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 features 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 is available in SE, xLine and M Sport trim levels. SE models already have a 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. xLine variants command a £1,500 price premium over the SE model.
For those customers looking to further boost the 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 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.
The new BMW X3 features an all-turbo-diesel line-up, using the latest BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. 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 184 hp up to 190 hp, with the maximum torque available also rising from 380 to 400 Nm. The increase in performance cuts the zero to 62 mph acceleration time by 0.4 seconds to 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 138 g/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 delivers a fuel consumption if 56.5 mpg with CO2 emissions of 131 g/km.
The new 150 hp X3 sDrive18d, with rear-wheel-drive, a six-speed manual gearbox and reduced rolling resistance tyres, is more frugal. The optional 17-inch aero alloy wheel records 60.1mpg, and CO2 emissions, at 124g/km.
The range-topping variants of the new BMW X3 are powered by further developed versions of BMW's 3.0-litre, six-cylinder in-line, turbo-diesel engine. The X3 xDrive30d delivers sparking performance, with zero to 62mph taking 5.9 seconds, it achieves a combined fuel consumption of 47.9 mpg and CO2 emissions of 156 g/km. It develops 258 hp with a peak torque of 560 Nm.
The flagship model in the range is the X3 xDrive35d, offering 313 hp and up to 630 Nm of torque. Reaching 62 mph from rest in 5.3 seconds it has a combined fuel consumption of 47.1 mpg and CO2 emissions of 157 g/km; both reduced over the outgoing X3.
The BMW X3 18d is available in sDrive form, while all other models come with xDrive as standard. The xDrive all-wheel-drive system promises optimum traction, with power sent where it is most needed, improving on-road dynamics and driving safety. In models equipped with xDrive, a new xDrive status display (featuring three-dimensional graphics) in the Control Display keeps the driver informed of the car's body roll and pitch, while a compass display is also shown in the instrument cluster.
Depending on the engine variant specified, the new BMW X3 can be ordered with a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic (standard on the xDrive30d and xDrive35d), which also allows the driver to change gear using optional shift paddles on the steering wheel. An eight-speed Sport automatic gearbox, with shift paddles included as standard, is also available as an option.
With the new BMW X3, BMW ConnectedDrive continues at the forefront of technology to link-up the driver, the car and the outside world. Among the outstanding new features is the latest, enhanced-capability generation of the Professional Multimedia navigation, complete with ECO PRO route guidance and an iDrive Touch Controller with integrated touchpad. The touchpad allows drivers or passengers to use their finger to write letters for text inputs such as a navigation destination, for example.
Another highlight is the full-colour Head-up Display, which projects all-important driving information and the assistance systems displays into the driver's field of view.
Among the other systems available are the anti-dazzle High-beam Assistant and Driving Assistant Plus, which includes features such as Lane Departure Warning and preventive pedestrian protection, plus Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function. An aide to comfort and convenience, meanwhile, is the Surround-view camera systems, which provides a 360-degree view of the vehicle for when parking or manoeuvring. BMW ConnectedDrive Services & Apps also make mobility services and smartphone applications available inside the car via the central Control Display, and innovations such as Information Plus and RTTI (Real Time Traffic Information) system can also be accessed.
The BMW Emergency Call function is now fitted as standard. This system springs into action automatically (although it can be activated manually) as soon as the crash sensors report an airbag deployment. Emergency Call uses an integrated SIM card to send the car's exact location along with all key information to the BMW call centre, enabling rapid and effective assistance at the scene of the accident.
The new BMW X3 goes on sale in June 2014, priced from £30,990 OTR for an X3 sDrive18d SE.