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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2012 BMW X3. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Improved ride comfort
  • Dynamics
  • Stout power from base engine
  • Visibility
  • Gas mileage

The Bad

  • Off-the-line hesitation
  • Kickdown lag
  • Stops can be jerky
  • Inconsistent materials quality
  • Quality of optional leather
  • Limited backseat thigh support

Notable Features of the 2012 BMW X3

  • M Sport Package
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Choice of six-cylinder engines
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Optional panoramic moonroof

2012 BMW X3 Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview

The X3, a compact luxury crossover, was redesigned for 2011 for the first time since its 2004 introduction. With a slightly larger size, a new eight-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive, the five-seater combines BMW's signature driving prowess with the utility of a crossover. With numerous additions came one major deletion: A manual transmission is no longer offered. The X3 competes with luxury crossovers like the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, Cadillac SRX and Infiniti EX35.


New for 2012
An M Sport Package includes body-colored bumpers and side skirts, specific wheels and a sport-tuned suspension. BMW Applications, which allows a variety of iPhone apps to run through the iDrive system, is a $250 option.

Exterior
The X3's sculpted hood reflects BMW's design direction. Compared with the previous generation, the wheelbase is longer and it rides higher. It is also longer and wider than the previous version. Exterior features include:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Available 18- or 19-inch wheels
  • Available panoramic moonroof
  • Optional power liftgate
  • Optional headlight washers


Interior
Cabin space increased with the redesign, especially in leg- and elbowroom. The standard 60/40-split backseat can be folded down to expand the cargo volume. As an option, buyers can choose a 40/20/40-split backseat that allows any segment to be folded independently for maximum flexibility. Interior features include:

  • Standard automatic climate control
  • Tilt/telescoping ...
Vehicle Overview

The X3, a compact luxury crossover, was redesigned for 2011 for the first time since its 2004 introduction. With a slightly larger size, a new eight-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive, the five-seater combines BMW's signature driving prowess with the utility of a crossover. With numerous additions came one major deletion: A manual transmission is no longer offered. The X3 competes with luxury crossovers like the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, Cadillac SRX and Infiniti EX35.


New for 2012
An M Sport Package includes body-colored bumpers and side skirts, specific wheels and a sport-tuned suspension. BMW Applications, which allows a variety of iPhone apps to run through the iDrive system, is a $250 option.

Exterior
The X3's sculpted hood reflects BMW's design direction. Compared with the previous generation, the wheelbase is longer and it rides higher. It is also longer and wider than the previous version. Exterior features include:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Available 18- or 19-inch wheels
  • Available panoramic moonroof
  • Optional power liftgate
  • Optional headlight washers


Interior
Cabin space increased with the redesign, especially in leg- and elbowroom. The standard 60/40-split backseat can be folded down to expand the cargo volume. As an option, buyers can choose a 40/20/40-split backseat that allows any segment to be folded independently for maximum flexibility. Interior features include:

  • Standard automatic climate control
  • Tilt/telescoping steering wheel
  • Optional heated steering wheel and heated seats
  • USB adapter
  • Standard 12-speaker stereo
  • Leather upholstery optional


Under the Hood
Two engines are offered in the X3: a 240-horsepower, 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder in the xDrive28i trim level and a 300-hp, turbocharged inline-six in the xDrive35i. BMW estimates zero-to-60-mph times are 6.7 seconds and 5.5 seconds, respectively.

The standard xDrive all-wheel-drive system sends 60 percent of the torque to the rear wheels for a balanced, rear-wheel-drive feel. It can also shift as much as 100 percent to the rear automatically under certain conditions. Mechanical features include:

  • Eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control
  • Optional adaptive suspension


Safety
Standard safety features include:

  • Side-impact airbags for the front seats
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Electronic stability system
  • Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes
  • Traction control

Latest 2012 X3 Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.5)
Interior Design
(4.8)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Excellent car for all needs!!!

by Prker19 from Virginia Beach, Virginia on August 27, 2018

This particular model has just enough room to fit people and their things without feeling too bulky. I like how the comfortable all of the seats are as well as the features in it. Of course, most ... Read full review

(5.0)

depreciation at its best

by NemGuitar from Indianapolis on July 24, 2018

We bought a 2012 X3 28i with the 3.0 N/A N52 engine and 8-speed ZF auto. These cars are incredible. The active roll-bar will leave you wondering how a 4,000-lbs car can turn so flat!!? Power is ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2012 BMW X3 currently has 2 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2012 BMW X3 xDrive28i

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by BMW

Program Benefits

Comprehensive inspection by BMW technician, 24/7 Roadside Assistance, BMW Assist. Exceptional vehicles with exceptional coverage

  • Limited Warranty

    Unlimited Miles for 1-Year

    BMW Certified Pre-Owned: Covers you for unlimited miles for 1-year, after the expiration o f the 4-year / 50,000 mile New Vehicle/SAV Limited Warranty for a total of 5 years with unlimited miles. This includes up to 5 years and unlimited miles of BMW Roadside Assistance and BMW Assist (TM) on many late model BMW vehicles. Additional plans are available to extend your vehicle's coverage for up to a total of 6 years with unlimited miles. See your BMW Center for details.
  • Eligibility

    Under 5 years / 60,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a Comprehensive inspection.

    See inspection details.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The X3 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker