BMW X3 vs X5: Which Is Better?

Compare BMW X3 vs X5 – The BMW X3 and BMW X5 were the first SUVs produced by BMW, and they came out in 1999. By the year 2018, the BMW X5 will be BMW’s most popular SUV in the United States.

However, in 2021, the X3 beat out the X5 to become BMW’s best-selling SUV in North America, eclipsing the X5 and other 3 series.

The BMW X3 is a smaller luxury crossover SUV than the BMW X5, which is a midsize luxury crossover SUV. Let’s take a closer look at what distinguishes the two models while keeping the main point in mind.


2021 bmw x3
  • Muscular engine options
  • Poised ride and handling
  • Easy-to-use infotainment system
  • Roomy seating and cargo space
  • Higher starting price than many rivals

The 2021 BMW X3 will surprise with its fun-to-drive nature, a hallmark of the brand’s sports sedans over the years, despite being an SUV.

The gutsy turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six in the sportiest M40i variant, which helped it earn an Editors’ Choice award, is but one of three powertrain options available.

While rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz GLC-class and Volvo XC60 provide a somewhat more spacious interior design, X3 passengers are provided with a nicely trimmed cabin with plenty of room for adults in both the front and rear seats.

The 2022 BMW X3 is a well-connected vehicle thanks to a number of tech amenities, and it has enough boot space for all types of cargo, groceries, home-improvement items, and anything else an SUV is capable of carrying.


2021 bmw x3
  • Strong engines
  • Balanced ride
  • Lengthy features list
  • Expansive cabin
  • High starting price

The 2021 BMW X5 is at its best in our opinion when it effortlessly combines on-road driving enjoyment with current technology and a posh cabin.

The BMW X5 has athletic road manners, thanks to three different powertrains: a plug-in hybrid model, a high-performance twin-turbo V-8, and an exceptional.

The interior offers occupants high-quality materials, comfy seats, and a plethora of convenience and luxury features. Its design is appealing without being overbearing.

The 2021 BMW X5 faces stiffer competition from the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, and Mercedes-Benz GLE-class, but it received an Editors’ Choice award for its richly equipped package that is well-equipped for the job.

Read also: Compare Lincoln Corsair vs Nautilus

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

bmw x3 vs x5 engine specs


The BMW X3 has a standard configuration and is powered by a 248-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The all-wheel-drive xDrive30i and rear-wheel-drive sDrive30i provide enough power to handle almost any traffic scenario, but they’re hardly encouraging.

We haven’t tested the sDrive30i variant, nor have we tested the xDrive30e plug-in hybrid, on our test track, the xDrive 30i reached 60 mph in 6.2 seconds.

In our testing, both the Porsche Macan S and Audi Q5 are faster than the BMW X3. The X3 M40i is a more satisfying option for those looking for a performance-oriented crossover.

It out accelerates all but the most powerful version of the Macan Turbo and Mercedes-AMG GLC43 with a zero to 60 mph time of 382 horsepower, thanks to its 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine’s turbocharged power.

Soon, the range will be expanded with a plug-in hybrid model capable of 31 miles of electric driving. The BMW 730Li, while not as quick as the BMW X3, feels more capable than some of BMW’s current sedans, it’s a joy to drive and loves to arc around bends better than anticipated.

The ride is nicely balanced, with just enough stiffness to give you an exciting feel without creating a harsh ride over choppy road surfaces. On our test vehicle, which we enthusiastically recommend, the adaptive suspension was available.

Comfort, Sport, and Eco Pro driving modes are available on the xDrive30i, and they’re all known as Dynamic Damper Control. With an adaptive M suspension, the M40i’s chassis is reduced by 0.4 inches.


For 2021, a trio of powertrain choices is offered, each paired with an X5 variant. The X5s with the sDrive40i or xDrive40i badges are powered by a 335-hp turbocharged inline-six.

The xDrive45e plug-in hybrid has a turbocharged inline-six engine with an electric motor, delivering 389 horsepower combined.

The M50i’s 523-hp twin-turbo V-8, in addition to the 40i, was tested on our test track and achieved a quick 4.8-second run.

All three powertrains come equipped with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which is standard in almost every driving scenario.

The improved road feel and stable handling of the X5 are significant improvements over the previous-generation model’s refined ride and direct steering. Audi Q7 trails the X5 by just a few points in this regard.

When the Mercedes GLE is pushed into a tight corner, it lacks the predictability and dependability of the X5. Moreover, regardless of which engine you choose, the X5’s maximum towing capacity is 7200 pounds.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG


The BMW X3 received average EPA ratings in comparison to its competitors. In our real-world testing, both of our test cars, an xDrive30i, and an M40i outperformed their efficiency predictions.

The xDrive30i (31 mpg) and the stronger M40i (29 mpg) were remarkably similar in terms of fuel economy, indicating that there isn’t a significant gas consumption penalty for all that extra torque.


The xDrive45e comes with a standard 24.0-kWh battery pack, which BMW claims may go up to 30 miles on electric-only driving.

With no refueling of the gasoline engine, the X5 may go up to 84 mph. 110- and 220-volt household outlets, as well as public charging stations, may be used to recharge the battery pack.

Interior Design

bmw x3 interior dimensions


The BMW X3’s sophisticated interior comes fully equipped with 10-way power-adjustable front seats with adjustable side bolsters before you even check a single option box.

With reclining seatbacks and cushioning on all seats, the seats are comfortable enough for long journeys. With high-quality materials and tight panel gaps, the remainder of the X3’s cabin is attractive and well-built.

Our test vehicle’s faux-leather dashboard and door panels, as well as the nickel-finish metal embellishments, have a sense of luxury thanks to the glossy woodgrain trim.

In our carry-on bag test, the X3 was placed in the middle of the pack. When the seats are folded, eight carry-on bags may be stored in the second row, along with a total of 20 bags stored in the back seats.

It’s possible for each passenger to take one. The Cadillac XT5, which is the segment’s cargo-hauling champion, should be considered by heavy haulers.


The BMW X5 includes a third bench seat for youngsters, whereas adults have enough interior space in the first and second seats.

Guests may choose from a lodge that has been outfitted with premium amenities, multiple charging stations for electronics, and other facilities, depending on their preferences. His settings, as well as his preferences, can be changed in the driver’s seat.

All variants come standard with a power-adjustable steering column, heated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone automated climate control, a power rear liftgate, rain-sensing wipers, and customizable ambient lighting.

The BMW X5 can seem like a high-end luxury SUV thanks to massage seats, a remote start, soft-close doors, acoustic glass, a leather dashboard, heated front armrests, and the steering wheel.

However, it comes at a cost. The X5 comes equipped with a Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound audio system, which includes diamond-domed tweeters and offers a lot of cargo space for the money. We were able to fit 11 of our carry-on bags behind the second row of seats while the back seats were occupied.

We discovered space for 26 cases when the rear seats were folded, which is possible from either the side or back of the vehicle. In this test, the Mercedes GLE outperformed the X5 for cargo space, but its rear seats are less convenient to store.

Read also: Mazda CX 60 vs Audi Q5

Infotainment and Connectivity

bmw idrive infotainment system


The BMW iDrive system has everything a luxury automobile’s infotainment system should have. In-dash navigation, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, are standard on a 10.3-inch infotainment screen.

Every other infotainment functionality is available as an upgrade option, including a wireless smartphone charging pad for those who want to charge two devices at once. Bluetooth phone connection, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and one USB port are all included.


The normally modest cockpit is given a modern touch by twin 12.3-inch panels. The first serves as a digital gauge display, and the second allows for access to the infotainment system, which runs BMW’s latest version of iDrive software.

Gesture controls, which are less intuitive than simply touching the screen or using the center-console-mounted rotary knob, are one of the methods users may use to control the system. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standards.


BMW provides standard driver assist functions such as automatic emergency braking, but additional complicated functions like semi-autonomous driving mode are available as options.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have websites that provide more information on the results of the BMW X3 vs X5 crash test.


BMW provides three years or 36,000 miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance to sweeten the deal, matching its main rivals Mercedes-Benz and Audi with similar warranty coverage. The Buick Enclave offers additional engine durability, however, Volvo buyers get it as well.

  • The limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles

BMW X3 vs X5 Price and Specs

2021 BMW X3VS2021 BMW X5
$43,000 MSRPStarting Price$59,400 MSRP
28.7 cubic feetCargo Space33.9 cubic feet
248 hp 2.0L I-4 engineBase Engine335 hp 3.0L I-6 engine
382 hp 3.0L I-6 engineTop Engine523 hp 4.4L V8 engine

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the differences between BMW X3 and X5?

The BMW X3 is a small SUV, however, the X5 is a midsize SUV. Let’s begin with that. Despite both models seating up to five people as standard, only the X5 offers a third row that increases your capacity to seven people. In its bigger interior, the X5 offers more cargo volume.

What is better X5 or X3?

With its available 4.4-liter M Performance V8 engine that produces up to 523 horsepower, the BMW X5 is the larger of the two, and it comes with more overall power. Despite this, the BMW X3 comes standard with a 3.0-liter M Performance I-6 engine that outputs up to 382 horsepower.

Are the X3 and X5 the same size?

BMW X3 vs X5 size comparison, the BMW X3 is 8.4 inches shorter than the X5 in terms of length, with a total of 185.9 inches, which is significant for most drivers storing their cars inside garages. The X3 is 4.5 inches narrower than the X5 at its broadest point, which is also an important factor.

bmw x3 vs x5 size

Does the X3 and X5 have same engine?

The BMW X3 is a luxury crossover SUV with a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder engine that produces 248 horsepower. The M Performance model includes a 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder engine that is the same one that comes standard in the BMW X5 if you’re into the thrill of it.

Read also: BMW X3 vs Mazda CX 5

Final Verdict

With a luxury compact SUV, the 2021 BMW X3 offers everything you could want. The X3 has a zesty engine, sharp handling, great fuel economy, and a comfortable ride.

It’s stylish on both the inside and out, and it has enough room for people and goods. Similarly, the infotainment system is simple to operate. This class offers less expensive alternatives, however, the X3’s overall refinement is worth the cost.

While the BMW X5 stands out as a luxury midsize SUV. It’s a lot of fun to drive, and it comes with several powertrain choices that suit practically every shopper’s needs. It also offers enough room for passengers and cargo.