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BMW has a long history of manufacturing high-quality vehicles that pair high-end luxury with modern innovations. The 2019 BMW X3 continues that trend with its brand new entry model and heaps of standard safety and infotainment features. While the X3 lacks refined steering and does not yet have an electric version, its cool demeanor and eye-catching design are sure to attract a lot of attention this model year.
What's New for 2019?
The biggest change for 2019 comes in the form of the new base trim, the sDrive30i. This rear-wheel drive comes with a 2.0-L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine and standard 8-speed automatic transmission that give it 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It is likely that this new entry-level trim will provide the foundation for a future electric version of the X3.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2019 BMW X3 – The Pros
1. Chic Exterior Design
It is hard to deny the exterior appeal of the 2019 BMW X3. This vehicle embraces contemporary style with its sleek lines and tall window build. The wheels have been pushed more toward the corners than they were on the 2018 line-up, and the intakes are wider this year. The rear taillights and windshield have also been enlarged. Up front, the windshield is wide and allows for an extensive amount of outward visibility.
2. A Spacious and Attractive Cabin
The cabin of the BMW X3 is equally as tasteful and refined as its exterior. Both the interior color options and trims look sophisticated without being too extravagant, and the center stack plays host to either a 6.5-inch (which is what comes standard) or 10.5-inch infotainment screen which is encased in either a gorgeous wooden trim or a metallic one. Up front, there is plenty of head, shoulder, hip, and leg space for the driver and passenger. In the rear seat, even taller adult passengers can enjoy having sufficient leg room and don't have to worry about hitting their heads on the ceiling.
3. Excellent Outward Visibility
Since the front and rear windshields are both so wide, visibility on the 2019 BMW X3 is vast. The roof pillars are also quite slender, and the tall side windows allow for a good view out the sides of the vehicle. Of course, the rearview camera, parking sensors, and blind-spot monitoring features that you can get in the X3 also help to maximize the driver's knowledge of what is going on around the exterior of the vehicle.
4. All Available Powertrains Put Out Strong Performances
While there is only one transmission option (the 8-speed automatic), you can get a 2.0-L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine or upgrade to a more powerful turbocharged 6-cylinder. The 4-cylinder is available on the brand new sDrive30i and the xDrive30i (which is the all-wheel drive version of the sDrive30i) while the 6-cylinder comes on the line-topping M40i trim level. The 4-cylinder manages to produce 248 hp, and the 6-cylinder maximizes that number to an impressive 335 hp. Either way, both options provide plenty of power to the X3 and give it a rather swift acceleration speed for its class. Both also provide a decidedly sharp and accurate response.
5. Automatic Emergency Braking Comes Standard
Another new standard for the model year is that automatic emergency braking comes on every trim level of the 2019 BMW X3. When an emergency situation (like an impending accident) is detected by the system, automatic braking will kick into gear. This safety feature has helped save lives and is one of the most invaluable features on the X3 this year. The fact that it comes as standard versus being another pricey option is something many drivers will appreciate.
6. Plenty of Cargo Space
Cargo space in the X3 is quite generous for this class. With the rear seats in place, the X3 offers 28.7 cubic feet of cargo space. However, when you fold those rear seats down, this number gets maximized to an impressive 63 cubic feet. It should also be mentioned that folding the seats down is incredibly easy, and they get pretty flat. There are also a bunch of nifty little storage spaces scattered throughout the cargo area and cabin that up the ante in terms of utility.
7. Excellent Safety Ratings
Safety ratings are a huge selling point, and the 2019 BMW X3 has been receiving some high marks from the ever nit-picky Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This year, the IIHS assigned "good" marks on almost every single crash test it performed on the X3. The crash avoidance systems test, however, was given a "superior" mark for their ability to prevent the X3 from experiencing slow-speed crashes.
8. The M Sport Package
While you will have to pay several thousand dollars extra for the M Sport Package, it is hard to resist adding it on. This package is complete with 19-inch (or 20-inch for a slightly higher fee) wheels, a luscious soft-touch dashboard, a sport-tuned suspension (adaptive dampers cost extra), panoramic sunroof, LED headlights, remote keyless entry, and your choice of matte wood or aluminum trim throughout the cabin. Essentially, this package allows you to choose your level of sportiness.
9. Standard Features Abound
You don't have to buy into a bunch of expensive packages and upgrade options to get a lot of great standard features. The base 2019 BMW X3 already comes with quite a few attractive features, including automatic emergency braking, synthetic leather for the upholstery, several USB charging ports, parking sensors, and Bluetooth connectivity.
10. The M40i
Of course, if the base standards aren't your thing, you can get more power and features on the M40i trim. The M40i has a more powerful turbocharged inline-6 engine that produces 355 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. This is more than sufficient power for this class, and this much power is able to get the X3 to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. As for the top speed? It is a cool 155 mph. Also, all-wheel drive comes standard on the M40i.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2019 BMW X3 – The Cons
1. Apple CarPlay Requires a Subscription
By now, most new vehicle models feature both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard features. They typically do not charge an annual fee for its usage. This is not the case with the 2019 BMW X3. Those who want to use Apple CarPlay for their smartphone app integration needs will have to pay an annoying annual fee. For some people, the extra cost for this feature just won't be worth it.
2. Steering Feels Bulky
The one gripe some drivers will have about the X3's driving performance is that the steering feels a little too heavy. Even when you flip the car into Comfort mode, there is a noticeable bulkiness that comes through the slender steering wheel. While this does not take away all the joy of driving the X3, it does make steering the vehicle a little bit more laborious for the driver.
3. Upgrades Get Expensive
Want to upgrade? You had better be ready to shell out some serious extra cash. The M Sport Package will be worth the cost to some, but to many drivers, it will just seem downright excessive. Even selecting interior color options other than the standard white or black costs extra. Adding real leather and opting for all-wheel drive will rack up an even bigger price tag. There are other vehicles in this class that offer the same amount of luxury options for less of a charge.
4. There Is No Electric Version Right Now
This isn't a huge ordeal, but the fact that the 2019 BMW X3 doesn't have an electric variant by now is a bit puzzling. It would certainly make the vehicle's current mid-range EPA numbers a lot more attractive. There is some speculation that an electric version could happen in the near future though.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2019 BMW X3 vs. 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is undoubtedly a top competitor for the new X3. With multiple high-powered engine options to choose from and a restyled front fascia, the GLC-Class is certainly keeping up appearances. Unlike the X3, there is a plug-in hybrid variant for the GLC-Class that appeals to the efficiency-minded driver.
2019 BMW X3 vs. 2019 Acura RDX
The 2019 Acura RDX is one of the more modestly-priced options in this class and hosts a ton of desirable standard features. The interior and exterior rival that of the X3 for a chic design. Also, the RDX has a strong 4-cylinder turbocharged engine option and a brand new 10-speed automatic transmission that forms a solid powertrain. Unfortunately, the RDX is not very fuel efficient, and the rear seats can get rather uncomfortable.
The 2019 BMW X3 is a fun combination of power and prestige. While upgrading this vehicle does get expensive, going with the standard options on the base trim can get you a lot for your money. The X3's safety level and features are also pretty difficult to ignore.
• Why buy a 2018 BMW X3? w/ pros vs cons