2014 BMW X3Buying Guide • Review • Research
The Top 10 Reasons Why You May want to Buy a 2014 BMW X3:
BMW has always been known for combining luxury with performance. Their 2014 BMW X3 crossover is no exception; with all-wheel-drive, BMW’s classic styling and excellent options to choose from, the company is a force to be reckoned with.
Consumers, be forewarned: this isn’t a vehicle you can do lots of off-road stuff in. It has the ability to go around and through some minor obstacles, but this is really more for people that like luxury and space around town while sitting up high.
The 2014 BMW X3 comes in two versions: the base model known as the xDrive28i, and the more powerful version called the xDrive35i. Both have eight-speed automatic transmissions and come with a limited warranty of four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first.
But is it worth the cost? It’s one of the pricier crossovers out there (BMW prefers the term “sports-activity vehicle”) at a base price of just under $40,000.
Reasons to Buy a 2014 BMW X3
1. It’s a BMW.
While people say they just look for quality no matter the brand, the unspoken truth is that people prefer brand names that make them look good. You can buy a pair of shoes that have the same quality as Nike, but the swoosh on the Nike shoes has social value. It’s the same with BMW.
2. It’s a beautiful vehicle.
Smooth lines and understated styling are this model’s hallmark. It’s not flashy, and it says so proudly.
3. This crossover can fly.
The base model comes with a turbocharged 240-horsepower four-cylinder engine, which is quite good. But step up to the optional 300-hp V6 engine in the xDrive35i, and you go from zero to 60 in 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph. Granted, you probably won’t need that much power—but it’s nice to have it anyway. Whichever engine a customer picks, they’ll be happy with the performance.
4. It handles exceptionally well.
Having speed without handling is a recipe for disaster. Luckily, the 2014 BMW X3 does quite well in the handling department, providing a firm but not harsh ride as well.
5. It’s also very safe to drive.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2014 BMW X3 the highest possible rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. That’s good news for drivers entrusting their loved ones to this vehicle.
6. The interior is typical BMW quality.
Not only does it seat five people, but they aren’t cramped—even in the back seat. Unlike some of its competitors, the rear seat is actually comfortable.
7. There’s plenty of room to carry stuff, too.
The 2014 BMW X3 has about 56 cubic feet of storage space when the seats are folded down, and 19 cubic feet even when full of passengers.
8. It comes with most of the standard features people expect now.
All X3 models now come with a power tailgate, automatic climate control, power seats, and an audio system with Bluetooth,12 speakers and 205 watts of power. The X3’s audio system also comes with satellite radio and a USB port
9. They improved the iDrive system.
The iDrive system now includes a touchpad, so you can write a phone number, someone’s name, or where you’re going one letter at a time. It also has easier menus, a split-screen layout, improved voice recognition so drivers can ask for directions and not be baffled by the response, and 3D city maps.
10. They made the audio system and climate controls simpler.
One should not need to possess the IQ of Einstein to turn on the air conditioning, and BMW seems to have realized this.
Reasons to Not Buy a 2014 BMW X3
1. The fuel economy isn’t great.
If you’re looking for a crossover that sips fuel, this isn’t it. The xDrive28i gets 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, and the xDrive35i gets only 19 mpg in town and 26 on the open road.
2. BMW’s options cost a lot more.
If you want a paint color other than non-metallic black or white, that’s extra—and it goes downhill from there. By the time you wind up purchasing the options that come standard with other companies’ vehicles, the price tag will be around $60,000.
3. The iDrive still requires study time.
The iDrive is a good system; the problem is that it’s not something you can start using right away. Unlike many systems, the iDrive’s operation requires that drivers read the manual and work with it for about an hour before they’re competent at using it.
For people with experience in computer software, this won’t be a problem. For the average person that just surfs the Internet and checks e-mail, it might cause a hiccup or two.
4. The Auto Start-Stop will confuse and annoy some people.
The 2014 BMW X3 is outfitted with BMW’s Auto Start-Stop, which shuts the engine off when you're at a stoplight with your foot on the brake. The engine restarts the moment you lift off the brake—even just a little. Normally this isn’t a big deal, but occasionally a restart will shake the car.
It’s there for fuel efficiency and it can be manually disabled, but it can still irritate drivers that haven’t used the system before.
Is the BMW X3 worth a look?
If you have the money? Absolutely.
It’s not the most fuel-efficient vehicle out there, but let’s be honest—most people who can afford to spend what it costs to own a 2014 BMW X3 probably aren’t concerned about the price of gas. The performance combined with the BMW nameplate makes this an excellent choice, but the wallet will definitely be lighter after purchase.