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2020 BMW X3 Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2020 BMW X3?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2020 BMW X3? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

Small and luxurious, the 2020 BMW X3 is the perfect SUV for a wide variety of buyers out there. With the long list of standard features and large interior, the X3 is practical on top of being fancy. At the same time, looking closely will reveal a few flaws as well. So where does the X3 land when compared with its rivals? Should it be considered a smart buy in 2020?

What's New for 2020?

Navigation joins the standard equipment list for the 2020 BMW X3. LED headlights with cornering lights, which were previously limited to the top trim, can now be found on all levels. Those who look incredibly closely will also notice that some of the switchgear is now silver instead of the previous black. The LED X3 M40i, which was already the most powerful version, has its horsepower increased. Drivers now get 382-horsepower instead of the 355 that was seen in years past.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2020 BMW X3 – The Pros

1. Powerful Engine Options

No doubt about it, both engine options for the 2020 BMW X3 are incredibly satisfying. The sDrive30i, which is rear-wheel-drive, as well as the xDrive30i, which is all-wheel-drive, both have a turbo 2.0L four-cylinder. This generates 248-horespower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Underneath the hood of the M40i is that more powerful version of the 3.0L V6. On top of the 382-horsepower, it also gives drivers 369 lb-ft of torque. These engines are both paired with what BMW calls the 8-speed STEPTRONIC Sport Automatic Transmission. This transmission offers up smooth, fast shifts and helps make the X3 a joy to drive.

2. Large Cargo Area

The 2020 BMW X3 is classified as a small SUV but it has quite a bit of room in comparison to competitors. Leaving the backseat up means having access to 28.7 cubic feet of space. Folding the second-row down is a quick and easy way to reveal 62.7 cubic feet. Most vehicles that are considered rivals of the X3 have less space. Standard for the X3 are 40/20/40 split-folding backseats.

3. Spacious and Comfy Seats for Both Rows

Both the driver and their passengers will find the seats in the X3 to be comfortable, even on longer journeys. A big contributor to this is how supportive the seats are in both the front and back. This two-row SUV is designed to easily seat up to five. The upholstery is either genuine leather or a very convincing simulation, depending on the trim level selected. Legroom is ample and allows for adults to sit in the backseat just as easily as the front.

4. Agile Handling

BMW is known for creating balanced vehicles that are fun to drive. This is certainly true of the 2020 BMW X3, which handles more like a sporty sedan than an SUV in many situations. The engineers managed to give this vehicle nearly perfect 50/50 weight distribution, making the X3 very capable around corners and agile overall. This balance is one of the things that BMW is known for.

5. High Safety Scores

Families interested in the X3 should know that it has received top marks from two of the most prominent vehicle safety testing organizations out there. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given it five out of a possible five stars. As for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it has named the 2020 BMW X3 a Top Safety Pick+. This is partially due to the standard driver aids found on this vehicle. They include a driver drowsiness monitor, front and rear parking sensors, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. Also standard is the popular traffic sign recognition feature.

6. Available BMW Live Cockpit Professional

Using a beautiful fully digital 12.3-inch screen, the Live Cockpit Professional feature helps the 2020 BMW X3 feel like a vehicle from the future. This touchscreen runs the very user-friendly iDrive infotainment system. Also included is a 10.25-inch central information display. Here drivers will find important info about their fuel economy, safety alerts, and more. This system can be highly customized, allowing buyers to create the experience that works best for them.

7. Intelligent Personal Assistant Feature

Working alongside the Live Cockpit Professional feature is the Intelligent Personal Assistant. This allows drivers to control a long list of features inside their X3 using only their voice, potentially reducing driver distraction and the risk of a collision. The system can be triggered by saying "Hey BMW," although buyers can customize their activation words to be whatever they want. This feature allows for interaction with the navigation, entertainment systems, and vehicle settings.

8. Dynamic Exterior Design

The outside of the 2020 BMW X3 is gorgeous. One of the first things people notice when they see it is the aggressive kidney front grille. Buyers can choose from several sophisticated exterior paint colors, such as Phytonic Blue Metallic and Black Sapphire. The X3 is more than just a pretty face, however, with practical design touches such as 8-inches of ground clearance and the available adaptive LED headlights.

9. Surround View with Remote 3D View

Anyone who ever has to park in an area that makes them nervous will love the remote 3D view feature available for the 2020 BMW X3. Buyers simply need to download the BMW Connected app and then they can keep an eye on their X3 and its surroundings using their smartphone. This feature works in conjunction with the surround view camera that can be used for parking.

10. Fully-Loaded M40i Trim

Interested in the most luxurious version of the X3 possible? The M40i trim level has gotten even better this year. On top of all the great features found in the lower trims, the M40i adds satellite radio and a panoramic sunroof. Performance is also boosted in this model, thanks to its specialized sports-tuned suspension and sport brakes.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2020 BMW X3 – The Cons

1. No Android Auto

Its pretty odd that a luxury vehicle in 2020 would be completely missing Android Auto, but that is the sad fact. Apple users are not going to be much happier, either. Although Apple CarPlay is available, it is a subscription-based service in the X3. The many cutting-edge tech features in this SUV may make up for its lack of smartphone integration abilities.

2. Missing Some Common Features

Being a luxury vehicle, one would expect the X3 to have most of the bells and whistles, at least on the top trim. The reality is that several features that really ought to be standard, such as wireless charging and ventilated front seats, are merely optional on all trim levels. This can be a big deal, because...

3. Options Add Up

The 2020 BMW X3 already has a pretty high starting price when compared to rivals. Deciding to add available options will quickly drive this price tag up higher. Buyers will have to decide how much they want certain features and may not like having to compromise.

4. Interior Doesn't Wow

While the outside of the X3 is a show-stopper, the interior is simply okay. Rivals utilize more sophisticated materials and seem to have a bit more style. Still, this is more of an issue of personal taste and unlikely to be a deal-breaker for many.

5. Firm Ride in Certain Circumstances

Although the driver may be having a blast, passengers in the X3 may be bothered by the firm ride quality. This seems to be particularly true of the M40i with its adaptive sports-tuned suspension. In most cases, buyers consider this to be a minor flaw that can be adapted to.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

There are several strong choices when it comes to the small luxury SUV market. Those who find themselves interested in the X3 may also want to check out the Audi Q5. While the Audi is nice, it does not have the cargo space that the X3 has. It also has an even higher starting price than the BMW. Another choice may be the Jaguar F-Pace. It is a good option too, but the standard engine is less fuel-efficient on the highway. Plus, many have complained that the F-Pace's infotainment controls are too finicky.

Many buyers will also take a look at the Lexus RX. This is a stylish vehicle, but its only engine does not provide nearly as much power as the available V6 for the BMW X3. Finally, the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 is often compared to the X3. It is very similar in many ways, but again only has one engine option, which is a four-cylinder. Plus, the four-cylinder underneath the hood of the GLC 300 is less fuel efficient than the one found in the X3.


Both spacious and luxurious, the 2020 BMW X3 represents the perfect vehicle for many different types of buyers. Despite its lack of smartphone integration, the X3 seems to have enough tech features to still be relevant. It also gives buyers a fun driving experience and a long list of convenience and comfort features. Ultimately, the X3 represents a smart purchase choice in 2020.
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