Fuel-efficient, powerful, and luxurious, the 2019 BMW X3 is a crossover SUV that appeals to a lot of different buyers. It sits on the affordable end of the luxury vehicle spectrum, but that does not mean that this vehicle is cheaply designed when compared to other luxury SUVs. It just means that BMW is trying to appeal to the masses.
Redesigned for the 2018 line-up, the 2019 models are not going to differ too much from their predecessors. In fact, the third generation is not that much different from the second. The three trim levels that are available (the sDrive30i, xDrive30i, and M40i) each offer a solid driving performance and boast a number of desirable standard features. There are also several packages that, when equipped, can greatly enhance the overall driving experience.
Ultimately, picking the right 2019 BMW X3 trim for you will depend on whether you want the rear-wheel drive capabilities of the sDrive30i, the all-wheel drive on the xDrive30i, or something a bit sportier than either of those trim levels. Regardless of which trim you choose, you are guaranteed good fuel economy from a powerful engine. Of course, each trim has some nuances that should be noted, so let us delve into what makes each X3 trim level different from the others.
Compare the 2019 BMW X3 sDrive30i vs xDrive30i - What is the difference?
At the beginning of the 2019 BMW X3 line-up is the sDrive30i. This vehicle is the line-up's rear-wheel drive variant, so you cannot order it with all-wheel drive. If you want all-wheel drive, you have to purchase the xDrive30i. Other than this glaringly obvious difference, these two trim levels are essentially equipped the same way.
Both are powered by a strong 2.0-L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. This engine is capable of generating 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and is matched up with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The automatic transmission on the sDrive30i and xDrive30i comes with Sport and Manual shift modes, paddle shifters that are mounted onto the steering wheel, and a Launch Control function.
Other performance features include an automatic stop-start function, electronic throttle control, and brake energy regeneration. The key difference between the two trim levels in terms of performance mechanics is that, as an all-wheel drive model, the xDrive30i comes with Driving Dynamics Control, which has Comfort, Eco Pro, and Sport modes on it.
Of course, the driving performance on the xDrive30i is a bit different than the sDrive30i due to the fact that it is an all-wheel drive model. Of course, this means that the vehicle can be taken off-roading and can certainly manage inclement weather conditions. The xDrive30i has Hill Descent Control, which is a system that assists the driver by controlling the vehicle when it is descending a hill located on rough terrain. This takes some of the braking burden off of the driver and allows them to better focus on the road ahead.
The exteriors of both trim levels are relatively similar, making it difficult for the average driver to distinguish between the two models. Both the sDrive30i and the xDrive30i come with 18-inch Y-spoke light alloy wheels and all-season tires. They also have satin aluminum roof rails and exterior trim, LED fog lights, chrome exhaust tips, power-folding heated side mirrors, and a roof spoiler with a center brakelight. All of the paint color options are non-metallic, and there are nine gorgeous paint colors that you can choose from.
On the inside, the sDrive30i and xDrive30i also look pretty similar. Both vehicles come equipped with 10-way power-adjustable sport seats that have 2-way manually adjustable head rests, driver's seat memory settings, and 2-way adjustable side bolsters. The seats are clad in standard SensaTec upholstery, and the trim is a lovely dark oak wood. The rear seats are 40/20/40 split-folding, and there is a cargo cover for the cargo area of the vehicle.
The sDrive30i and xDrive30i also share the same audio set-up, with an impressive 12-speaker HiFi sound system and 205-watt digital amplifier coming standard on both trims. They each have an anti-theft AM/FM stereo and HD radio. They are also pre-programmed for SiriusXM Satellite Radio should you decide that you want to invest in a subscription to it. Additional controls for cruise control, audio, and Bluetooth are mounted on the steering wheel, and a rear-view camera comes equipped on both trim levels.
There are also no real differences to be found in terms of comfort and convenience features. The list of standard features for both the sDrive30i and xDrive30i includes an engine stop-start button, automatic tri-zone climate control, front and rear Park Distance Control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a power tailgate, privacy glass, and a universal garage door opener.
Safety features also echo one another on these two trim levels. The sDrive30i and xDrive30i each come equipped with an Active Protection System that helps to prevent and prepare for impending crashes when detected, an anti-theft alarm system, BMW's Assist eCall (which comes with an SOS button), and the Active Guard System (which consists of driver aids like frontal collision warning and mitigation).
As you can see, these two vehicles only have one glaring difference: the drivetrain. Each one is a good choice for an entry-level luxury crossover SUV. Of course, if it is power that you crave, you might want to consider stepping it up to the line-topping M40i trim level.
Compare the 2019 X3 xDrive30i vs M40i Trims. What is the difference?
Here is where the biggest alterations occur. The sDrive30i and xDrive30i are similar enough, but the M40i takes things to a new level. Unlike the two lower trim levels, the M40i comes packed with a 3.0-L M Performance TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder engine. This engine has no problem generating 355 hp, which is a vast improvement over the 248 you get on the 2.0-L engine. Paired with the same 8-speed automatic transmission as the lower trims, the M40i is able to best their acceleration speed. While the sDrive30i and xDrive30i can get from 0 to 60 mph in a respectable 6 seconds, the M40i is able to do it in just 4.6 seconds. Needless to say, it leaves a lot of competitors in the dust.
Like the xDrive30i, the M40i comes with all-wheel drive. However, it has the upgraded M sport suspension and M sport brakes, which are specifically tuned to give the vehicle a spunkier, more athletic performance. Hill descent control and a specially-tuned performance control feature come standard on the M40i.
The M40i gets distinguished from its lower trim level counterparts inside and out. On the exterior, the M40i rides atop 19-inch Double Spoke Bicolor alloy wheels. The shadowline exterior trim, black chrome exhaust tips, and Cerium Grey accents on the kidney grille, front intakes, and mirror caps help to set the M40i apart from the other vehicles in the line-up.
On the inside of its cabin, the M40i also has SensaTec upholstery, but it looks sportier. Also, there are two 14-way power-adjustable front seats that include 4-way power lumbar support, 2-way power side bolsters, and 2-way manual headrests. The driver's seat comes with memory capabilities. The interior trim is different as well, as it is a chic Aluminum Rhombicle.
The entertainment features on the M40i are mostly similar to those on the two lower trim levels, but there are a few differences that tend to stand out. The M40i comes with ambient lighting throughout the cabin, giving it a more luxurious vibe. There are rain-sensing windshield wipers as well.
Like the sDrive30i and xDrive30i, the M40i can be equipped with a number of additional packages. The Driver Assistance Package gives you helpful driver aids such as blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert and lane departure warning. If you want even more driver aids, you can opt for the Driver Assistance Plus Package, which adds on front cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and lane keep assist. The Parking Assistance Package slaps on a 360-degree surround-view camera and parking sensors for the front and rear of the vehicle.
If the standard technology on the vehicle does not suit your needs, you can add the Premium Package. This gives you an upgraded 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment monitor, heated front seats, and smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay. (Note that Android Auto is conspicuously absent from the list of standard and optional features on all trim levels.)
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Which One Should You Choose?
BMW makes it easy to pick a trim level by providing you with three straightforward options on the 2019 BMW X3. If you are fine with rear-wheel drive, opt for the sDrive30i. It shares virtually everything else with the all-wheel drive xDrive30i and costs a little bit less. Of course, if you plan on doing a lot of off-roading or live in an area that regularly gets impacted by inclement weather conditions, go for the xDrive30i. The all-wheel drive gives a stellar performance and lends a lot to a driver's confidence in the vehicle.
But, if it is sportiness that you are looking for, the M40i is your best choice among the three trim levels. The M40i has the advantages of both speed and stability, making it a great choice for any consumer who is looking to combine luxury with athleticism without having to pay a fortune.