More frugal engines are at the heart of the facelifted BMW X3, which gets its public debut at the Geneva motor show this week.
This refresh comes at a time when the mid-size SUV is a consistent strong seller for BMW, with global sales of 157,298 units in 2013 representing an increase of five percent over the previous year.
The most significant changes are under the bonnet, where the latest-generation turbodiesel engines combine more power and better economy than the outgoing cars. The X3 can be ordered with a six-speed manual gearbox or eight-speed automatic transmission, depending on the chosen engine.
BMW's rear-wheel-drive X3 sDrive18d is equipped with a 1995cc TwinPower turbodiesel four-pot unit that produces 148bhp and 36.7kgm. Three other diesel variants come with all-wheel drive as standard. The X3 xDrive20d produces 187bhp and 40.7kgm. The X3 xDrive30d is powered by BMW’s 2993cc inline six-cylinder TwinPower turbodiesel and generates 254bhp and 57kgm. In the flagship X3 xDrive35d, the same engine puts out 309bhp and 64.28kgm, accelerates from 0-100kph in 5.3sec and hits a top speed of 245kph. This variant’s claimed combined fuel consumption are improvements over the outgoing model.
Exterior changes include a new, sleeker headlight design, a new surround for the kidney grille and fresh front and rear bumpers, all of which bring its look more into line with that of its big brother, the X5. Apart from a one millimetre increase in length that takes it to 4657mm, the second-generation X3’s basic dimensions are unchanged, meaning it is 2089mm wide and 1678mm high, with a wheelbase of 2810mm. Boot space is an unchanged 550 litres with the rear seats up, increasing to 1,600 litres with the bench folded.
Inside, there are some modest tweaks such as additional chrome detailing, a revised centre console, new cupholders and a standard-fit leather steering wheel. New options of exterior colours, upholstery designs, interior trim strips and wheels will be available.
The tweaked X3 also gets a raft of new driver assistance and infotainment features including an uprated navigation system that has an integrated touchpad on the iDrive controller. Other highlights include an automatic parking assistant, a head-up display and a high-beam headlight assistant.
The updated X3 is expected to launch sometime in the middle of the year.