The 2019 BMW X3 is a quality crossover that is great for camping or just grabbing weekly groceries. It has a distinct sophistication you can only get from BMW. But which X3 is the one for you?
Models, Designs, Trims, and Packages
If you've ever explored BMW's vehicles before, you'll know that options get complicated quickly. Each model of car confusingly has what BMW also terms as "models." These model options are, in effect, engine and drivetrain choices. For the 2019 BMW X3, the three options are the sDrive30i (rear-wheel drive), xDrive30i (all-wheel drive), and the M40i (all-wheel drive with larger engine).
The 2019 BMW X3 sDrive30i is the base model X3 offering. The starting MSRP is $41,000 and comes with a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline four-cylinder engine that’s capable of 248 horsepower. The sDrive30i is a rear-wheel drive vehicle.
The exterior has several features that you won’t find in less expensive models from other manufacturers. You get heated power-fold mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, LED fog lights, and roof rails. While these may seem like small additions, they upgrade the sDrive30i enough to make the price worth it. After all, who doesn’t want roof rails for extra cargo space?
On the inside, the sDrive30i goes from a rugged weekend warrior to pure comfort. The driver’s seats are power-adjustable and use SensaTec upholstery, which is BMW’s rebranded leatherette. Just for a little accent, the cabin is also surrounded with dark oak wood trim.
If you’re looking at the sDrive30i for long drives, you may be wondering about the entertainment system. Well, BMW didn’t slack. This trim comes with HD Radio, pre-wiring for SiriusXM, and a HiFi Sound System with 12 speakers and a 205-watt digital amplifier.
The xDrive30i starts at $43,000 and is a bit of a disappointment. Like previous years, the xDrive30i simply adds all-wheel drive to the X3, along with hill descent control. There are no additional features that make this model stand out from its sDrive counterpart. While adding all-wheel drive may be important to some, the $2,000 price hike is a little steep considering some other brands charge less for the same change.
The 2019 BMW X3 M40i is a big jump in price from the other two models at $54,650, but it’s worth every penny. Everything about this crossover improves from the previous models. The most noticeable change is the 3.0-liter BMW TwinPower inline six-cylinder engine that’s capable of 355 horsepower. Add to the fact that its all-wheel drive like the xDrive30i, it’s easy to say that the M40i is worth it.
But unlike the xDrive30i, that’s not the only improvement. The top-tier X3 comes with a ton of extra features to sway customers away from the lesser trims. The exterior gets Icon adaptive headlights with automatic high beams.
The interior also sees some major improvements, including four-way lumbar support for the front seats and a panoramic moonroof with fully automatic, two-piece glass panels. Drivers can access the power liftgate using the keyless entry, which has hands-free capabilities. The entertainment system comes completely decked out. You get a 12-speaker HiFi sound system with a 205-watt amplifier. The entertainment system also adds Bluetooth connectivity and USB ports.
Overall, these changes make the upgrade worth it, especially when drivers are considering whether they should purchase the xDrive30i or the M40i. If you’ve resolved to spring for something more than the base model at all, there’s hardly any competition between the second two trims.
Once you've settled on your engine and drivetrain combo, there are further "designs" from which to choose. These design options have cosmetic elements that apply to your vehicle's exterior. There is an xLine Design that is the base offering at no additional cost, the Luxury Design (an additional $2,050) that features chrome accents, and the M Sport Design (an additional $5,020) that features aggressive, sporting detailing. If buyers opted for the M40i engine/drivetrain offering back at the "model" level, the M Sport Design is then automatically included.
Once buyers have chosen their model and design option, they then have the option of three "tiers": Convenience, Premium, and Executive. Each successive tier option builds upon the former, meaning the Premium also includes the Convenience's features, and the Executive includes the Premium's features. The Convenience Tier (an additional $2,850) includes keyless entry, panoramic moonroof, and adaptive LED headlights.
The Premium Tier (an additional $6,250) has head-up display, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, and Apply CarPlay compatibility. Disappointingly, CarPlay comes standard on offerings from many other manufacturers. The third tier, Executive (an additional $9,750), includes active park distance control, surround view with 3D, parking assistant, and rear-view camera. Buyers choosing the M40i engine/drivetrain offering back at the "model" level have the Convenience Tier automatically included.
The final customization level is termed "packages," of which there are four options: Driving Assistance, Driving Assistance Plus, Dynamic Handling, and Parking Assistance. The Driving Assistance Package (an additional $500) includes blind spot detection, lane departure warnings, and rear cross-traffic alerts. The Driving Assistance Plus Package (an additional $1,700) comes with active cruise control with stop and go and radar-based autonomous braking on top of the previous package's features.
The Dynamic Handling Package (an additional $1,300) improves steering and the suspension with a dynamic damper control. The Parking Assistance Package (an additional $700) has surround view with 3D and active park distance control.
Buyers who chose the Executive Tier option at the previous "tier" level have the Parking Assistance Package included automatically. Additionally, Buyers who chose the M40i engine/drivetrain offering at the "model" level, have the Dynamic Handling Package included automatically. Regardless, you can easily see that all of these customizable options can quickly add up to an expensive total price. And BMW offers even more one-off individual options, as well!
(Featured image via Facebook.)