2020 BMW X3 with the 2020 BMW X4 Comparison in Norwalk, CA

The BMW X3 Sports Activity Vehicle is incredibly popular. In fact, it was the best-selling BMW model in the US in the year 2019, and it's one of the best family cars made by BMW. Of course, there are other options, including the BMW X4. Built on the same platform as the BMW X3, the BMW X4 offers many of the same features. Nevertheless, there are also some important differences. On this page, we'll take you through these two SAVs so you can figure out which one is the better fit for your family.

2020 BMW X3 vs 2020 BMW X4 Exterior

BMW X3 vs BMW X4: Design

The BMW X3 exemplifies Sports Activity Vehicle design. It takes the general outlines of an SUV and makes them stand out in a way that only BMW can. Of course, the signature Kidney Grille gives the X3 its undeniable BMW look, and its bold lines are accentuated by features like a roof spoiler and aluminum roof rails. Though the BMW X4 is also a Sports Activity Vehicle, it looks remarkably different from the X3. It has a much more car-like design, thanks to its low coupe-inspired roofline and distinct spoiler. This does mean, however, that it lacks the roof rails that come standard in the X3; they're only an available upgrade on the BMW X4.

These differences don't just stay outside; the interior of these SAVs is also different. The BMW X3 does have a roomier cockpit than the BMW X4, with greater cargo capacity and headroom. That being said, the BMW X4 is still roomy, and its maximum cargo capacity of 50.5 cubic feet is still spacious. But if you're interested in maximizing space, the 62.7-cubic-foot maximum cargo capacity in the BMW X3 makes it the better choice. Whichever one you choose, you'll be pleased with the power rear tailgate that makes loading and unloading easier.

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2020 BMW X3 vs 2020 BMW X4 Interior

BMW X3 vs BMW X4: Interior Features

These are SAVs by BMW, which means that the interiors are designed with comfort in mind. The BMW X3 and X4 share many interior features, including SensaTec leatherette upholstery and an iDrive multimedia system. But there are some key differences, as well. For example, the 2020 BMW X3 includes a Live Cockpit Plus system with an 8.8-inch touchscreen and a digital instrument cluster. The BMW X4, on the other hand, includes a Live Cockpit Professional system. This system has a 10.25-inch touchscreen in the center stack, and the instrument cluster is a 12.3-inch screen that's completely customizable. In addition, you'll get a standard panoramic moonroof in the BMW X4. This moonroof, like the Live Cockpit Professional system, is an available upgrade only in the BMW X3.

BMW X3 vs BMW X4: Driving Experience

Not only do the X3 and the X4 share the same platform, but they also share the same engine. A powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine generates 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, and the 8-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission includes a manual shift mode. The BMW X3 gets slightly better gas mileage (up to 29 mpg, compared to the up to 28 that the BMW X4 gets), but both SAVs can get from 0 to 60 mph in as low as six seconds.

2020 BMW X3 vs 2020 BMW X4 Features

That lower gas mileage that the BMW X4 has is due to the fact that every 2020 BMW X4 comes standard with intelligent all-wheel drive. The BMW X3 is a rear-wheel drive vehicle, but this same AWD system is available as an upgrade. But it's not just the drivetrain where these two cars differ: their different suspensions have differing philosophies, as well. The BMW X3 comes with a standard BMW suspension, complete with a multi-link front axle suspension with spring struts and a 5-link rear axle suspension. The X4, on the other hand, comes standard with an M Sport suspension. This sportier suspension matches the sportier look of the BMW X4, and it gives it stunning handling and response. But, if you prefer the more balanced feel of the standard suspension, that's also available in the BMW X4.

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BMW X3 vs BMW X4: Value

The BMW X4 does cost noticeably more than the BMW X3. This is even true when you choose an X3 that's equipped with all-wheel drive. But, as you've seen, the BMW X4 does contain more standard features. In addition, its sportier stance and more performance-oriented suspension make it a worthy choice for those who want to combine the capability of an SAV with a little extra sportiness.

2020 BMW X32020 BMW X4
$41,950Starting MSRP*$51,100
AvailableAll-Wheel DriveStandard
25 MPG City / 29 MPG HighwayFuel Economy23 MPG City / 28 MPG Highway
28.7 Cubic FeetCargo Space (Behind Rear Seats)18.5 Cubic Feet
62.7 Cubic FeetMaximum Cargo Space (Seats Folded)50.5 Cubic Feet
36.4"2nd Row Legroom35.5"
Standard SuspensionSuspension TypeM-Sport Suspension
Available UpgradeLive Cockpit ProfessionalStandard
StandardRoof RailsAvailable Upgrade

*MSRP excludes destination & handling fee of $995, tax, title, license, and registration.