The 2021 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 2021 BMW X3, the five options are the sDrive30i (rear-wheel drive), the xDrive30i (all-wheel drive), xDrive30e hybrid model, the M40i (all-wheel drive with larger engine) and X3 M.
The 2021 BMW X3 sDrive30i is the base model X3 offering. The starting MSRP is $43,000 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? Blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning are new standards for the X3 base trim.
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 $45,000 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.
if you are looking for a more environmentally conscious and economical solution to your gas problems, the xDrive30e is the hybrid model that's just for you. The plug-in hybrid system generates a whopping 288 horsepower. It also has a digital gauge cluster and Android Auto capability. All other features from the xDrive30i carry over to this trim. This trim starts at $49,600.
The 2021 BMW X3 M40i is a big jump in price from the other two models at $56,600, 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 382 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.
The X3 M is a high-performance SUV that will cost you $69,900. It boasts a 473-horsepower 3.0-liter BMW M TwinPower Turbo engine and an 8-speed M Sport Automatic transmission with multiple drive modes. On top of this, there is M Sport adaptive suspension and differential, and 20-inch wheels. Some convenience and comfort features include proximity keyless entry, a hands-free power liftgate and heated front seats. As for entertainment, the Harman Kardon Surround Sound Audio System with 600-watt amplifier and 16 speakers sounds absolutely incredible.
Once buyers have chosen their trim, they then have some optional items they can add individually. Convenience options include a panoramic moonroof ($1350), front ventilated seats ($350), heated steering wheel ($190) and M Sport Seats ($950). The M Carbon Exterior Package ($3,550) adds a carbon spoiler and other carbon details for reduced vehicle weight.
The Performance options include a mobility kit at no additional cost with the X3 M and an M Driver's Package that raises the top speed of your vehicle for an extra $2,500.
There are six optional packages available with the base trim: Convenience, Premium, Executive, Dynamic Handling, Shadowline and Parking Assistance. The Convenience package adds keyless entry, lumbar support and a panoramic roof. The Premium tier package adds heated front seats, a heads-up display and navigation, along with everything included in the Convenience tier. The Executive tier package offers Oyster Vernasca leather, parking assist features, and ambient lighting and much more.
The Dynamic Handling Package ($1,400) 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. The Shadowline package ($300) adds some sporty looking black trim to your vehicle. You can ask about these options at your local dealership for more information.
(Featured image via BMW Press Club USA)