and possesses a striking presence on the road. Aside from its length, which has grown by a single centimetre, it has the same compact, usable dimensions of its successful predecessor.
However, the new BMW X3 features a host of design changes. At the front end, new twin circular headlights – available in optional full LED specification along with optional LED front fog lamps – combine with the prominent BMW kidney grille and its new surround. Both the front and rear bumpers have gained new contours, while the LED indicators are now housed in the new exterior mirrors. Four new exterior paint shades and five new light-alloy wheel designs broaden the scope for individualisation.
Inside, the new BMW X3 remains a compelling proposition, with its carefully selected materials, understated chrome applications, a centre console with optional automatic climate control system (with high-gloss black panel) and wood panelling with pearl chrome highlights. New cupholders, with a sliding cover, can be found in the centre console, and a leather steering wheel is amongst the standard equipment. Customers can also choose from four new upholstery colours and four new interior trims. The new BMW X3 continues to lead the way in its segment in terms of both interior spaciousness and rear load capacity, offering 550 litres with the seats up and 1,600 litres with the seats folded.
The new BMW X3 is available in SE, xLine and M Sport trim levels. SE models already have an extensive standard equipment list including Nevada leather upholstery, two-zone air conditioning, Cruise control, DAB radio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, 17-inch alloy wheels, front and rear PDC, Drive Performance Control, Rain sensor and automatic headlights. This has now been increased with the inclusion of the BMW Business navigation system, heated front seats and an automatic tailgate.
Moreover, an optional new SE Plus package adds Harman-kardon loudspeakers, Sun protection glass, Adaptive Headlights, High-beam Assistant and a one-inch increase in alloy wheel size for an additional £2,850.
The new xLine models can be identified from the outside by gleaming metallic inserts in the bumpers, Satin Aluminium side cladding and bars in the air intakes, simulated underguards at the front and rear and exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels. Inside, the new model features exclusive xLine leather upholstery, Dark Copper trim and a Sport leather steering wheel. Nevertheless, xLine variants command only a £1,500 price premium over the SE model.
For those customers looking to further boost the superb dynamic qualities of the new BMW X3 there is the M Sport variant. These models feature M aerodynamic styling and BMW Individual High-gloss Shadowline exterior trim to maximise the car’s sporting presence, along with newly upgraded 19-inch light alloy wheels (previously 18-inch). Inside, there’s a BMW Individual rooflining in Anthracite, Sport seats, M Sport leather steering wheel and Aluminium Hexagon trim; technical highlights include Performance Control and M Sport suspension. M Sport models carry a further £1,500 price premium over the xLine variants.
An additional new package is also now available; M Sport Plus. This adds a new 20-inch M Sport bi-colour alloy wheel, Xenon headlights, Sun protection glass and Harman-kardon loudspeakers for £2,920.
A range of other innovative options adds further to the functionality of the new X3. The Comfort Access with smart-opener, for instance, makes accessing the load compartment that much easier; a short movement of the foot below the rear bumper causes it to open or close the tailgate automatically. A storage package including a reversible floor section, folding box, partition elements and a range of different luggage nets allows objects of any kind to be stowed away easily, safely and tidily. The 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats enables maximum flexibility. The optional auxiliary heating system guarantees a pleasant on-board climate at all times, even in wintry conditions.
The new BMW X3 features an all-turbo-diesel line-up, using the latest BMW TwinPower Turbo technology to ensure outstanding performance combined with minimised fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. All of the engines meet EU6 regulations as standard.
The new-generation, all-aluminium, 2.0-litre diesel engines use common-rail direct injection with solenoid valve injectors and work with increased injection pressure of 2,000bar. This pushes the output of the X3 xDrive20d from 184hp up to 190hp, with the maximum torque available also rising from 380 to 400Nm. The increase in performance cuts the zero to 62mph acceleration time by 0.4 seconds to just 8.1 seconds. At the same time, the fuel consumption of the X3 xDrive20d, when partnered with the eight-speed automatic gearbox, drops by 7.1 per cent compared to the outgoing model, and CO2 emissions are down to only 138g/km.
Furthermore, with a new optional 17-inch aero wheel and fourth-generation reduced-rolling-resistance tyres, CO2 emissions are cut by a further 7g/km. In this configuration, the X3 xDrive20d – in which the new 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine premieres – delivers class-leading figures: fuel consumption is just 56.5mpg with CO2 emissions of only 131g/km.
The new 150hp X3 sDrive18d, with rear-wheel-drive, a six-speed manual gearbox and reduced rolling resistance tyres, is even more frugal. The optional 17-inch aero alloy wheel records the lowest fuel consumption, just 60.1mpg, and CO2 emissions, at 124g/km, of any model in this market segment.
The range-topping variants of the new BMW X3 are powered by further developed versions of BMW’s much lauded 3.0-litre, six-cylinder in-line, turbo-diesel engine. The X3 xDrive30d delivers sparking performance, with zero to 62mph taking just 5.9 seconds, and yet achieves a combined fuel consumption of 47.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 156g/km. It develops 258hp with a peak torque of 560Nm.
The flagship model in the range is the X3 xDrive35d, offering an impressive 313hp and up to 630Nm of torque. Reaching 62mph from rest in just 5.3 seconds it has a combined fuel consumption of 47.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 157g/km – both reduced over the outgoing X3.
The new BMW X3 goes on sale in June 2014, priced from £30,990 OTR for an X3 sDrive18d SE.