Home » The 2025 BMW X3 Has An Interior More Shocking Than Its Huge Nostrils

The 2025 BMW X3 Has An Interior More Shocking Than Its Huge Nostrils

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The new 2025 BMW X3 is an important model for the Bavarian company. While it once made building the Ultimate Driving Machines its core stock in trade, today, it’s a company with a broader portfolio. Conventional wisdom is that brands that build desirable SUVs end up with buckets of money, and the X3’s job is to help BMW score that bag.

Fundamentally, SUVs are core product for most brands these days. Any denial of such became pointless when Lamborghini and Ferrari started getting in on the action. The X3 is one of BMW’s biggest lines in the US market, shifting over 80,000 units in 2022 alone. Where the 3 Series was once the accessible darling of the BMW lineup, that mantle has now shifted.

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The third-generation model sold well for BMW in its seven year reign. Now, the new X3 brings new design language, new tech, and new engines, including a hybrid option. The question will be whether it can continue the model’s strong sales momentum into a new era.

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I’ll say this about modern BMWs. You can’t miss ’em. 
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The profile view of the X3 30 shows off the model’s muscular design elements and the Hoffmeister kink.

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There’s no use hiding from the elephant in the room, nor its giant nostrils. BMW has committed to a design language featuring huge kidney grilles, with only the smaller model lines spared. The new X3 doesn’t change this, but it does make them more eye catching than ever. The grilles feature bold diagonal and vertical strakes that appear akin to some kind of dazzle camouflage from the early 20th century. They also get outlined with glowing contour lights to really draw the eye.

Besides the nose, though, it’s an otherwise modern and clean design. The basic proportions are largely rectangular, with BMW ignoring the temptation to go for a steeply-sloping roof that would unduly cut headroom and cargo space. The X3 almost rides low enough that has you wondering if automakers are flirting with wagons again, but its overall height keeps it in the SUV class.

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The M50 features horizontal grille slats by virtue of being an M-class model.

BMW bills the X3 as suitable for “everyday use, weekend adventures, and cross-country journeys,” though we’re about a decade past anyone pretending they’re buying one for off-road use. Still, in the US, all models will come with BMW’s xDrive AWD system.

Two main models will be available from launch. The X3 30 xDrive starts at $50,675 including destination charges. It will feature a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, good for 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. It’s assisted by a 48-volt mild hybrid system, too. It’ll propel the X3 to 60 mph in just six seconds flat.

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Glowing nostrils are a love-it-or-hate-it feature. I’m not sure I could turn them down. I’m obsessed.

Cashed-up buyers can go for the X3 M50 xDrive instead, which begins at $64,100. It gets BMW’s 3.0-liter inline-six, complete with turbo and 48-volt mild hybrid system. It offers a mighty 393 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque, and is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. BMW also claims that new “extremely rigid” model-specific engine mounts provide supreme responsiveness from the drivetrain. All that extra power will rocket the X3 to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds—a number once the purview of real supercars.

Notably, both trims drop the “i” which BMW formerly used to designate models fuel injection. Going forward, “i” will only be used for BMW’s all-electric models.

BMW is serious about efficiency with the X3, hence the mild-hybrid systems on both engines. Other details include the flaps which block airflow through the grille for better aerodynamic efficiency, and the fact that both engines can use variable valve timing to implement the Miller cycle for better fuel economy.

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The X3 30 has a sharp, clean interior, but…

Inside, BMW has gone for a cutting-edge, futuristic look, with bold lines in contrasting colors. Call it interesting, or call it lurid, but it’s certainly not blending in with any of the competition. The base model is sharp, but not too crazy. However, BMW has chosen to show off the M50 xDrive in wild fashion. It’s, uh…particularly eye catching in the way it proudly displays the M colors, red and blue.

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The M50 takes it up a notch.
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“Black, brown, red and blue” is a bold combination, whether you’re talking about a car interior or an ice cream sundae.

With an interior like that, your friends will certainly remember their first trip in your BMW. It’s a look that would be a bit over the top for a special limited-edition sports model. It’s surprising to see BMW go ham on the M colors in what is fundamentally an SUV, even if it’s a moderately fast one.

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The X3 will feature a large touchscreen and a screen for the instrument cluster, with the system running the latest iDrive 9 infotainment software. According to BMW, it’s focused on improving touch and voice controls to allow for a more “driver-focused cockpit” with less buttons and switches. It provides for a clean interior, but fans of bespoke tactile controls may be disappointed. A worthy feature, however, is the Augmented View function when using navigation. It will display a live video stream from the driver’s perspective on the interior display, with animated arrows overlaid to indicate the correct way to progress through difficult junctions.

Another interesting option is BMW’s innovative Parking Assistant Professional with Maneuver Assistant. It goes above and beyond traditional parking assists, allowing the driver to “record” complex parking maneuvers for later use. Using GPS and the recorded trajectory data, the X3 can automatically execute advanced parking maneuvers on command. This can be controlled from either inside the car, or from the outside via a smartphone app. If you’ve got a weird driveway or parking spot that’s a little hard to get to, you might find this feature to be a great tool.

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Similarly, if you have a long driveway, Backup Assistant can drive the X3 backwards for up to 650 feet on a route that you formerly drove in forwards. If your nouveau-riche college friend just bought a mansion with a winding one-way driveway, this could pay for itself in no time flat.

Ultimately, the X3 has become a vital pillar of BMW’s lineup in the US. It’s a top seller for the brand, and it will want to see that continue. The engines are competent, the tech should be too. It will thus come down to looks, and whether the model’s intended audience will accept them. With the bold direction the new model is taking, the X3 could really go either way.

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Image credits: BMW

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Robert Runyon
Robert Runyon
2 days ago

The interior kinda kills it, in the good ‘ol bad way. I don’t want to learn a new language every time I buy a car. Who and what is the target of this redesign?

Nick Fortes
Nick Fortes
2 days ago

The vertical/diagonal grille slats makes it look like a jacket lapel with a dress shirt underneath. Also are the colorized sections in the interior illuminated or do I have to drive around with red/blue forever? To me they look illuminated, but hard to tell from the photo

Strangek
Strangek
1 month ago

Bleh.

Max Finkel
Max Finkel
1 month ago

“it’s for china”

it’s not for china. their cars are attractive now. it’s for douches in the west.

AlfaWhiz
AlfaWhiz
1 month ago

I don’t know, I think they completely lost the plot. Glowing nostrils and tacky lighting inside. Who is this for?

Last edited 1 month ago by AlfaWhiz
Lotsofchops
Lotsofchops
1 month ago

It took me far too long to figure out what the hell is going on in teh center console space under the screen. I just saw these pointless geometric shapes until I realized they are cupholders.

Is Travis
Is Travis
1 month ago

I would be embarrassed of that lighting on my gaming PC case.

Kevin B Rhodes
Kevin B Rhodes
1 month ago

Absolutely not, never, no f’ing way. The last decent BMW interiors were in the E9Xs without iDrive. Thankfully, I have one and plan to keep it *forever*. Not like they make RWD stick wagons anymore either.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kevin B Rhodes
Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
1 month ago

This feels like the car equivalent of the multicolor backlit scenery wall-hangings (that made the river look like it’s a flowin’!) that a kiosk in our local mall used to sell. Very popular with a certain demographic that I don’t believe are able to afford modern BMWs.

It’s trashy.

CampoDF
CampoDF
1 month ago

I know it’s too late for them now that the x3 is out of the bag, but BMW really needs to shit can their lead design team and everyone responsible for greenlighting this, the XM, the 4 series, the 7 series, the M3, etc. They are terrible, and this X3 is terrible both inside and out.

VanGuy
VanGuy
1 month ago

I’m very curious about that interior. As painted colors I could take or leave them…but as lights? No. I installed under-dash lights in my van and liked how they looked, but at night they caused the footwells to be reflected in the side windows. Couldn’t risk that would cost me a moment to visually sort out, so I removed them.

The brown is just wrong though, at least in combination with the others.

Either way, intentional removal of buttons and flattened steering wheel? Boooo

CampoDF
CampoDF
1 month ago

The interior of this car is absolute trash. Teslafication of the interior is what it is, and cynical cost-cutting. It is devoid of detail and an appearance of quality, plus it is garish as hell. I sure as shit hope Audi does a better job in the next q5 because this is horrible. What is with the slab of empty dashboard? Anyway, right now I’m driving a loaner 2024 VW Atlas that has more capacitive buttons and detail than this and I already hate not having dedicated functional buttons. Granted, my daily is a 958 Cayenne which is the polar opposite of all this bullshit.

Citrus
Citrus
1 month ago

The door panels look like they’re from a different car.

The ass is weird.

It looks generally really fat.

Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman
1 month ago

I just have a hard time with the M series vehicles right now. It definitely feels diluted as a sub-brand.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
1 month ago

In the spirit of saying something nice, I do appreciate any alternative to black honeycomb mesh on grills. That’s just so played out and unoriginal.

Isaac Fortner
Isaac Fortner
1 month ago

All that extra power will rocket the X3 to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds—a number once the purview of real supercars.

…and $40k EVs…

0-60specs are meaningless now. If you’ve ever launched even a moderately quick EV, every gas car short of hypercar territory feels slow. I’d much rather ICE vehicles play to their strengths like lighter mass and nimble, balanced handling.

I have a Mach-E GT that costs $10k less than this but is nearly a full second quicker and is just as nice of a place to sit, if the last gen X3M I drove is any indication. Where the X3 could possibly shine here is being much more light on its feet then my 5000lb battleship.

Kevin B Rhodes
Kevin B Rhodes
1 month ago
Reply to  Isaac Fortner

0-60 times have been pointless forever. Nobody drives like that (or at least they certainly shouldn’t be on a public street). I have probably ventured past half throttle in my Mercedes wagon once ever.

Isaac Fortner
Isaac Fortner
1 month ago
Reply to  Kevin B Rhodes

Yeah, yet automakers and publications continue to cling onto that stuff.

Querty
Querty
1 month ago

“Make the X3 as badass as the XM”
“Here is your X3 as bad as the XM”

Zorah
Zorah
1 month ago

Driving my 14 year old E60 makes me feel like I’m holding the fort for the Old Guard in a good, non-tragic way. BMW listen to these people; this is really bad!

Kevin B Rhodes
Kevin B Rhodes
1 month ago
Reply to  Zorah

A pair of 2011s here – e91 and e88. And I plan to own them forever. I’m oldish and don’t drive much. The e91 in particular only sees a couple k’s a year since it lives at my summer place. Keeps the magic alive.

TheDrunkenWrench
TheDrunkenWrench
1 month ago

It’s like they looked at the CX-90 and then tasked the design team with making it uglier from every possible angle.

Grayvee280
Grayvee280
1 month ago

I ended up with a X3 as a rental last summer by chance. It was a perfectly serviceable ride but no where near the “ultimate driving machine” of old.

The best thing about driving it was I didn’t have to look at it, but with this interior…?

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