Although the original X3 technically went on sale near the end of 2003, BMW is only now celebrating the luxury crossover’s 20th anniversary. It’s likely because worldwide availability of the E83 didn’t happen until later in 2004. It has been an immense commercial success since more than 2.5 million units have been sold across three generations. The X3 will go down in history as the company’s first model with xDrive, albeit there had been all-wheel-drive vehicles before it.

Unveiled in September 2003 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the E83 was mainly built in Graz, Austria at Magna Steyr’s plant. It was also assembled at other plants in Thailand, Egypt, and Russia, with sales amounting to over 600,000 units until the second half of 2010 when production ended.

The second-generation X3 F25 was manufactured at BMW’s Spartanburg factory in South Carolina as well as other factories around the world, including in India and Thailand. It turned out to be even more popular as deliveries rose to more than 700,000 vehicles from the second half of 2010 until mid-2017.

The current X3 G01 has already racked up 1.2 million sales ahead of its retirement in the months to come. BMW makes the posh SUV at multiple factories across the globe, including in the US, South Africa, China, Brazil, and others. This third generation has also spawned the first-ever electric version with the iX3 built exclusively in China. In addition, the G01 is the first X3 to get the M treatment.

We’re expecting production of the G01 to come to an end in July while the fourth-generation model (codenamed G45) will hit the assembly line in August. A fully electric variant (NA5) is in the works for a release in the second half of 2025 but it will transition from the CLAR platform to the dedicated Neue Klasse underpinnings.

A new X3 typically means a sleeker X4 is not far behind but BMW has different plans. We’re hearing there won’t be another crossover-coupe mashup with combustion engines. Instead, the plan is to launch an electric iX4 in the latter half of the decade.

Source: BMW