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BMW X3 xDrive20d (F25) – Frontansicht, 1. Mai 2011, Düsseldorf.jpg
2011 BMW X3 (F25)
Manufacturer BMW
Production 2003–present
Model years 2004–present
Body and chassis
Class Compact luxury crossover SUV
Body style 5-door SUV
Layout Front-engine, four-wheel-drive

The BMW X3 is an compact luxury crossover SUV [1] manufactured by German automaker BMW since 2003. Based on the BMW 3 Series platform, and now in its second generation, BMW markets the crossover as a Sports Activity Vehicle, the company's proprietary descriptor for its X-line of vehicles. The first generation X3 was designed by BMW in conjunction with Magna Steyr of Graz, Austria—who also manufactured all X3s under contract to BMW. BMW manufactures the second generation X3 at their Spartanburg plant in South Carolina, United States.

First Generation (2003–2010)[edit]

First generation (E83)
06-07 BMW X3.jpg
Production 2003–2010 (Germany)
2004–2012 (Egypt)
Model years 2004–2010
2004–2012 (Egypt)
Assembly Austria: Graz
Russia: Kaliningrad (Avtotor)
Egypt: 6th of October City (BAG)[2]
Main article: BMW X3 (E83)

As a precursor to the X3, BMW presented the xActivity concept vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show in 2003—based on the 3 Series platform and featuring a vestigial frame-structure convertible roof with reinforced, longitudinal rails connect the A-pillars to the rear of the car on both sides, eliminating B- or C-pillars and creating a distinct profile.

The X3 premiered in September 2003 at the Frankfurt Auto Show (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung), sharing its rear suspension with the E46 330xi and using an automatic four-wheel drive system marketed as xDrive. The system used an electronically controlled multiple-plate clutch to enable infinitely adjustable, fully variable distribution of torque from front to rear with the capability of up to 100 percent of engine torque going to either axle.

The X3 was conceived to combine the agility of a compact model with the driving experience of the company's X5. The X3 featured an upright, high H-point seating configuration, marketed as "command seating". Styling exhibited interacting concave and convex surfacing, characteristic for the company at the time along with a reinterpreted Hofmeister kink.

2006–2008 BMW X3 (E83) 2.5si, Australia

BMW upgraded the model in 2005 and facelifted the model in 2007, with revised body bumpers, engine, interior trim, and suspension.

The X3 3.0i won the Canadian Car of the Year Best Sports Utility Vehicle award for 2005. The X3 was initially criticised for its harsh ride, austere interior, lack of off-road capability and high price.[3]

Second Generation (2010–present)[edit]

Second generation (F25)
2011 BMW X3 (F25) xDrive28i wagon (2011-11-18) 01.jpg
Production 2010–present
Model years 2011–present
Assembly India: Chennai, Tamil Nadu
United States: Greer, South Carolina
Russia: Kaliningrad (Avtotor)
BMW X3 xDrive28i, Australia
Main article: BMW X3 (F25)

The F25 platform is the second generation of BMW X3 being released in 2010 for the 2011 model year. For this generation production will move from Austria to BMW's US factory in Greer, SC which currently produces the X5 and X6.[4]

The F25-based X3 is almost as large as the original X5 E53.[5]

For 2011, the F25 X3 is available in the US, only with a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder gasoline engine either normally aspirated or with a twin scroll turbocharger.

All US market vehicles come with an 8-speed automatic transmission. In other world markets various combinations of engines are offered including 2.0 and 3.0-litre diesel engines with either the eight-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission.

Third Generation (Pending for 2017)[edit]

Third Generation (Prototype)
Production Pending
Model years 2017-

Due to arrive in 2017, the next generation BMW X3 will sport a new design created by BMW’s Australian designer, Calvin Luk.[6]

The new version is codenamed G01 and is currently in testing as a prototype. The new X3 crossover will adopt a plug-in hybrid technology, and will be made available in two efficient 2.0 litre diesel units known as B47, a next generation 3.0 diesel engine (B57) and a petrol variant (B58).[7]

X3 Cross Country[edit]

X3 CC in the 2007 Dakar Rally

The X3 Cross Country, also known as the X3 CC is an X3 prepared for rally raid competition.[8][9] It features a 2.9 litre inline-6 (debore and destroked M57TU2D30 engine from 3.0 litre to 2.9 litre), twin turbocharged diesel engine.[10]

Awards and Recognition[edit]

In 2009, the BMW X3 Drive20d was voted for the best ownership experience and awarded the Best Compact SUV at the Wheels Gold Star Car Awards.[11]

Production and sales[edit]

In 2005 BMW sold 20 percent more X3s than in 2004, making sales of 110,700 vehicles. On 18 June 2008, the 500,000th X3 was produced in Graz.

Calendar year Total production US sales
2004 92,248[12] 34,604
2005 110,719[12] 30,769[13]
2006 114,000[12] 31,291
2007 111,879[14] 28,058[15]
2008 84,440[16] 17,622
2009 55,634[17] 6,067[18]
2010 46,004[19] 6,075[20]
2011 117,944 27,793[21]
2012 149,853 35,173[22]
2013 157,303 30,623
2014 33,824[23]

For 2015, the X3 receives a mid-generational refresh which includes the introduction of a diesel model, as well as updated headlights and rear bumper. Motor Trend had posted up photos of the refreshed model online at


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Bavarian Auto Group". 2010-04-09. Archived from the original on 14 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Next X3 to be Built in USA plus Ongoing Plans for Magna and BMW". Retrieved 2010-04-02. 
  5. ^ Bettencourt, Michael (2010-10-29). "BMW's refreshed X3 is smooth and sleek". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 
  6. ^ "BMW X3 for the locals -". Retrieved 2015-07-17. 
  7. ^ "The next BMW X3 spied: full scoop on 2017’s G01 SUV". Retrieved 2015-07-17. 
  8. ^ "PWRC: Al-Attiyah wins Baja Espana | WRC News | Jul 2008". Crash.Net. 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2010-04-02. 
  9. ^ "The BMW Knowledge Base - Three X-raid BMW X3 CC for the Dakar 2006". BMW Heaven. 2005-11-03. Retrieved 2011-04-18. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "BMW Group Dominates 2009 Wheels Gold Star Car Awards". 
  12. ^ a b c
  13. ^ "BMW Group Reports 2006 - Strongest Year Ever". 2010-09-13. Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  14. ^ "Annual Report 2007". BMW Group. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  15. ^ "BMW Group U.S. Division Reports December Sales". Reuters. 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  16. ^ "Annual Report 2008". BMW Group. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  17. ^ "Annual Report 2009". BMW Group. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  18. ^ "BMWUSA sales up 9% in December 2009". 2010-01-29. Retrieved 2010-10-03. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "BMW Group U.S. Reports December 2010 Sales - WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., Jan. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/". New Jersey: Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  21. ^ "BMW Group Achieves Second Best Sales Year Ever in the U.S. - WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., Jan. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/". New Jersey: Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  22. ^
  23. ^

External links[edit]