What Type of Fuel Does BMW X3 Take? A Detailed Discussion!

What Type of Fuel Does BMW X3 Take? So, are you finding yourself in the ocean of confusion in terms of selecting the right BMW X3 fuel type? From 2004 to 2020, X3 presented 16 different models based on customers’ preferences and requirements. 

Diesel and petrol are the two major BMW X3 fuel types. Among them, regular, premium 98, and premium 95 variants are available. 

Without getting into a detailed discussion, it’ll be arduous for everyone to select the right fuel type. And that’s what this article is all about! 

Quick Chart for BMW X3 Fuel Type

Model of BMWTransmission SystemType of Fuel
BMW X3 2004-2006ManualPetrol
BMW X3 2007-2009ManualDiesel
BMW X3 2010-2014 & 2017Manual, AutomaticPetrol
BMW X3 2018ManualDiesel
BMW X3 2019AutomaticPetrol
BMW X3 2020AutomaticPetrol/Electric

BMW X3 Fuel Types:

So what type of fuel does the BMW X3 take? Due to the extended variants of the model, BMW X3 doesn’t stick with a single type of fuel so far. Instead, it holds its compatibility with multiple types of fuels, including petrol and diesel. 

1. Petrol

Manufactured with a combination of petroleum liquid and crude oil, petrol is a user-friendly fuel type used in a variety of different vehicles. People often consider it the same as gasoline utilized on several variants of BMW X3, from 2004-2006 to 2010-2017 and 2019-2020. 

Talking about the variants of petrol, I found 3 types of petrol compatible with BMW X3 models (e.g. regular, premium 98, & premium 95). 


Compared to others, the max octane level of regular fuel is not more than 91. For this, you’ll also find it relatively cheaper than the other variants. That’s why many local car owners often find it a reliable choice. 

Premium 98

Unlike premium 95 and regular fuels, this one right here contains the highest octane level which is up to 98. So it’s crystal clear that the performance it shows off will be the most effective! 

And yes, it’s equally true that it hurts wallets with its high-end price tag.

Premium 95

As the name suggests, this fuel has a max octane level of 95, making it not too expensive, nor much affordable!

Read Also: 5 Most Common BMW X3 3.0si Problems (Explained With Fix)

2. Diesel 

Comparatively thicker than petrol, diesel is known to be a liquid fuel substance made for diesel engines. And guess why? Many BMW X3 had incorporated such types of engines in the years 2007, 2009, and 2018. 

Unlike petrol, diesel combines biomass and crude oil. Moreover, it also comes in different forms to meet several types of car engines, including clear and dyed diesel. 

Speaking of the price, diesel is a bit costlier than petrol despite being more fuel-efficient. That’s one of the key reasons why many modern cars have been manufactured with diesel engines. 

Read Also: BMW X3 Windshield Replacement Cost: Model Wise All Possible Costs

Should I Only Rely on Premium Fuels for My BMW X3?

Most user manuals contain a light warning about not relying on the inappropriate type of fuel for your BMW X3 premium car. Even though occasional usage can’t offer that much impact on your X3’s engine, this may cause serious damage if you make it a regular habit. 

Note that almost every model of BMW X3 consists of a top-notch engine. As a result, incorporating dirt-cheap oils can surely reduce performance; there is no rocket science!

So, as a premium car user, you must stick with premium fuel to ensure optimal speed and performance of your BMW. 

What’s the Effect of Regular Fuel on BMW X3?

In a word, engine pinging or knocking is known to be the major impact you’ll notice after filling the X3’s tank with less-graded fuel. And it gives you a hint that the inappropriate fuel is getting burned around the BMW’s cylinder. 

The point to be noted, inappropriate fuel mixture and extreme temperature are the two main causes behind engine knocking. Consequently, if you refill the tank with appropriate premium fuel, it will regulate temperatures correctly being balanced and higher in octane levels. 

That doesn’t mean regular fuel is a piece of junk! In fact, many old variations of the BMW X3 relied upon regular fuels without any issues. But these modern days, manufacturers have been incorporating premium engines to make them friendly with premium fuels only. 

However, occasional uses of regular fuel can be permissible, depending on the engine’s condition.

Read Also: BMW X3 Steering Wheel Locked? Let’s Fix That!

Frequently Asked Questions  

People often ask different queries about the fuel type of the BMW X3. And that’s why I’ve gathered some frequently asked questions along with the most authentic answers possible: 

How often should I refill the tank of my BMW X3?

According to BMW enthusiasts, the modern variants of the BMW X3 can run up to 340 miles at a go with a single refill. After that, you may find the fuel tank empty, and that’s when you need to refill the tank for the next use. 

As a fuel, can I choose diesel for my BMW X3 2019?

As a rule of thumb, a petrol-friendly engine shouldn’t be refilled with diesel. So it’s highly restricted for everyone to pick up diesel for their BMW X3 2019. Whereas the variants of X3 2007-2009 and 2018 are compatible with diesel fuel. 

Can a lower octane level decrease the performance of my BMW X3?

Unfortunately, yes. Premium engines maintain compatibility with the premium fuel type for their improved octane level. As a result, it’s pretty obvious that every X3 rider will notice the decreased speed and lower acceleration by using lower octane fuel.

Is every type of fuel for the BMW X3 expensive? 

No. All fuels aren’t equipped with the same price tag. For instance, diesel will cost you slightly higher than petrol. With that being said, it gives more bang for the buck by ensuring optimal cost-efficiency!

Read Also: 7 Causes & Fix For BMW X3 Drivetrain Malfunction

Wrapping Up 

Just like picking up the correct component or accessories for your BMW X3, you need to be equally careful during the fuel selection. Ask why? Simply because inappropriate fuel can result in significant damage to the engine over a period.  

Furthermore, it decreases the overall acceleration, causing less speed. But sometimes, BMW drivers are allowed to incorporate regular fuel into their premium engines to save their pockets from spending a fortune! But that shouldn’t be done on a frequent basis, keep in mind. 

Last but not least, you should never make the mistake of using petrol and diesel interchangeably. Because they are completely different and do serve different results!

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