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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago in the AAA Green Car Guide, which initially focused entirely on rating fuel-efficient, low-emitting vehicles.

For the 2021 edition, we've expanded the focus of the guide to include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and the development of autonomous vehicles.

home Home » Search Results » 2020 BMW X3 XDrive30e
How The Car Guide Rating Works
Test Results and Rankings:
The green cars tested by the ARC are evaluated on the basis of 13 categories: emissions, fuel economy, crashworthiness, braking, acceleration, handling, cargo-carrying capacity, ride quality, interior noise, ease of entry and exit, maneuverability, roominess, and visibility. The scores for the categories are totaled, and the cars are ranked from high to low.

2020 BMW X3 XDrive30e

Vehicle Type: SUV/Minivan Hybrid
 overall score
Category Ranking: 3
Vehicle Price
Base Price: $48,550
Price as Tested: $65,020
Fuel Information
Fuel Type: Electricity/midgrade
Fuel Capacity (gal): 13.2
120V Charge Time: 2.3 miles per hour
240V Charge Time: 6 miles per hour
EPA City mpg21
EPA Highway mpg27
EPA Combined mpg: 24
EPA Combined MPGe: 60
EPA-Est. Electric Range (mi): 18
Advanced Safety Features
Adaptive Cruise Control [O]
Advanced Headlights [O]
Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
Blind-Spot Warning [O]
Forward-Collision Warning [S]
Lane-Departure Warning [O]
Lane-Keeping Assistance [O]
Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [O]
[S] Standard, [O] Optional
Overall Observations
The X3 compact SUV is the best-selling BMW in the U.S., so it's no surprise that for 2020 the automaker added an electric motor, a 12-kWh battery, and a Level 2 - capable plug to keep the success story going. The PHEV setup provides 17 miles of EV-only range-puny by today's standards, but enough so that owners with short commutes can visit a gas station less frequently. The added 40 hp also makes the xDrive30e slightly quicker than its xDrive30i gas-powered sibling. Features that firmly plant the X3 in the luxury class include adaptive LED headlights, a 360-degree camera, and rear-seat climate controls. The X3 delivers a smooth ride and BMW's characteristic excellent handling. The major downside to the PHEV variant is cost - nearly $5,000 extra. And because its combined mpg numbers are actually worse than the gas-powered version's - 24 mpg versus 26 mpg - unless you drive most of your miles on electric power, buying the PHEV hardly makes sense. To add insult to injury, many desirable features - including advanced safety features - are optional. Perhaps the most egregious example: Adaptive cruise control (ACC) at city speeds is standard, but ACC at highway speeds is an extra-cost option.
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Strengths and Weaknesses
Strong Points
  • Excellent ride quality and handling
  • Luxurious interior fit and finish
  • Smooth PHEV drivetrain, especially the start/stop function
  • Improved infotainment system, with larger screens
Weak Points
  • Just 17 miles of EV-only driving; poor mpg
  • Most driver-assistance options cost extra
  • EV battery reduces cargo space
  • Expensive
Vehicle Specifications
Model year tested: 2020
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 4680.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 185.9 / 74.4 / 66.0
Wheelbase (in): 112.8
Number of air bags: 10
Warranty (months/miles): 48/50,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Pirelli P Zero
Front and rear tire size: 245/45 R20
Max towing capacity (lbs): 4409
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Hybrid drive
Drivetrain type: All wheel
Engine/motor: 2.0L 4-Cyl. TwinPower Turbo
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 181 @ 6500
Electric motor horsepower: 107
Combined system horsepower: 288
Test Data
Test Vehicle Scores
Advanced Safety Features: 10.00
Fuel Efficiency: 5.76
EPA Emissions Score: 7.00
Acceleration: 6.14
Braking: 7.36
Crashworthiness: 5.67
Handling: 7.38
Ride Quality: 8.18
Interior Size: 4.33
Easy of Entry and Exit: 7.35
Visibility: 8.30
Interior Noise: 6.57
Cargo Capacity: 2.59
2020 Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD
Car Guide Winner: 1st Place SUV/Minivan
More Details
Vehicle Type:  SUV/Minivan
Fuel Type:  Electric
MPGe: 127/114
Price as Tested:  $53,190
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2020 Volvo S90 T8 E-AWD R-Design
Car Guide Winner: 1st Place Large
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Vehicle Type:  Large
Fuel Type:  Hybrid
mpg: 28/31
Price as Tested:  $73,840
 out of 130
2020 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 HSE
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Vehicle Type:  SUV/Minivan
Fuel Type:  Electric
MPGe: 80/72
Price as Tested:  $84,276
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2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier
Car Guide Winner: 1st Place Small
More Details
Vehicle Type:  Small
Fuel Type:  Electric
MPGe: 127/108
Price as Tested:  $43,735
 out of 130
2020 BMW X3 XDrive30e
More Details
Vehicle Type:  SUV/Minivan
Fuel Type:  Hybrid
mpg: 21/27
Price as Tested:  $65,020
 out of 130
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