2015 BMW X3 vs BMW X5 BMW Topeka
2015 BMW X3 xDrive35i 2015 BMW X5 xDrive35i
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Engine 3.0L Turbo Inline-6
19 city / 26 hwy mpg Efficiency 18 city / 27 hwy mpg
5 Seats 5, 7 Available
27.6 / 63.3 cubic feet Trunk Space / Max Cargo 22.9 / 66.0 cubic feet

2015 BMW X3 vs. BMW X5

2015 BMW X3 vs BMW X5 Interior Folding Seats

Luxury crossovers and SUVs have spiked in popularity in recent years, meaning some of the world's most respected automakers have added new entries into the many subcategories within the world of utility vehicles. But no matter which segment you find yourself looking, you'll likely find a BMW model near the top of the class. In the small to midsize luxury crossover categories, you'll come across the BMW X3 and BMW X5, which feature similar designs and share a few traits, but provide two distinct ownership experiences. 

In this 2015 BMW X3 vs BMW X5 in-brand comparison, we'll specifically be looking at the BMW X3 xDrive 35i and the BMW X5 xDrive35i, but please note that there are smaller, more efficient versions of the X3 and more powerful models within the X5 range. 

The first thing to note is that these two particular models both utilize a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 engine capable of 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. That engine teams with an 8-speed automatic transmission in both models, however the EPA rates the two differently (see table) in terms of efficiency, likely due to discrepancies in size, weight and drag. Other notable mechanical differences come in the front suspension where the X3 utilizes struts and the X5 Is fitted with a double wishbone unit.

What's the difference between the BMW X3 and BMW X5?

We discussed how the differences in size impact efficiency and driving experience in the previous section, but let's dive a little deeper into those differences and understand how the entire BMW X3 and X5 ranges differ. 

All BMW X5 models are a little more than 7 inches longer and exactly 2 inches wider than the X3. That size translates to more interior space, where the BMW X5 has an available 7-passenger configuration, but comes standard with five seats. Surprisingly, cargo and passenger space are relatively comparable, with a few inches here and there falling in favor of the X5. The BMW X5 has a fuel tank about five gallons larger than that of the X3, so it will result in fewer gas station stops.  

As we noted at the beginning of this comparison, there are a number of models within both of these ranges. The best way to compare the 2015 BMW X3 vs X5 is to do so on the lot and with back-to-back test drives. Select the schedule a "Schedule Test Drive" button below and find out which model is right for you.

2015 BMW X3 vs BMW X5 Off Road Abilities