Update: Everyday Living With The 2013 BMW X3 28i

In the second month of testing this pricey, yet well-performing 2013 BMW X3 28i M Sport, I have yet to encounter any maintenance issues, rattles or hisses. That’s reassuring, because with a sticker of $52,725 (includes destination of $895) I’m pretty much expecting perfection.

2013 BMW X3 28i M Sport
It’s the second month of testing BMW’s mid-size “Sport Activity Vehicle”. So far, nothing has fallen off or broken.

If there were an annoying, buzzing sound coming from the door cards, BMW assures me they would remedy it, free of charge. Seriously, FREE! Well, at least for the first four years. I’ll have ceased from reviewing this vehicle three years before that BMW Free Maintenance period wears out, but I particularly like that feature which comes with all BMWs. For the record: The jury is still out if owners actually save money in the long run on no-cost maintenance programs like this one.

2013 BMW X3 28i M Sport
The 63.3-cubic feet of carrying swallowed up this 4-foot long Amazon package. Note the integrated cargo net to prevent articles from hitting the driver during spirited storage unit runs.

Speaking of things I like about this vehicle, I’m really digging its carrying capacity. Recently, my wife and I decided it was time to move out of our swanky, non-kid-friendly flat in the city and head for the suburbs. We’re expecting our first born soon, and we’d like some green space for the kiddo to roam around. With the exodus to the land of strip malls and white picket fences, I had to start moving large quantities of home goods from our busting storage units in the Washington, DC area. I pondered getting a U-Haul, but then thought, “this is a job for the long-term tester.”

I was quite amazed with the carrying capacity of the 2013 BMW X3 28i.  I had 8 moving boxes to place in the cargo area and it looked like they weren’t going to fit, based on my pre-loading estimations. Man, was I wrong. I was almost positive the repurposed, 4-foot long Amazon shipping box would make it so at least two other smaller boxes couldn’t fit. As you can see in the photo above, there is plenty of room to spare for the remaining seven boxes to load, including a ship-ready Pac-N-Play for the future bundle of joy (white box on right in the above photo).

2013 BMW X3 28i M Sport Space Gray
The Fast Lane Car Fun Fact: Washed cars run 20% faster that slower ones.

You’ll also notice a cargo net dividing the cargo area from the front driver/passenger area. This is the result of BMW including a cargo net which is integrated into their everyday rear cargo cover. When the rear passenger seats are folded down, the cargo cover can be relocated from the back to the middle of the vehicle with a click and a twist. It took about 30-seconds to install.

If there are any gripes about this feature, it would have to be that the cargo cover/cargo net retracting device is quite heavy. Some moms and less gym-inclined fathers may find it taxing to remove and reinstall.

After a couple of storage unit moving runs, I did a pretty good job of dirtying up the X3. There was an open, muddy field I “might” have done some donuts in to test out the XDrive all-wheel drive system … As a result, I headed to the local carwash.

2013 BMW X3 28i M Sport at the carwash.
A trip through some muddy fields required a little suds at the local carwash.

The Fall temperature dipped into the lower forties as I finished drying off the family hauler, so I jumped inside to warm up — the heated steering wheel had some work to do on my frozen mitts.

2013 BMW X3 28i M Sport Heated Steering Wheel
See that button on the steering column? Press it and the whole steering wheel gets really, really warm.

For now, the 2013 BMW X3 28i M Sport is fulfilling it’s high sticker price with handy carrying capacity, luxury features and reliability. It remains to be seen if this Bavarian kinderwagen will continue its two month streak of  mostly positive remarks by the reviewer. Stay tuned!


This article is the third in a series on long-term test vehicles. The first article on the 2013 BMW X3 28i M Sport covers the basic packages purchased with the vehicle. The second article covers more in depth driving impressions.


Ryan’s passion for automobiles began at age eight when his father brought home the quintessential sports car: A Guards Red, 1974 Porsche 911 Targa. Ever since, his free time has been consumed with following the latest developments of the automotive industry.