BMW X3 Years To Avoid | 15 Best & Worst Years 2023

Source: Automobile Reviews

A lot of progress has been made since the release of the original BMW X3 models. The BMW X3 has become celebrated as the “luxury SUV,” which is remarkable considering it goes up against powerful rivals like the Porsche Macan and the Audi Q5.

Even though BMW is a prestigious automaker, not all BMW models, including the X3, are reliable. In today’s vehicle comparison, we’ll look at the worst BMW X3 years to avoid and the best years to buy.

BMW X3 years to avoid include 2007, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2019, and 2020; they are considered the worst. The best years for BMW X3 include 2005, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2021-2023. This result was concluded from trustworthy sources such as NHTSA, Edmund, JD Power, and Kelley Blue Book.

Here Are The BMW X3 Years To Avoid

Below you’ll find seven model years of the BMW X3, which are better avoided due to reliability and safety issues. The majority of customer dissatisfaction occurs with the second-generation model years.

7. Worst Year: 2018 BMW X3 (3.99 Rating)

Source: fenyci

As the initial model year of the third generation, 2018 was also one of the problematic years for the X3 in the eyes of the NHTSA.

The NHTSA frequently receives reports from car owners about problems with the vehicle’s electrical system, inadequate vehicle structure, brakes, and powertrain. There were nine recalls for the X3 in 2018 due to problems in these categories.

Although the 2018 X3 boasts many features, its expected reliability is low. This model received Consumer Reports’ lowest possible rating, making it an unreliable luxury vehicle to own.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

6. Worst Year: 2019 BMW X3 (3.97 Rating)

Source: Car and Drive

The third iteration of the X3 series is the best one yet. Since the 2019 X3 has minimal problems, we hesitate to mention it. However, Consumer Reports gives it a low rating for reliability.

The 2019 X3 has a variety of unexpected issues. Many customers have expressed displeasure with the car’s integrated electronics, including the Apple CarPlay feature’s unreliable pairing.

Some drivers also complained that the car’s software updates intensified rather than resolved these issues. X3 owners have also reported that the trunk opens independently, even while parked and locked.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

5. Worst Year: 2015 BMW X3 (3.93 Rating)

Source: autoevolution

BMW fixed a few issues with the X3. To be honest, the 2015 X3 has a number of problems of its own. Consumer Reports ranks the 2015 BMW X3 as one of the least reliable vehicles in its class, giving it a Reliability score of just 1 out of 5.

According to NHTSA reports, the 2015 X3 had significant engine issues. Several reports came in from drivers who said their vehicle’s engine and coolant warning lights had lighted and stayed on.

This was frequently followed by various engine problems, including stalling and smoke from the car.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

4. Worst Year: 2020 BMW X3 (3.78 Rating)

Source: Car and Drive

Thirteen recalls and 36 customer complaints have been filed against the 2020 BMW X3. As you can see from the number of complaints, this is also one year of BMW X3 to avoid altogether.

The driver assistance system, battery system, steering system, and front axle bearings are the subjects of the complaints. NHTSA records show seven separate recalls related to electrical system defects and six recalls related to powertrain defects.

There are a lot of customers having adventures, but they’re not the good sort. Instead of driving, the owners are stuck at the auto shop waiting for repairs to the car’s steering, frame, and wiring.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

3. Worst Year: 2010 BMW X3 (3.77 Rating)

Source: bestcars

Another BMW X3 model year not recommended for used-car purchases is 2010. The engine seems to be the main problem with this model. With a six-cylinder diesel engine, a defect can develop, making it difficult to start the engine in cold conditions and causing the idle speed to fluctuate when the engine is first started.

The 2010 X3 also has issues with its transmission. Several accounts mentioned problems with the airbags or seatbelts, which are more common on longer trips.

The Vanos variable cam sensor and the engine cooling are the most frequently reported problems. In addition, users also faced jerking while stopping the car. Another weak point of the 2010 BMW X3 is its higher price tag, which is significantly higher than most of its same-class competitors.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

2. Worst Year: 2013 BMW X3 (3.68 Rating)

Source: Motor Beam

BMW X3 2013 is widely considered one of the worst models year to avoid. Car Complaints claims that the 2013 X3 is the least reliable and worst model year available for the X3.

There are numerous costly issues with the 2013 X3, as evidenced by 198 complaints to the NHTSA. The damaged timing chain guide is perhaps the most noticeable problem with this model.

The guides for X3 timing chains are made of plastic, whereas the chains are made of metal. Plastic guides are easily damaged, which can create timing issues in the engine.

Some X3 drivers have complained that the vehicle suddenly stalled or the engine cut out. Repairing the timing chain bracket is, thankfully, a low-cost option.

Related: 24 Best & Worst BMW X5 Years | 2023 Data

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

1. Worst Year: 2007 BMW X3 (3.43 Rating)

Source: The ultimate car guide

If there’s one BMW X3 model you should avoid, then it is the 2007 model. Oil leaks, coolant loss, and engine mount bolt failure are just a few of the significant problems that make this model unattractive to consumers. reports that oil leaks and engine mount bolt failure are the primary problems with the 2007 X3. The X3’s engine is more prone to leaks than any other BMW. Valve cover gaskets that have cracked or worn out could be to blame for this problem.

Vehicles with many miles on them (like a 2007 X3) are more likely to develop oil leaks as they age. The 2007 X3 also has a common problem with leaking coolant. Overheating and coolant leaking into the floor are common complaints for X3 2007 owners.

The radiator and the coolant expansion tank are probably to blame. Due to these severe problems, 2007 is considered the worst production year for the BMW X3.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

Best BMW X3 Years To Buy As Used

Never go car shopping without first checking the vehicle’s reliability record. We’ve completed this step for you. Some of the best BMW X3 years to buy are shown below.

8. Best Year: 2021 BMW X3 (4.03 Rating)

Source: Car and Drive

The 2021 BMW X3 has consistently received excellent reliability ratings. J.D. Power made this model as the third-best Compact Premium SUV of the year. This SUV also received a 4/5 reliability rating from Consumer Reports.

This model is widely praised for its two powerful available engines, the car’s interior is roomy, and a plethora of standard and extra equipment available for customization. There were a few complaints regarding the tailgate opening on its own and the overall quality of construction, but nothing particularly noteworthy.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

7. Best Year: 2005 BMW X3 (4.08 Rating)

Source: bmw-bmwsport

The 2005 model year is a wonderful spot to begin your search for a used old X3. Despite its age, the vehicle shifts smoothly and drives beautifully. Most of the issues with this model are related to its outside components, such as its accessories and windows/windshields.

Overall, This vehicle is exemplary in every respect, with powerful engines, responsive handling, pinpoint steering, a roomy interior, and sturdy construction.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

6. Best Year: 2014 BMW X3 (4.12 Rating)

Source: Carsguide

The 2014 BMW X3 is unique among small and medium-sized luxury crossover SUVs. The 2014 X3 stands out from the competition in this segment because of its excellent driving characteristics, roomy and luxurious cabin, and respectable fuel economy figures.

Compared to the 2013 X3, this is a much better option due to its reduced likelihood of mechanical failure. Owners and reviewers alike have praised this model year’s spacious backseat and ample load area.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

5. Best Year: 2017 BMW X3 (4.14 Rating)

Source: car-revs-daily

If you’re shopping for a used X3, the 2017 model year is one of the most reliable choices. Compared to previous-generation models, the 2017 X3 distinguishes out due to its high predicted reliability ratings. Consumer Reports gave it a 4 out of 5 for reliability.

The engine automatically shuts off when idling in the 2017 model year due to a stop/start system that comes standard. Pressing the gas pedal will cause it to start again.

The 2017 BMW X3 is one of the safest vehicles on the road, having received five out of five stars in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s front and side-impact tests.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it a perfect five-star rating for the front, rollover, side, and rear impact protection.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

4. Best Year: 2012 BMW X3 (4.16 Rating)

Source: bmwwallpaperwidescreen

The 2012 X3 is a great option if you’re searching for a little older model. Despite being noticeably less problematic, this model year continued much like its immediate predecessor.

The comprehensive list of standard safety features for this model includes hill descent control, stability control, antilock disc brakes, and automatic brake drying.

The 2012 X3 achieved the highest possible ” Good ” grade in the frontal offset, side, and roof strength tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

3. Best Year: 2016 BMW X3 (4.21 Rating)

Source: bmwblog

The 2016 BMW X3 maintains a competitive pace in the crossover market thanks to its impressive blend of style, utility, and safety, extensive technological features, engaging driving dynamics, and respectable gas mileage.

The market life of the second-generation BMW X3 wasn’t exactly smooth. The 2016 BMW X3 is one of the most dependable second-generation versions. It’s an excellent option for families with all their daily requirements.

It’s very identical to the 2015 version, however, it scored higher on reliability tests. Even Consumer Reports agrees, awarding it a solid 4 stars for dependability.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

2. Best Year: 2022 BMW X3 (4.40 Rating)

Source: AZH-Cars

The most recent models, like 2022, are widely considered to be the best because they feature the most advanced technologies and safety features.

Several exterior components of the 2022 X3 were updated: the grille, the headlights, the taillights, the bumpers, the wheels, and the exhaust tips. BMW initially only offered an option for a 12.3-inch touchscreen from the original 10.3-inch display.

The level of interaction between the vehicle and the driver is lauded in this model.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

1. Best Year: 2023 BMW X3 (4.53 Rating)

Source: Car and Drive

This BMW X3 has received minimum recalls and complaints and a high-reliability score. It’s a fantastic option, and for some buyers, it might even be the best BMW available. The 2023 X3 comes in at number two on J.D. Power’s list of Compact Premium SUVs because of its excellent turbo power, user-friendly technology, and roomy cabin.

2023 BMW also got the tenth position at the Best Luxury Compact SUVs from Kelley Blue Book. In 2023, the X3 will be updated once again to include keyless entry as standard equipment.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

Common BMW X3 Problems

1. Oil Leakage:

BMW X3 owners have voiced their frustration over oil leaks from the vehicle’s engine. BMW engines contain a number of plastic parts that are prone to cracking and leaking. Above 80k miles, this becomes prevalent in X3s.

2. Problems with the Windows and the Regulator

A broken window regulator makes it impossible to open or close the window. Repair costs may run you several hundred dollars.

Door and window rattles are almost as common as sunroof rattles. This noise is typically not caused by the windows themselves but by the door seals.

3. Sunroof Leakage and Rattling

The original generation X3 had a severe problem with sunroof leaks and rattles. The sunroof reportedly makes an annoying noise whenever it is opened.

4. Timing Chain Guide Failure

The X3’s timing chain comprises a metal, while the timing chain guide is plastic. The X3’s plastic guides wear very quickly and need replacing. An inoperable engine could be the result of a damaged timing chain guide.

5. Overheating and Coolant Leaks in the Engine

The cooling system may be at fault if your X3 regularly becomes too hot to touch. The coolant may potentially leak onto your garage floor.

The most common trouble spots are the X3’s radiator and coolant expansion tank. A broken thermostat or housing could cause this.


1. Is BMW X3 A Good Car?

The BMW X3 is a high-quality SUV that has made many people happy with its convenient amenities. It is generally a good car to buy. This vehicle’s strength derives from its agile handling, attractive exterior, roomy cabin, and potent engine.

Also, you may expect to save money on petrol because they get a more incredible mileage per gallon than its competitors.

2. Why Are BMW X3 Cheap?

High maintenance expenses, an oversaturated market, low resale value, and price competition from brand-new BMWs are all the primary reasons why the BMW X3 is cheap.

3. Is BMW X3 Expensive To Maintain?

The average cost of repairs and maintenance for a BMW X3 is $318 annually, which is modest compared to other luxury SUVs.

Used BMW X3 shoppers are advised by the experts to look for models with 50,000 miles or less, as these models are more likely to be still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, keeping repair and maintenance costs down.

In case you’re wondering how long BMW lasts, you can check this out.


Regarding compact luxury SUVs, the BMW X3 is an increasingly popular and reliable choice. However, some years aren’t ideal purchases due to widespread issues. Avoiding specific years like 2007, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2019, and 2020 is better if you’re looking to buy a BMW X3.

The BMW X3 has been steadily improving in reliability over the past few years, and the 2023 model has been widely praised for its impressive safety ratings.

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