New BMW X3 and New BMW X5 | What's The Difference?

The 2023 BMW X5 is bigger than the 2023 BMW X3. The X3 costs less than the X5. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Compare these Luxury SUVs here.

2023 BMW X5 parked by a beach.

2023 BMW X5 Midsize SUV

2023 BMW X3 riding along a mountainous highway.

2023 BMW X3 Compact SUV

BMW's most popular vehicles are SUVs, and the X3 and X5 are their most popular SUVs. Why? They include impressive spaces, features, speedy powertrains, lavish interiors, and modernized technology. Also, unlike a lot of brands and models these days, new X3s and X5s are typically available. That begs the question: which one is better? The answer will vary, depending on factors like budget and family-size. Below is a closer look at how these luxury SUVs compare.

2023 BMW X3 2023 BMW X5
Starting Price $46,200 MSRP* $61,600 MSRP*
Standard Engine 2.0-liter I-4 engine 3.0-liter I-6 engine
Horsepower Up to 503-horsepower Up to 617-horsepower
Fuel Economy Up to 23/29 city/highway miles-per-gallon Up to 21/26 city/highway miles-per-gallon**
Available As Plug-In Hybrid No Yes
Dimensions From 185.9" L x 74.4" W x 66.0" H From 194.3" L x 78.9" W x 68.7" H
Passengers 5 5-7
Cargo Space 28.7 cubic feet, 62,7 cu-ft with seat area 33.9 cubic feet, 72.3 cu-ft with seat area
Towing Capacity 4,400 lbs. 6,603 lbs.
NHTSA Safety Ratings*** 5 out of 5 Stars 4 out of 5 Stars

*Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price for vehicle as shown does not necessarily represent the dealer’s actual sale price and does not include destination & handling fee of $995, tax, title, license, registration and adjusted market value. Dealer sets actual price. **Does not include the 2023 BMW X5 plug-in-hybrid option. ***National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Crash Test Results.

BMW X3 Vs. BMW X5: Performance

King of Prussia drivers that want an SUV that packs a punch will enjoy the powertrains available in both the BMW X3 and BMW X5 models. As the larger of the two, the BMW X5 comes with more overall power with its available 4.4 liter V-8 BMW M TwinPower Turbo gasoline engine that produces up to 617-horsepower. That being said, the BMW X3 also features a 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder BMW M TwinPower Turbo gasoline engine, which shows off with up to 503-horsepower. Overall, the 2023 X3 has two engine options. The 2023 X5 has three, including a plug-in hybrid model (X5 xDrive45e) that produces up to 52 combined miles per gallon. That is around double the MPGs of the other X5 models, and eclipses the X3's maximum fuel efficiency by nearly 80%.

BMW X3 Vs. BMW X5: Space

While these two stunning SUVs look similar on the outside, they do vary on the inside. The BMW X3 is a truly compact SUV with up to five seats and an adaptable second row. The BMW X5 is more of a midsize SUV with either five or seven seats, depending on whether your purchase the three-row model. Both vehicles can have the rear seats folded flat, where Berwyn area drivers will find up to 62.7 or 72.3 cubic feet of cargo space, respectively.
New BMW X3 InteriorBMW X3 front seats with steering wheel and dashboard.

BMW X3 second-row back seats.
New BMW X5 Interior
BMW X5 front seats with steering wheel and dashboard.
BMW X5 second-row back seats.

BMW X3 Vs. BMW X5: Price, Reliability, Safety, and Features

Both the BMW X3 and BMW X5 contain similar technological and luxury features, ranging from the Active Driving Assistant Package to the leather upholstery. Of course, there are some differences as well.

  • Price - Being the larger and more powerful SUV, the BMW X5 is also more expensive than the BMW X5. The 2023 BMW X5 sDrive40i base trim level starts at around $15,000 more than the 2023 X3's sDrive30i entry trim.
  • Reliability -  At the time of this writing, reliability data for the 2023 BMW X5 and X3 were not available. J.D. Power rated the 2022 X3's predicted reliability an 81 out of 100. The 2022 X5 scored a 77. A score of 91-100 is considered the Best, 81-90 is Great, 70-80 is Average. The 2022 X3 was recalled twice. The X5 was recalled once.
  • Safety - The 2023 BMW X3 was named a "Top Safety Pick+" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That is the highest rating a vehicle can achieve. The 2023 X5 was a "Top Safety Pick." Grades are based on crash test results and crash avoidance.
  • Heated Front Seats - The BMW X5 comes with standard three-stage heated front seats, while the BMW X3 only has them as an available option.
  • Audio System - The BMW X3's HiFi Sound System with 205-watt digital amplifier includes 12-speakers as standard, while the BMW X5 only comes with 10-speakers.

Which is Better: The 2023 X3 or X5?

The answer depends on how much you weigh each luxury SUV's pros and cons. When it comes to safety and reliability, the X3 edges the X5. The X3 is also more affordable. The X5 beats the X3 in terms of space, engine performance, and even fuel efficiency (if you factor in the X5 plug-in hybrid option).

Regardless of your situation and which one you select, we at BMW of Devon are confident you'll love either one. We encourage you to take the short drive from Wayne, PA, Norristown, or beyond to our BMW dealership. Our team would love to show you around in a new BMW X3 and X5, and answer any questions. We have plenty of each model in stock. You can also contact us below, and schedule a test drive.

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