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BMW X3 SUV - Reliability & safety

Despite showing its age in places, the X3 has top-notch safety credentials, while BMW reliability impresses, too

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Reliability & safety Rating

4.0 out of 5

BMW is among the frontrunners in the field of driver assistance systems, but a lot of the most advanced technology in the X3's arsenal is only available as an optional extra. It's a shame, given the considerable price of the car, but crash safety impresses thanks to the design and strength of the X3's BMW 5 Series-based structure.

BMW X3 reliability

BMW finished in 16th position in our 2022 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey – a significant improvement on the previous year, and ahead of arch rivals Audi (22nd) and Mercedes (23rd). The X3 came a disappointing 71st out of the top 75 cars in our survey, though some of that will undoubtedly be down to the car’s age versus newer models in our rundown. Owners gave middling scores for infotainment and connectivity (a long-held BMW strong point), as well as in the space and practicality, and engine and gearbox categories. The X3 suffered when it came to fuel economy, as well as – perhaps surprisingly – its ride and handling score. 

Safety

The X3 achieved a full five-star rating when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP in late 2017. The car scored well across the board, including a 93% score in the adult occupant category and 84% for child occupant protection.

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Under the collective tag of 'BMW Personal CoPilot', semi-autonomous crash-avoidance and mitigation technology such as autonomous emergency braking is either standard or optional, but it's a little disappointing to find that lane-departure assistance and active cruise control are only available at extra cost. You can also add wrong-way warning that recognises one-way streets and can warn the driver of traffic that's about to cross your path.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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