There’s more than enough room for four adults to sit comfortably in the BMW X3 but the raised central rear seat means some alternatives are better for carrying three adults in the back
There’s more than enough space in the BMW X3’s front seats for you to stretch out – even if you’re very tall. The steering wheel adjusts for height and reach, and the standard-fit sports seats you get on all but entry-level SE cars hold you in place securely without feeling too firm.
Unfortunately, lumbar support – to help reduce back ache on long drives – will set you back £210 across the BMW X3 range. You can get electric seat adjustment but only as part of the rather expensive £1,795 Premium Pack. This upgrade does come with a handy memory function, however, so you can quickly return the seat to your ideal driving position if you lend your car to someone else.
Space in the back is pretty generous. There’s more headroom than you get in the Audi Q5 – even with the optional panoramic glass roof fitted – and there’s enough leg room for a six-foot-tall passenger to sit behind an equally tall driver. There’s loads of room under the front seats to tuck your feet and the seats themselves are soft and supportive. You can even get heated rear seats for an extra £280.
Unfortunately, there isn’t quite as much space for carrying three adults side-by-side as you get in the Mercedes GLC. The central seat is firmer, narrower and raised above the outer two and there’s a large lump in the floor that’ll get in the way of the central passenger’s feet.
Thankfully, it’s reasonably easy to fit a child seat. You get two sets of Isofix anchor points as standard and they come with handy folding covers instead of easy-to-lose removable caps. The BMW X3’s raised ride height and tall roof mean you can lean in to strap in a child without bending down.
Every BMW X3 comes with plenty of handy storage bins to help keep their cabins looking tidy. The front door bins are big enough to hold a 1.5-litre bottle each and the glovebox is large enough for an extra one-litre bottle. There’s space to tuck a large camera safely out of sight under the central front armrest and you can get a wireless charging pad for your phone under the dashboard for an extra £430.
The rear door bins are just as big as those in the front and there’s a second small storage bin tucked behind the round bottle holder in each door. The BMW X3 come with a folding rear armrest with two built-in hidden cupholders, but they’re only big enough for a small bottle or drinks can.
The X3 comes with bundles of handy features to make it easy to live with – there’s even a handy strut to hold up the boot floor while you fiddle around with your luggage
The BMW X3’s 550-litre boot is exactly the same size as the boots in the Q5 and GLC. Its completely flat floor makes it dead easy to slide in heavy luggage and its wide, square opening makes loading bulky items dead easy.
There’s a netted cubby and an elasticated strap on the left side of the boot and you get a flip-down shopping hook on each side to help hold your groceries securely on the move.
Lift the boot floor and you’ll find a generous storage area that’s easily big enough to hold two large soft bags or even a small suitcase. The floor itself comes with a handy self-supporting strut and there’s a dedicated recess for storing the load cover.
Every BMW X3 model comes with three-way (40:20:40) split rear seats as standard so you can carry up to three passengers and some very long luggage in the boot at once. You don’t have to reach forward to fold the seats down either – pull the latches by the bootlid and they’ll flip down automatically.
With all the rear seats folded, the boot grows to 1,600 litres. That’s easily enough space to carry a bike with its wheels attached, and the X3’s rear seats lie completely flat so it’s a breeze to slide heavy boxes right up behind the front ones.