2023 BMW X3 vs. 2023 BMW X5 Comparison

As consumers’ tastes shifted to sport utility vehicles (SUVs), BMW responded quickly. The premium German automaker launched the midsize BMW X5 crossover in 2000. It was a huge hit, and the company added the compact BMW X3 in 2004. The X3 and X5 are now the brand’s best-selling models. BMW builds both crossover SUVs at its Spartanburg, South Carolina plant.

There are several factors to consider if you’re trying to decide which BMW crossover is right for you. Both the X3 and X5 offer comfortable seating and ample cargo capacity for their respective classes, though the midsize 2023 BMW X5 is roomier. The compact 2023 BMW X3 has the advantage in fuel economy, but the availability of the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) BMW X5 xDrive45e partially offsets that. On the flip side, the riotously entertaining X3 M and X5 M offer more speed and agility than you’ll ever need for commuting to work.

This 2023 BMW X3 vs. 2023 BMW X5 comparison will help you sort through the differences between the automaker’s premium compact and midsize crossover SUVs.

2023 BMW X3 xDrive30e

Consumers researching 2023 BMW X3 pricing will find that it ranges from $45,400 to $72,900, not including the $995 destination charge. BMW offers its 5-passenger compact premium SUV in four trim levels: X3 sDrive30i, X3 xDrive30i, X3 M40i, and X3 M.

Most BMW X3 buyers select one of the 30i models, which use a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. The X3 sDrive30i is rear-wheel drive (RWD). The X3 xDrive30i has BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, costing $2,000 more.

If you require rapid acceleration from a compact luxury crossover, you can upgrade to the 2023 BMW X3 M40i for an additional $12,550. The M40i features a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine and standard AWD.

Add another $12,950 if you must have the 2023 BMW X3 M. The quickest member of the X3 family features a higher-performance 6-cylinder engine along with stouter brakes and suspension to manage the extra power. The $7,000 X3 M Competition package has revised engine software that extracts even more horsepower and torque.

Shoppers looking up 2023 BMW X5 pricing will find that it ranges from $61,600 to $108,900, not including the $995 destination charge. BMW offers the X5 in five trim levels: X5 sDrive40i, X5 xDrive40i, X5 xDrive45e, X5 M50i, and X5 M. Five-passenger seating is standard in the X5, but BMW offers an optional third-row seat on the 40i trims. It’s an occasional-use third row, as BMW hopes that families who need an everyday 3-row SUV will buy a 2023 X7 instead.

As you’d expect, the 2023 X5 sDrive40i is rear-drive, while the xDrive40i is AWD. Both have a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine that will satisfy most BMW X5 buyers. The plug-in hybrid BMW X5 xDrive45e has AWD, a turbocharged 6-cylinder, and an electric motor packaged between its engine and transmission. When you factor in the applicable $7,500 federal tax credit, the xDrive45e is effectively the most affordable 2023 BMW X5.

It’s a steep financial climb to the 2023 BMW X5 M50i, but the reward is a strong twin-turbocharged V8. The king of this lineup, though, is the 2023 BMW X5 M, which uses a heavily modified version of the twin-turbo V8. In its base state of tune, the V8 makes an awful lot of power, and if you check the box for the $9,300 Competition package, it makes slightly more. Upgraded brakes and suspension allow the BMW X5 M to hustle around turns like no other 5,400-pound vehicle you’ve ever driven.

You can access most of the same connected services on the 2023 BMW X3 and 2023 BMW X5. All 2023 X5s come standard with the BMW Live Cockpit Professional digital instrument panel, enabling features like automatic collision notification, live emergency assistance, and rapid access to roadside services. Live Cockpit Professional is optional on most 2023 X3s. However, if you have an active subscription to BMW Assist eCall in X3s without Live Cockpit Professional, you can still get automatic collision notification and emergency assistance.

Other features to consider for both BMW crossovers include remote engine start with climate control activation, a drive recorder, concierge services, and digital key access. The available Wi-Fi hotspot includes a complimentary 3-month trial (3-gigabyte limit), but subscription terms for other features vary.

Scheduled maintenance is on the house for the first three years or 36,000 miles that you own a 2023 BMW X3 or 2023 BMW X5.

Advantage: BMW X3

2023 BMW X5 xDrive45e White Front Quarter View Action

2023 BMW X5 xDrive45e

The BMW X3 does not rank among the top three Compact Premium SUVs in the J.D. Power 2022 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) or the J.D. Power 2021 Initial Quality Study (IQS). The 2023 BMW X3 comes with the following warranty and roadside assistance coverage:

  • Standard warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Roadside assistance: 4 years and unlimited mileage

The BMW X5 ranks second in the Upper Midsize Premium SUV category of the 2022 VDS. The X5 does not rank among the top three Upper Midsize Premium SUVs in the 2021 IQS. The 2023 BMW X5 comes with the following warranty and roadside assistance coverage:

  • Standard warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Hybrid system warranty: 8 years or 80,000 miles
  • Hybrid battery warranty: 8 years or 80,000 miles (10 years or 150,000 miles in California emissions states)
  • Roadside assistance: 4 years and unlimited mileage

Advantage: BMW X5

2023 BMW X3 xDrive30e Sophisto Grey Interior Dashboard

2023 BMW X3 xDrive30e

BMW offers three engines on the X3 compact premium SUV. The 2023 BMW X3 sDrive30i and xDrive30i use a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. It makes 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Both trims have a standard 8-speed automatic transmission and hill-descent control.

If you opt for the 2023 BMW X3 M40i, your luxury compact crossover will have a turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine rated at 382 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque. BMW equips this engine with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. It powers the electrical system, smooths out the automatic engine stop/start’s operation, and sometimes provides a modest acceleration boost. Most drivers will barely notice its efforts and will instead be enamored with the X3 M40i’s quickness. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard.

The 2023 BMW X3 M also uses a turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-6 engine, but BMW’s M GmbH division has made significant modifications. This engine cranks out 473 hp and 457 pound-feet of torque in standard tune. With the Competition package, the 2023 X3 M makes 503 hp and 479 pound-feet. A sport version of the 8-speed automatic drives all four wheels through the M xDrive AWD system, which sends more torque to the rear wheels than regular xDrive. A limited-slip rear differential known as the M Active Differential is standard.

Four-cylinder BMW X3s are electronically limited to a top speed of 130 mph. With their high-performance tires (also known as summer tires), the X3 M40i and X3 M are limited to 155 mph. If you select the optional M Driver’s package for the 2023 X3 M, your vehicle will have a 177-mph top speed, and you’ll get a day of driving school at a BMW performance center.

As of this publication, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hasn’t published fuel-economy ratings for the 2023 BMW X3, but the ratings are unlikely to change from the 2022 model. The EPA rates the RWD 2022 BMW X3 sDrive30i at 25 mpg in combined city and highway driving, while the AWD X3 xDrive30i rates 24 mpg. The X3 M40i rates 23 mpg. The high-performance BMW X3 M rates significantly lower, at 17 mpg combined.

Consumers shopping for the 2023 BMW X5 have four powertrains to consider. BMW equips the 2023 X5 sDrive40i and xDrive40i with a turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. It’s rated at 335 hp and 331 pound-feet of torque. As on all BMW X5s, an 8-speed automatic transmission is standard, as are hill-descent control and launch control.

Next up is the plug-in hybrid BMW X5. The 2023 BMW X5 xDrive 45e uses a version of the turbocharged 6-cylinder engine rated at 282 hp and 331 pound-feet of torque. In addition, its electric-drive motor contributes 111 hp and 77 pound-feet of torque while drawing current from the hybrid SUV’s 24-kilowatt-hour battery pack. The total system output is 389 hp and 443 pound-feet of torque.

If you select the 2023 BMW X5 M50i, your midsize premium SUV will have a twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V8 engine that makes 523 hp and 553 pound-feet of torque. To help the rear tires cope with all that torque, BMW equips the X5 M50i with the M Sport Differential, which selectively brakes the left or right wheel as needed to maintain traction.

Although the 2023 BMW X5 M also uses a 4.4-liter V8 engine, it’s significantly different from the version in the X5 M50i. Here it makes 600 hp and 553 pound-feet of torque. If you opt for the X5 M Competition, your high-performance midsize crossover will have a 617-hp rating.

Most X5s have an electronically limited top speed of 130 mph (146-155 mph with summer tires, depending on the trim). BMW raises the limiter to 177 mph if your X5 M has the M Driver’s package.

The EPA has not released fuel-economy ratings for the 2023 BMW X5, but the 2022 ratings should carry over. The 2022 X5 sDrive40i and xDrive40i rate 23 mpg in combined city and highway driving. The plug-in hybrid BMW X5 xDrive45e is heavier and rates only 20 mpg combined but gives you an EPA-rated 30 miles of all-electric driving range. The X5 M50i rates 18 mpg in combined driving, while the ultra-powerful X5 M rates just 15 mpg combined.

All versions of the 2023 BMW X3 have 8 inches of ground clearance. Ground clearance on the 2023 BMW X5 varies from 8.3 to 8.7 inches, depending on the trim level. Of the two, the X5 is the better bet for occasional off-roading.

Both BMW crossovers offer an optional factory tow hitch, but you can expect delayed availability for the 2023 BMW X5’s tow hitch (checking with local dealerships is advisable). Properly equipped, the BMW X3 has a 4,400-pound tow rating, while any properly equipped BMW X5 (including the hybrid X5 xDrive45e) can tow 7,200 pounds, according to the automaker.

Advantage: Neither

The X3 has the edge in fuel economy, but the X5 is better suited for towing and off-roading, and it still comes with V8 power.

2023 BMW X5 xDrive45e Interior Dashboard

2023 BMW X5 xDrive45e

As you’d expect, the 2023 BMW X3 comes standard with all the essential advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS). Its Active Driving Assistant package includes forward-collision warning (FCW) with both pedestrian and cyclist detection, automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-departure warning (LDW), and blind-spot warning (BSW) with rear cross-traffic warning.

BMW’s Driving Assistance Professional package is your ticket to Level 2 semi-autonomous driving assistance. It provides traffic jam assistance (TJA) via adaptive cruise control (ACC) with stop-and-go capability, lane-centering assistance, and evasive steering assistance (ESA). The package also includes lane-keeping assistance (LKA), upgraded BSW with side-collision avoidance assistance, and front cross-traffic warning. This package will be unavailable on most early-build 2023 X3s, but BMW will phase it back in during the model year.

Active Driving Assistant is standard on all versions of the 2023 BMW X5, and the Driving Assistance Professional package is optional across the board. The available Parking Assistance package (standard on the X5 M) includes parking assistance for parallel parking (it manages the steering).

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has published safety ratings for the 2023 BMW X3 or 2023 BMW X5. The structurally similar 2022 BMW X3 has a 5-star (out of 5) overall NHTSA crash safety rating. The 2022 X3 has Good ratings in all IIHS crash tests but isn’t a Top Safety Pick because of a Marginal rating for LATCH ease of use (it has deeply recessed lower anchors for child car seats).

The 2022 BMW X5 has a 4-star overall NHTSA safety rating; it rates 4 stars for frontal-impact crash safety and 5 stars for side-impact crashes. The 2022 X5 is an IIHS Top Safety Pick.

Advantage: BMW X5

2023 BMW X3 xDrive30e Sophisto Grey Metallic Rear Quarter View

2023 BMW X3 xDrive30e

You will find the iDrive 7 infotainment platform in the 2023 BMW X3 and 2023 BMW X5. The X3 features a standard 10.5-inch touchscreen display. BMW X3s equipped with the BMW Live Cockpit Professional option and all BMW X5s come with a 12.3-inch touchscreen display. Both setups support wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration and allow over-the-air (OTA) system updates. Both BMW crossover models offer a wireless charging pad.

Advantage: Neither

These are nearly identical setups that offer the same functionality.

2023 BMW X5 xDrive45e White Rear Quarter View Action

2023 BMW X5 xDrive45e

Both the 2023 BMW X3 and 2023 BMW X5 feature high-end cabin materials, but there’s a difference in the ambiance. The BMW X3 has an all-business vibe that might not feel elegant enough to some consumers. In contrast, the BMW X5 has a more striking design that you might find more in keeping with its princely asking price.

Headroom is similar between the two BMW crossover SUVs, but if you need legroom, you’ll do better with the 2023 X5. In addition, the X5 has significantly more shoulder and hip room for adults riding in the back. In addition, buyers can equip the 2023 BMW X5 with massaging front seats.

The 2023 BMW X3 has 28.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats. Folding the seats provides 62.7 cubic feet. These are good numbers for a compact premium SUV, and you might prefer the X3’s conventional overhead liftgate.

The X5 continues to use a clamshell-style, split rear tailgate. The split tailgate is convenient when you just need to load a few groceries, but you might find it hard to reach items near the second-row seatbacks when the lower portion of the gate is down.

The BMW X5 has 33.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind its second-row seats and 72.3 cubic feet with those seats folded. The X5 PHEV has 33.1 cubic feet of luggage space and a maximum of 71.2 cubic feet.

Advantage: BMW X5

If you’d like to learn more about these premium BMW SUVs, be sure to read our expert reviews of the 2023 BMW X3 and the 2023 BMW X5. To find out how people like you rate models in this segment, check out our ratings from verified vehicle owners.

Also, please keep in mind that while the information in this article was accurate and valid on June 24, 2022, it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker’s website or your local dealership.

About the Author: AKDSEO

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