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How Many Miles Can A BMW X3 Last? (+Reliability Scores)

How many miles can a BMX X3 last? When you’re in the market for a new or second-hand X3, that’s a very reasonable question to ask. After all, you’re probably looking to get the most bang for your buck. In this blog, we’ll look at the most popular models but first, let’s start with a quick answer:

On average, a BMW X3 lasts between 170.000 – 190.000 miles. An X3 needs to go to the garage for unscheduled repairs about 0.84 times per year, with a 14% chance of severe problems. Furthermore, BMW X3 owners spend an average of $1,034 per year on repair costs.

Having said that, we’re certainly not done. Below, we’ll explain in more detail how many miles a BMW X3 can last. After that, we’ll also show you how much an X3 costs annually and which production years are the most and least expensive. Furthermore, we also discuss the common problems that the car can have. Read on!

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Also read: How Many Miles Can A BMW Last? (17 Models Analyzed)

How Many Miles Can A BMW X3 Last?

To know this, we had to do some research. First, we went to autotrader.com and searched how many BMW X3s were on sale in the US. In total, we found 6.192 X3s. Then, we divided these X3s into groups based on the miles they had driven.

In doing so, we get a first understanding of how many vehicles have passed the 150,000 miles mark. In the case of the X3, we learned that 2.75% of the sample size, or 170 individual cars, had a mileage of 150,000 or higher. This is a below-average number, given that, after analyzing more than 100+ models on this blog, we expect a percentage between 3 – 5%. The X3 ends up below this range.

Amount Of MilesPercentage Of Cars
Cars With 150.000+2.75%
Cars With 100.000 – 149.0006.25%
Cars With 45.000 – 99.99922.51%
Cars With 0 – 44.99968.49%

However, this number merely gives us an initial understanding of the reliability of the X3. It’s also essential to compare the X3 to other vehicles to see how reliable it is and how many miles you can expect.

Also read: How Well Does A BMW X3 Drive In The Snow?

How Reliable Is A BMW X3 Compared To Its Competitors?

Let’s see how the BMW X3 competes with its rivals. The results are a mixed bag for the X3. As we can see, we expect the X3 to last around 180.000 miles, and the highest mileage X3 we found had 200.000 on the odometer. However, compared to its competitors, these results are average.

The Audi Q5, Acura RDX, and Lexus RX350 have higher expected mileage. Especially the RX350 outperforms the competition. On the other hand, the Porsche Macan is the worst model you can buy in terms of reliability compared to its competitors.

ModelSample SizeExpected MileageHighest Mileage
BMW X36.192180.000200.000
Porsche Macan2.237150.000160.000
Audi Q54.620190.000220.000
Acura RDX10.190210.000250.000
Lexus RX3504.658215.000275.000


All of this data seems to suggest that an X3 is quite reliable for a luxury SUV but that there are better models on the market. Let’s dive into this further and compare the X3 to other BMWs.

Did you know that the BMW X3 is our top pick for first-time car owners that want a BMW SUV? Check out the article here: Are BMWs Good First Cars And Which Is Best? (Explained)

How Reliable Is A BMW X3 Compared To Other BMWs?

After discussing the BMW X3’s performance in terms of reliability when compared to its competitors, it’s also necessary to look up its reliability when compared to other BMW models, as this will give a clearer understanding of the car’s potential and also give us an insight into the quality standards of BMW.

So, to do this, we researched the other BMWs and compared them with the X3. The following explains the potential mileage of several different BMW models.

We see here that BMW, as a brand, is a mixed bag in terms of reliability. They have models that we can consider to be reliable (the 5-series and 3-series are the most notable examples of this), whereas other models are terrible (2-series, X4, 8-series, etcetera). The X3 ends up in the higher regions of the chart, suggesting it’s more reliable than the brand average.

Do you want to know more about how this car compares to other cars regarding the expected miles it can last? Read more about that in this article: How Many Miles Can A Car Last? (156 Models Analyzed!)

How Much Does Maintenance Cost Per Year?

So, after these results, we are intrigued to look deeper into the reliability of the X3; Of course, you would want to know how much it costs you to own. A BMW X3 will cost $1050 annually. In the table below, we’ve compiled data from Repairpal and Caredge.com.

Here’s a list of model years of BMW with the average annual maintenance cost. We see that the X3 certainly isn’t a cheap model to maintain. However, this is expected from a luxury SUV, and comparable brands such as Audi and Mercedes will have similar maintenance costs for similar cars.

Model YearMaintenance Cost Per Year
2009$985
2010$951
2011$1049
2012$1011
2013$1125
2014$1032
2015$1070
2016$1004
2017$879
2018$850
2019$680
2020$574

Also read: The Complete Cost Of Maintaining A BMW

Owners’ Reviews Of The X3s Reliability

Besides knowing all the data, it’s, of course, also essential to see how owners experience the X3. For this, we went to Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and Truecar.com. All three platforms have gathered hundreds of reviews from actual car owners. We summarized our findings in the image below.

bmw x3 reliability ratings on kelley blue book, edmunds and truecar.com

In the image above, we displayed the average ratings for the third generation of the BMW X3. We found that, in general, owners across all platforms are relatively happy with their purchases. However, we did see that owners of the 2020 model year were less happy, given that this model has had several recalls or significant problems (more on that in a moment).

Overall, the sentiment regarding the third generation of the BMW X3 is described as follows:

It’s not the flashiest, fastest or sportiest car I have had but overall considering its utility, its handling, its gas mileage and its comfort, It IS the best.

Source

If you want a quick rundown of the differences between the second and third generations, watch the video below. Furthermore, we’ll discuss the problems of each generation below the video.

BMW X3 Common Problems

To ensure that you don’t get stuck with a BMW X3 full of problems, we have a list of common issues that you should be aware of. If you pay attention to these points while looking for your next ride, you will find a better one by excluding the problematic ones. If you want an extensive article on the common problems of a BMW X3, read this article, where we discuss 22 of these problems in detail.

NOTE: Before buying a used car, I always like to make sure the car isn’t having any problems that I should be aware of. The easiest way to do this is by buying an OBD2 scanner. These scanners can easily be plugged into any car you’re interested in, and they’ll give you a rundown of potential problems.

Personally, I like this one on Amazon because it has a lot more functions than basic OBD2 scanners. This particular one also runs tests on your emission system and tests if you’re fuel mix is optimal (or if your engine is misfiring), so you have a complete understanding of how the car’s performing.

Third-Generation (2017 – Present)

The third generation of the BMW X3 certainly isn’t without its flaws. This is not necessarily because of the number of complaints this car has received. Most model years of this generation end up with around 20 – 50 complaints which are reasonable for a luxury vehicle. However, we would advise you to stay away from the 2019 model year (55 complaints, 9 recalls) and the 2020 model year (22 complaints, 12 recalls) because the build-quality overall seems to be questionable. Reported problems include:

  • Loss of braking power
  • Loss of backup camera
  • Hybrid battery problems
  • The sunroof doesn’t function
  • Detaching rear spoiler
  • Non-illumination of the dashboard panel
  • Braking of front-axle swivel bearing and steering tie rods

Second-Generation (2010 – 2017)

Unlike the third generation of the BMW X3, the second generation did have some significant problems worth noting. What’s problematic with this generation is that many issues are related to the timing chain, EGR-cooler, certain parts of the engine, or loss of braking power. All these problems are costly, making this generation of the X3 quite troublesome if you end up with a problematic model. Reported problems include:

  • Timing and oil pan drive chain failure
  • Stuck or leaking sunroof
  • Coolant leaking into the EGR cooler
  • Loose camshaft housing bolts
  • Loss of braking power
  • High-pressure fuel pump failure

First-Generation (2004 – 2010)

The first generation, just like the second generation, was problematic and had severe problems. To be fair, recalls were issued for most of them, which means most of them should be solved by now. However, PVC valve heater problems (which caused some cars to go up in flames), engine problems (such as high oil consumption and oil leaks) as well as electrical issues did cause quite a few headaches for owners. Reported problems include:

  • PCV valve heater malfunctions
  • Oil leakage
  • N46 engine problems
  • Recurring electrical problems
  • VVT (or VANOS) system problems
  • Numerous recalls for safety features

Also read: The Types Of Gas A BMW X3 Uses (Explained)

Is a BMW X3 A Smart Buy?

Overall, our research shows that the BMW X3 is a reliable car compared to other BMWs, as well as its competition from other brands. However, in terms of mileage, some competitors have done a slightly better job keeping their SUVs on the road for longer.

The average maintenance costs for the X3 are on the higher end of the spectrum at $1050 per year. However, this is to be expected from a German luxury car, and if that’s what you’re looking for, other options like Audi and Mercedes won’t be much more affordable.

Furthermore, the X3 has already had three generations, and each of these generations has had its own problematic model years and ones that are much more reliable. Looking at the current market, we recommend a 2016 – 2019 model year. These models have depreciated quite a bit. However, they still have a lot of mileage left.

Furthermore, these model years have proven to be less problematic than the ones that came before them (no problems with the engine is the most significant point worth noting) as well as the ones that were produced from 2020 onwards (which have issues with the hybrid battery as well as other annoyances).

BMW X3 Maintenance Schedule

After going through your options, you can have a better feel for the X3 when you have an idea of the things that need maintenance regularly. The dealerships recommend changing the engine oil at 10,000 miles, but it should be changed before 7,000 miles to get the best performance and reliability.

On/Before 10,000 Miles

  • Engine oil replacement
  • Oil filter replacement
  • Gaskets inspection and replacement
  • Though lubrication of all the components that require it.
  • Electronics system check
  • Brake check
  • Air bag inspection

On/Before Every 20,000 Miles

  • Gaskets inspection and replacement
  • Lubrication of the required components
  • Brakes check, fluid check, pads check
  • Power steering check
  • Electronics check
  • Tire inspection/rotation.
  • Check for any oil leaks

On/Before Every 40,000 miles

  • Change the air filter
  • Airconditioning inspection
  • Electronics check
  • Battery check
  • Brakes check
  • Sunroof check
  • Thoroughly inspect for any oil leaks
  • See if there is any unusual rattle
  • Engine diagnosis.

On/Before Every 60,000 Mile

  • Replace the spark plugs
  • Replace the ignition coils and the connecting harness if necessary.
  • Timing chain inspection
  • Fluid levels check
  • Inspection for any rust
  • Software update if available.

Sources