driving habits. So, they can last anywhere between 2 to 5 years.
The brakes would wear off faster if you drive on city roads where you need to stop frequently.
To enhance the durability of the brake pads, make sure to brake in a smooth and controlled manner.
Refrain from halting completely while you drive at full speed.
How Long Do the Transmissions Last?
You can make the BMW X3 transmissions last between 150K to 200K miles with proper maintenance and care.
Between 2003 and 2017, BMW produced its first two generations of the X3 model.
These models had both automatic and manual transmissions. Of late, the 2017 model comes only with an automatic transmission.
BMW has launched these cars through three generations and addressed most of the technical glitches.
So, it would be wise to go for a car that the brand launched between 2016 and 2020.
You can benefit from the depreciated value in case you buy a used vehicle in this range.
Moreover, the models that BMW launched from 2020 onwards are less problematic.
BMW X3 appears to be moderately reliable. However, owners might expect this car to add some more miles to its lifeline.
When you go for a German automaker and a luxury car, be prepared to shell out higher maintenance and insurance costs.