Compared: 2023 BMW X3 vs. 2023 BMW X4

Both the BMW X3 and the BMW X4 are compact SUVs, but neither lacks luxury.

Split-screen image of a BMW X3 in Sophisto Grey atop a BMW X4 M40i in Brooklyn GreyBMW


While the 2023 BMW X3 and 2023 BMW X4 may seem like sedate, family-hauling compact SUVs, these two models fit the brand's reputation of building luxury, driver-oriented vehicles. The slightly roomier X3 comes with a more modest entry price and basic features, while the X4 offers customers a sporty design and a little extra technology even at the base trim level.

BMW X3 in Sophisto Grey, rearBMW

The X4's Coupelike Roofline Costs You More Than the X3

The BMW X4 is a compact coupe-style crossover while the BMW X3 is a compact crossover with a more rectangular rear. The X3 starts at around $47,000, while the X4 starts at about $55,000.

The exclusively all-wheel drive (AWD) X4 comes in xDrive30i, M40i, and X4 M versions. The base X4 xDrive30i is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 248 horsepower. The X4 M40i at $66,000 sports a turbo 3.0-liter inline six and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system making 382 horsepower.

The X4 M is the most expensive of the X4 lineup, with a starting price of around $79,000. It comes with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline six good for 473 to 503 horsepower, depending on options.

BMW X4 M40i in Brooklyn Grey, rearBMW

There are four trims of the BMW X3. Both the entry X3 sDrive30i, which comes in rear-wheel drive, and the AWD X3 xDrive30i at $49,000 get the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine found in the base X4.

Next, there's the $62,000 X3 M40i, which gets the same powertrain found in the X4 M40i. At the top of the X3 lineup is the $75,000 X3 M, which correspondingly echoes the X4 M's powertrain.

BMW X3 interior in CognacBMW

More Room for Your Stuff in the BMW X3

While the X3 and X4 come in slightly different shapes, they both seat up to five occupants. The BMW X4 is slightly longer than the X3, but because the roofline of the X4 is raked, its interior space is slightly smaller, aside from the X4 having 0.4 inches more front legroom.

The BMW X3 also beats the X4 in cargo volume at 28.7 and 62.7 cubic-feet with the rear seats upright and folded, respectively. The X4 makes do with 18.5 to 50.5 cu-ft behind the rear seats and front seats. The X3's rear passengers also get 1.3 inches more headroom in the X3 than they do in the X4.

The technology and interior look and feel nearly the same between the two vehicles, but the X4 gets a larger 12.3-inch infotainment screen as standard while the X3 gets a smaller 10.3-inch unit. Both get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

BMW X4 interior in redBMW

The X3's and X4's Fuel Economy Is Pretty Much the Same

According to EPA estimates, the 2023 BMW X4 xDrive30i gets 21/28/24 mpg city/highway/combined. The X4 M40i gets 21/26/23 mpg and the high-end X4 M drinks gas at a rate of 15/20/17 mpg, which is on par for high-performance SUVs.

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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Abigail Bassett
Abigail Bassett is an award-winning freelance journalist based in Los Angeles. There, she covers everything from automotive and business to travel and luxury. She has a passion for 1980s-era Volvo wagons, microcars, and dogs. She is also a World Car Juror.