Compared: 2023 BMW X1 vs. 2023 BMW X3

These two-row SUVs differ in size and performance with only one offering standard all-wheel drive.

Split image of an orange 2023 BMW X1 atop a BMW X3 in Sophisto GreyBMW


The 2023 BMW X1 and 2023 BMW X3 are both luxury SUVs with seating for five. The X1 is smaller and comes in only one trim — xDrive28i — for 2023 with standard all-wheel drive (AWD). The X3 has more room for occupants and cargo with the option for rear-wheel drive (RWD). The X3 also has a wider range of trims that include more powerful engines, but fuel economy drops as performance increases. The X3 also has a starting price about $7,000 higher than the X1.

2023 BMW X1 in orange driving along a coastal roadBMW

2023 BMW X1 Slots Below X3 in Price and Power

The BMW X3 has multiple trims starting with the sDrive30i at more than $47,000. It includes standard RWD and a turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 248 horsepower with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Optional AWD adds $2,000 to the base price.

The rest of the lineup has standard AWD. The M40i is priced below $62,000 with a 382-hp turbocharged six-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. At the top of the lineup is the X3 M priced above $75,000 with a 473-hp twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The BMW X1 starts above $40,000. The sole powertrain for this subcompact luxury crossover SUV is a 241-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

BMW X3 in Sophisto Grey, rearBMW

X3 Offers More Inside Than X1

Both SUVs seat five, but the larger X3 boasts more room for passengers. It has a wheelbase of 112.8 inches. The X1 grew larger after a redesign for 2023 but is smaller than the X3, with a wheelbase of only 106 inches. Cargo room is also greater in the X3; it offers up to 28.7 and 62.7 cubic-feet for cargo behind the rear seats and front seats, respectively. The X1 comes in with 25.7 cu-ft with the rear seats upright, and 46.9 cu-ft with the second row folded.

Standard equipment in the X1 includes dual-zone automatic climate control and synthetic leather seating surfaces. There's also a curved display screen with a 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.7-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto connectivity plus navigation.

The X3 features standard tri-zone automatic climate control, dark oak wood trim, a 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2023 BMW X1 interiorBMW

X1 Is More Fuel-Efficient Than X3

The best fuel economy figures for the X3 come from the base sDrive30i. It gets an EPA-estimated 23/29/25 mpg city/highway/combined. AWD drops those numbers to 21/28/24 mpg.

The available six-cylinder engine with 382 horsepower delivers 21/26/23 mpg — a minor efficiency price to pay for a sizable 134-hp leap in grunt. At the top of the range, but the bottom for fuel economy is the X3 M which gets just 15/20/17 mpg.

The single-powertrain X1's fuel economy is a much simpler explanation. According to the EPA, BMW's entry-level SUV can return 25/34/28 mpg.

BMW X3 interiorBMW

All vehicle pricing includes MSRP plus destination charges (set at the time of publication), and will be rounded to the nearest thousand.

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Nicole Wakelin
I write about cars. A lot. That's because I’ve always loved cars and the fact that they regularly hand me the keys to shiny new automobiles so I can write about them is a constant source of amazement. I cover breaking news, write reviews, and attend auto shows and new vehicle launches across the country. The more winding the road and the more unknown the route, the better.