The 2013 BMW X3 earns an average Total Car Score for the Entry Luxury SUVs & Crossovers segment.
Just two years into its second generation, the X3 receives a significant underhood change for 2013: The naturally aspirated six-cylinder in base 28i models has been replaced by a turbocharged four-cylinder. While this does improve fuel economy -- highway mpg is up from 25 to 28, and the combined number rises from 21 to 24 mpg -- the 28i suffers no decrease in power. In fact, peak horsepower remains the same at 240, while peak torque rises from 221 lb-ft to 260.
The hot rod in the X3 line remains the 35i, its turbocharged 3.0-liter six still pumping out 300 hp and 300 lb-ft.
The four-banger is not BMW’s only nod to fuel efficiency in the new X3. Both the 28i and 35i are fitted with auto start/stop technology, which, hybrid-like, shuts off the engine at stoplights. The X3s also feature BMW’s Eco Pro mode in their Driving Experience Controls, which manages gear changes, throttle pedal response, and even the climate controls to maximize mpg.
But maybe the biggest news about the 2013 BMW X3 isn’t about the X3 at all: The smaller X1 is finally coming to the U.S. this year, making the X3 now the middle child of BMW’s sport activity vehicle family. Will it, as some middle children do, get lost amid the attention being paid to the new baby? We’ll see.
The 2013 BMW X3 is a five-door five-passenger sport activity vehicle (BMW’s term for a crossover vehicle) offered with all-wheel drive and a choice of four- or six-cylinder engines.
The X3 xDrive28i is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, while the xDrive35i has a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 under the hood making 300 hp and 300 lb-ft. Both engines are backed by eight-speed automatic transmissions with manual shift modes. To promote fuel economy, both models are equipped with auto start/stop systems that shut off the engine when the vehicle is not in motion.
Standard equipment aboard the xDrive28i model includes 18-inch alloy wheels, a powered liftgate, eight-way powered front seats, leatherette upholstery, a tilt/telescope steering wheel, automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity and a 12-speaker, 205-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3/HD radio audio system with iPod and USB adapters.
Stepping up to the 35i model brings xenon adaptive headlights, wood interior trim and a two-piece moonroof.
Instead of additional trim levels, BMW offers option packages for the X3. For example, the cold weather package bundles heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, while a second cold weather package offers heated rear seats and retractable headlight washers. The premium package adds leather interior and ambience lighting, while the technology package brings a navigation system, rearview camera, BMW Assist and online information services. The M Sport package includes 19-inch alloy wheels, dynamic damper control, sport seats, an M Sport steering wheel and aerodynamic body pieces.
As for fuel economy, the EPA rates the 2013 BMW X3 xDrive28i at 21 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined; the V6 in the xDrive35i hits 19/26/21 mpg.
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