2025 BMW X3 Is A Big Deal

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick

BMW's best-seller grows, features standard mild-hybrid powertrains, and a dramatically different interior.

The X3 is a big deal for BMW. Now the top seller in North America, the compact luxury SUV enters its fourth generation with this, the 2025 model. There's plenty of the standard "more" on offer here—more space, more pace, more tech—but BMW is balancing that with less, including a lower overall height, an interior almost completely bereft of buttons, and the removal of a long-held bit of classic badging.

2025 BMW X3: What's in a name?

Let's start at the end: after decades of use to signify fuel injection, the lowercase "i" found on the back of every gas-powered BMW is no more. From now on, it will exist only at the front of badges, for pure electric models like the i4 and iX. You've got to admit, there is logic there, as the single letter no longer has to pull double duty. The two launch models will thus be known as the X3 30 xDrive and X3 M50; both trims will include standard all-wheel drive in the US and Canada.

Size-wise, this is still recognizably X3, having only grown 1.3 inches (34 millimeters) in length and 1.1 inches (29 mm) in width. Overall height is even down slightly (0.6 in / 16 mm), which inches the X3 ever closer to the ideal wagon shape. The styling pulls influence from the Neue Klasse X concept with its restrained use of creases and character lines—well, except for those big wheel arches, which BMW says "create the impression of considerable width at the rear."

The X3 30 features contrasting side skirts with etched patterns, while the M50 goes body-colored. The latter also includes four exhaust tips—a setup traditionally kept to full-M models until the X2 M35i did it earlier this year—while the former hides the pipes up under the rear bumper. T-shaped taillights evolve the classic BMW shape, and include a thin strip of trim that doubles as the turn indicators.

Up ahead, the X3 takes the wedge-like headlight approach of the 5 Series and X1 and frames it around yet another interpretation of the oversized kidney grilles. These ones feature both vertical and diagonal strakes on the X3 30; it's sure to prove divisive, though like the 4 Series' grille, we expect it to become less jarring after time. Of course, the grille can also be outlined with an LED glow—standard on the M50, optional on the 30—because this is a modern BMW we're talking about.

Rolling stock consists of 19-, 20-, and 21-inch alloy options. There are 10 standard paint options for the X3 30 and 12 for the M50, with both including the pretty Dune Grey you see above. Over a dozen BMW Individual paints will also be available at an extra cost.

Cabin redesign: who hates buttons?

Do you think the exterior is a dramatic departure? Now check out the cockpit.

BMW is quick to point out the new X3 interior almost completely removes physical buttons from the equation. There are still a few down in the pared-back center console and along the driver's armrest, but that's about it. Even the seat heater controls are now touch-sensitive panels near the door handles. A clear iDrive rotary dial does look swanky, we'll admit. We're fans of the X1 and X2's phone holster, which looks like a roller coaster lap bar for your mobile, but here it's been carved out to almost tablet size.

Plant-based leatherette is standard on both trims (Veganza in BMW-speak), with the M50 offering a combo including Alcantara. Two colors of Merino leather remain optional. A new choice is a woven fabric for the dashboard and door uppers, made from recycled polyester. On first look, it appears similar to the knit we've seen in the '25 Minis, which is a wonderfully tactile texture.

Light-up trim pieces provide the ambient lighting in the X3—and take on a very aggressive look in the M model. We assume that can be changed...

The now-standard curved display sits atop this redesigned dashboard, running iDrive 9.0. It offers all manner of apps, including the availability of third-party ones like Spotify and video streaming apps, plus standard wireless support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. BMW's in-car gaming via AirConsole is also available. BMW's controversial subscription-model features have found their way into the X3: should buyers not spec a certain feature at purchase, it can be added down the road, like video game DLC.

There is a wide range of driver assists as well, many of which are now standard. Traffic Jam Assistant can now provide hands-free driving up to 37 mph (60 km/h). BMW Parking Assistant Professional has seen an upgrade: it will still record precise parking routes, but can now record up to 10 with a total distance of 650 yards (600 meters) with Maneuver Assistant. The system can also play back up to 650 feet (200 meters) of driving in reverse to get out of a particularly tight spot. All of this can now be done either in-car or via a mobile app.

Powertrains: standard mild hybrids, more power

The powertrain lineup consists of familiar options with a few tweaks. Both the 2.0-liter inline-four and 3.0-liter inline-six can now run on the more efficient Miller combustion cycle, and hook up to 48-volt mild hybrid systems to further reduce emissions. An eight-speed automatic and xDrive all-wheel drive are both standard in Canadian and American markets. The suspension setup remains struts up front and a five-link rear.

The X3 30 produces a useful 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, which BMW says will launch the 4,176-pound (1,894-kilogram) SAV to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.3 seconds. Meanwhile, the M50 sees a bump in power to a serious 393 hp and 428 lb-ft. Even at a chunky 4,535 lb (2,057 kg), that still translates to a 4.6-second dash to highway speeds.

M50 models benefit from a unique suspension tune, 20-inch alloy wheels, standard variable steering, and an M Sport rear differential. An adaptive M suspension is also available as an option.

2025 BMW X3: When and how much?

As before, the X3 will be built at BMW's massive Spartanburg plant in South Carolina. It will arrive in the market later this year. US pricing will start at $50,675 (including destination) for the X3 30, and $65,275 for the X3 M50. Canadian pricing, which does not include destination at the time of writing, is $58,900 CAD and $74,900 CAD, respectively.

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Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

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