Used BMW X3 2018 - present review

Category: Large SUV

Section: Advice for buyers

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BMW X3
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Advice for buyers

What should I look for in a used BMW X3 4x4?

Make sure you check the alloy wheels for kerb damage, particularly on M Sport cars with larger wheels that are more susceptible to striking something. Parking sensors are standard on the X3, so parking dents and scratches shouldn’t be a major issue. Even so, make sure there are no poor-quality paint repairs to the bumpers and bodywork, because these could void the corrosion warranty if they weren’t carried out to the manufacturer's specification.

Some owners have reported the reversing camera being stolen. The response from BMW was that “The position of the reversing camera on a BMW is no more susceptible to theft than comparable cars of other brands,” the firm said. “The camera is also discreetly positioned and out of regular sight.” 

Replacing the camera can cost around £1000, but you can opt instead to go without and have a plastic cover installed instead for £133.

The interior is filled with lots of high-quality materials, but since these types of cars tend to be used by families, you should make sure there are no stains on the boot carpet or in the footwells – particularly on X3s with a light interior colour.

BMW X3 2021 boot open

What are the most common problems with a used BMW X3 4x4?

Rear spoiler

Some X3s built between 5 April 2018 and 14 January 2019 could have a problem with the rear spoiler coming loose. Find out from a BMW dealer if your car is affected because it'll need to be inspected and potentially have the fixing screws replaced.

Swivel bearings

A manufacturing flaw with the swivel bearings on the front suspension could lead to fractures in the part over time. This affects vehicles made between 4-7 September 2019, and you can find out if your car is affected by contacting your BMW dealer.

Rear brake calipers

The rear brake calipers on some X3s built between 16 April and 8 June 2018 might not have been made to the correct specification, and this could result in reduced braking performance. You may also notice a soft brake pedal. Check with a local BMW dealer to find out if your car is affected. 

Steering column

A screw in one of the connections at the bottom of the steering column may not have been tightened correctly at the factory on vehicles manufactured between 11 April and 2 August 2018. If your X3 was built between those dates, it'll need to be inspected by a technician at a BMW workshop.

Front seat belt buckles

The cable for the electrical connection in the front seat belt buckles has been found to be too short in some examples built between 15 January and 14 February 2020, and this could compromise safety. If this recall applies to your X3, it'll need to be inspected at a BMW dealership and be replaced if found to be faulty.

Is a used BMW X3 4x4 reliable?

The latest BMW X3 hasn't score as highly as its predecessor when it comes to reliability; it finished 16th in the Large SUV category of the latest What Car? Reliability Survey. As a brand, though, BMW has been improving; it shared ninth place (out of 31 manufacturers) with Mazda. That placed it ahead of rivals such as Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar, Volvo and Land Rover.

If you would like to see the full reliability list for small cars, head to the What Car? Reliability Survey pages for more information.

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