2023 BMW X3 xDrive30i review
Despite being a seasoned veteran in its category, the BMW X3 remains at the forefront, especially if you're looking for a premium SUV that's as enjoyable to drive as it is functional.


  • Practical, spacious interior
  • Engine ticks all the boxes
  • Ride and handling balance
  • Comfortable seats


  • Interior starting to date
  • More expensive, but you need to add options
  • Punchier diesel engine is tempting
  • Compromised boot space

What are the prices for the BMW X3 xDrive30i?

X3 sDrive20i: $83,100 

X3 xDrive20d: $86,100

X3 xDrive30i: $97,900 

X3 xDrive30d: $104,300 

X3 xDrive30e: $111,800 

X3 M40i: $135,200 

X3 Competition: $178,000 

Prices exclude on-road costs

While there's been an increase in price, it's still more affordable than the latest Mercedes-Benz GLC300, listed at $104,900. It's significantly pricier than the equivalent Audi Q5 45 TFSI quattro, priced at $82,800.

Alternative options include the Volvo XC60 Ultimate B6 Dark for $86,990 (excluding on-road costs), or the Genesis GV70 3.5T AWD Sport for $84,600 (excluding on-road costs).

What’s under the bonnet? 

The xDrive30i is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 185kW of power and 350Nm of torque. It features all-wheel drive and an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.

The vehicle accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in a claimed 6.3 seconds. Its claimed fuel consumption is 7.9 litres per 100km, but we noted an average of 8.3 litres per 100km during a week of mixed driving.

The fuel tank has a capacity of 65 litres and the car requires 95 RON premium unleaded fuel.

How does the BMW X3 xDrive30i drive? 

The BMW X3 xDrive30i impresses with its robust build quality and the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine performs significantly above its class. The car manages to maintain a rather subdued character despite the engine's powerful performance, showcasing its smooth and effortless capabilities. The idle state is nearly silent with minimal cabin vibrations, further highlighting the engine's refinement. The eight-speed transmission operates seamlessly, allowing for fluid gear transitions and keeping engine RPMs under 2500 during city driving.

Under acceleration, the engine revs smoothly, displaying a considerable mid-range punch and an agreeable sound. While it may not match the sheer effortless power of the 30d diesel variant, the X3 xDrive30i never feels underpowered.

The car's M Sport trim, which is popular in Australia, includes large wheels, sporty aesthetics, and extensive M branding.

The X3 offers an elevated driving position, allowing for excellent visibility. The seamless transmission and responsive engine contribute to a laid-back driving experience. The suspension is adept at handling subpar road surfaces in all models except the highest performance ones. The car's superior visibility further simplifies parking, with standard parking sensors providing additional assistance. Advanced park assist, however, comes as an optional extra.

On highways, the BMW X3 is smooth, quiet, and responsive, making it perfectly suited for long drives. It can comfortably seat five adults, and the base 2.0-litre petrol engine is more than competent for brisk overtaking maneuvers.

The 2.0-litre diesel engine is an ideal choice for those who desire a combination of punchy performance and excellent fuel economy. This engine remains smooth and quiet unless pushed hard. One minor drawback of the X3 when it comes to highway driving might be the slightly higher road noise than expected. Vehicles like the Lexus NX may provide a more serene highway driving experience.

When it comes to driving on twisty roads, the BMW X3 stands as one of the most agile SUVs on the market. Especially in the M40d and M40i trims, the X3 delivers a thrilling driving experience on winding roads. The sportier suspension setup and increased power of these M Performance Models (not to be confused with the high-performance X3 M models) enable the SUV to corner with precision and burst out of tight bends effortlessly.

What is the BMW X3 xDrive30i like on the inside? 

BMW has made great strides in improving the interiors of their vehicles, and the X3 xDrive30i is a testament to this evolution. The interior design is stylish and contemporary, avoiding the plasticky aesthetic seen in some of its predecessors.

Material quality is excellent, with extensive use of Vernasca leather upholstery and elegant details like metal-accented window switches and woodgrain trim accents. The interior is designed ergonomically, allowing drivers to find a comfortable position with ease. The high seating position combined with the SUV's body style offers excellent visibility. A standard panoramic sunroof enhances the overall cabin ambiance.

The cabin is spacious, with ample headroom and legroom for front-row passengers. Back-row passengers are also well-accommodated with comfortable legroom and generous lateral space. The quality of materials extends to the back seat, creating a consistent high-quality experience throughout the vehicle.

However, the battery-equipped variant of the X3 comes with a trade-off in boot space. While it features a power boot release for convenience, the boot capacity is reduced by 100L compared to its petrol-powered equivalents. With rear seats in use, the boot accommodates up to 450L, which can be expanded to 1500L when the rear seats are folded.

In 2021, the X3 underwent a mild refresh, gaining a sharper exterior and an upgraded interior featuring a new 12.3-inch infotainment screen, complemented by a standard 12.3-inch digital driver display. The user interface stands out as one of the best in the industry, offering multiple control options - touchscreen, voice commands, or the rotary iDrive controller positioned between the front seats. The Technology Pack adds Gesture Control, which allows you to adjust the audio system by waving your hand, along with other features like a WiFi Hotspot, Harman/Kardon sound system, Head-up display, and wireless charging.

The vehicle comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, providing the flexibility to use your preferred apps. If you don't opt for wireless charging, you can charge your phone using several USB ports available both in the front and rear.

However, it's worth noting that this infotainment setup, though still highly commendable, might seem a bit dated compared to newer BMW models, which boast an ultra-wide twin-screen display stretching across the dashboard and behind the steering wheel.

Is the BMW X3 xDrive30i safe?

The BMW X3 (pre-facelift version) secured a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on tests conducted by Euro NCAP in 2017.

It earned scores of 93% for adult occupant protection, 84% for child occupant protection, 70% for vulnerable road user protection, and 58% for safety assist.

This five-star ANCAP rating is applicable to all models, excluding the xDrive30e plug-in hybrid.

The 2023 BMW X3 is equipped with various safety features, including:

Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)

Lane departure warning

Lane change warning

Cruise control

Rear-view camera

Reverse parking sensors

Reversing assistant

Opting for the xDrive30i/xDrive30d or higher variants adds additional safety features such as junction assist, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control with stop/go, and a surround-view camera.

How much does the BMW X3 xDrive30i cost to run? 

As of October 1, 2022, all new BMW vehicles are accompanied by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. Owners are also granted complimentary 24/7 vehicle roadside assistance for three years.

Regarding logbook servicing, BMW Australia offers Service Inclusive pre-paid packages, covering the initial five years or 80,000km, whichever comes first.

The standard Service Inclusive Basic package is priced at $2400 for the core X3 range.

Yeecar’s Take on the BMW X3 xDrive30i

Even with its increased price, the 2023 X3 continues to be an attractive choice. The X3 xDrive30i's petrol turbo powertrain exemplifies BMW's expertise in creating well-tuned vehicles that offer a balance of power and handling.

While the interior may start showing its age, especially with the imminent arrival of the new Mercedes-Benz GLC, it still stands out as the most practical luxury mid-sized SUV. Plus, its driving experience is far from outdated.

Although the more powerful diesel engine in the range might entice some, and the rear-wheel drive sDrive20i presents a more affordable option, the 30i continues to offer a balanced package for most buyers.

If you're in the market for a versatile family SUV that blends style, interior, and driving excitement, the BMW X3 should be high on your list. While competitors might offer a slightly smoother day-to-day ride, none strike a balance between driving fun and interior luxury as well as the X3.

Release:April 2023
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2023 BMW X3 xDrive30i M Sport G01 LCI Auto 4x4

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Indicative Drive Away Price
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$97,900 / MSRP Price

Key Specs

  • MSRP Price
  • Body
  • Fuel Type
    Petrol - Premium ULP
  • Transmission
    Sports Automatic
  • Drive
    4X4 Constant
  • Badge
    xDrive30i M Sport
  • Series
    G01 LCI
  • Number of Gears
  • No. Doors
  • Release Year
    April 2023
  • Seat Capacity
  • Country of Origin