New BMW X3 facelift gains 48V mild hybrid tech across all engine options

Alongside the updated X4 and the all-new 4 Series Gran Coupe, BMW today also unveiled the X3 and X3 M facelift models. The mid-lifecycle LCI update brings upon cosmetic updates both inside and out, alongside a line-up of modernised powertrain options.

On the outside, the kidney grille on the front fascia has been ever-so-slightly enlarged, conjoined in the middle by a single-piece chrome frame. The frame also houses the front-facing cameras in a black bar right in the centre, separating the two “kidneys” visually.

Flanking the grille are the new LED headlights, which are now 10 mm slimmer than before and sports a new light signature akin to that of the new BMW 3 and 4 Series models. Adaptive matrix LED headlights are optional items on the X3, as are the Laserlight systems.

The front lower apron has also been suitably redesigned for a more modern look, featuring a triangular-shaped side air curtain inlets, alongside a reprofiled lower air intake with an integrated pseudo-skid plate at the bottom.

The most drastic changes on the exterior however are at the back, with a completely redesigned three-dimensional taillight cluster, styled in what BMW calls a “pincer” shape and covered with smoked lens for a sportier appearance. The rear bumpers have also been slightly restyled with a more stylish-looking skid plate-esque insert and larger twin exhaust exits.

Depending on variant, the new BMW X3 is also available with the M Sport package, which gets a specific front apron with larger air inlets, specific rear bumper, and larger 19-inch wheels.

For the full sporty SAV experience, though, you’ll have to step up to the M Performance and full-M variants, as they are fitted with specific kidney grille, blacked-out trim elements, exhausts (quad pipes on the X3 M), “aerodynamically optimised side mirrors, and larger wheels in 20- and 21-inch sizes.

The aggressive touches are continued onto the interior, especially on the X3 M thanks to its variant-specific M sport seats (with fancy colour combinations), M leather steering wheel with M Mode buttons, specific displays on the fully-digital instrument cluster, and a variant-specific centre console button stack.

All other variants though still get a completely reworked interior, adopting the dashboard layout and design of the BMW 3 and 4 Series. As standard, the new BMW X3 comes with the Live Cockpit Plus system which includes a 10.25-inch free-standing infotainment display, and a 5.1-inch display within the analogue instrument cluster.

Upgrading to the Live Cockpit Professional set-up sees both displays upgraded with 12.3-inch units (fully-digital instrument cluster), while a head-up display is also available as option. Other new interior items include the redesigned sport seats trimmed in Sensatec (Merino leather optional), as well as extended ambient lighting configurations.

In terms of powertrain, the regular BMW X3 is available with three petrol (xDrive20i, xDrive30i, M40i), three diesel (xDrive20d, xDrive30d and M40d) engine options, plus a plug-in hybrid xDrive30e variant, while the X3 M will be only be offered in the single Competition guise at launch.

Both the xDrive20i and 30i are powered by a 2.0-litre twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the former making 184 hp and 300 Nm, and the latter uprated to 245 hp and 350 Nm of torque. Century sprint times are 8.4 seconds and 6.6 seconds respectively, while top speeds are rated at 215 km/h and 235 km/h.

The M Performance M40i variant meanwhile gets a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six, pushing out 360 hp and 500 Nm of torque which translates to a 0-100 km/h sprint of 4.9 seconds, along with an electronically-limited top speed of 250 km/h.

On the side of the oil burners, the xDrive20d is equipped with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel mill that makes 190 hp and 400 Nm, giving it a 0-100 km/h time of 7.9 seconds along with a 213 km/h top speed.

The xDrive30d meanwhile gets a larger 3.0-litre straight-six turbodiesel engine making 286 hp and 650 Nm of torque, which translates to a century sprint time of 5.7 seconds and a 245 km/h top speed. Stepping up to the M40d results in a higher-output 3.0-litre inline-six turbodiesel mill that’s good for 340 hp and 700 Nm of torque, and a century sprint time of just 4.9 seconds.

All six models come with xDrive all-wheel drive as standard, paired to a Steptronic eight-speed automatic transmission as standard, although the M Performance get the latter in a special “Sport” version with specific tunings.

All six powertrain engine options above are also equipped with 48V mild hybrid technology as standard, with a starter generator capable of outputting an additional 11 hp (8 kW) for an extra boost of power during hard acceleration.

The updated BMW X3 M Competition is now powered by the new S58 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-six mill as found on the M3 and M4 Competition models, which features the use of a new forged lightweight crankshaft, greatly increasing the torque output. Peak power is rated at 510 hp, while torque output has increased to 650 Nm.

Paired to the M xDrive rear-biased all-wheel-drive system and an eight-speed auto gearbox, the X3 M Competition sprints to 100 km/h from standstill in just 3.8 seconds, onward to an electronically-limited top speed of 250 km/h – the latter can be raised to 285 km/h with the optional M Driver’s Package specification.

As for the xDrive30e plugin hybrid, the 2.0-litre engine from the xDrive20i is heavily modified with an 109 hp/265 Nm electric motor integrated into the automatic transmission. Total system output is rated at 292 hp and 420 Nm, which translates to a 6.1-second century sprint time and 210 km/h top speed.

In full electric mode, the xDrive30e is capped to a top speed of 135 km/h, while the 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides up to 50 km of range. The battery pack can be charged at up to 3.7 kW via the on-board charger, taking approximately 2.5 hours for a full charge from an empty battery.

The new BMW X3 facelift also gets an updated list of advanced driver assistance features, with the Driving Assistant Professional package available for the first time on the SAV.

This consists of active cruise control with stop and go function at speeds of up to 210 km/h, Steering and Lane Control Assistant, improved autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, as well as front cross-traffic alert.


BMW X3 xDrive30e

BMW X3 M Competition


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