A new diesel engine, refreshed styling and enhanced infotainment and driver assist technologies headline the upgrades to the 2014 BMW X3.
Bound for March's Geneva motor show and Australian showrooms by September, the updated BMW X3 will debut the new-generation all-aluminium 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine for the luxury German car maker, offered initially in two states of tune.
Producing 140kW of power and 400Nm of torque (up 5kW and 20Nm over its predecessor), BMW claims the new xDrive20d is seven per cent more fuel efficient at 5.2 litres per 100km and 0.4 seconds quicker from 0-100km/h (8.1sec) when teamed with the carryover eight-speed automatic transmission.
A less-powerful version also finds its way under the bonnet of the entry-level rear-wheel-drive X3 sDrive18d, which now produces 110kW and 360Nm (up 5kW), claims combined cycle fuel consumption of 5.1L/100km, and accelerates to 100km/h from rest in 9.8 seconds.
Claimed consumption of the 3.0-litre six-cylinder-powered 190kW/560Nm xDrive30d and 230kW/630Nm xDrive35d variants is also lower, inching down 0.1L/100km each to 5.9L/100km and 6.0L/100km respectively.
Outputs and performance and consumption claims of the petrol-powered 135kW/270Nm xDrive20i, 180kW/350Nm xDrive28i and the 225kW/400Nm xDrive35i are unchanged in the updated X3 range.
BMW Australia currently offers the X3 20i, 20d, 28i and 30d grades, passing on the 18d, 35i and 35d bookends. Though the first rear-wheel-drive X5 is due here next month, BMW Australia says the X3 18d and 20i rear-drivers won't be part of the initial facelift line-up, but remain on the local division's radar for the future. New sDrive variants would reduce the entry price of BMW’s X3 range, which currently starts at $59,000.
Distinguishing the 2014 BMW X3 is a new connected grille and headlight design, mirroring that of the larger X5 and 3 Series/4 Series duo. The headlights gain modified twin circular lamps, while the side mirrors now house LED indicators.
Redesigned front and rear bumpers contribute to the refreshed look and account for the 9mm growth in the SUV’s 4657mm length. The car’s 550-litre boot capacity (1600L with the 40:20:40 split-fold rear seats folded forward) is unchanged.
Vehicle weights have increased up to 30kg across the range, which BMW says reflects the X3’s enhanced standard equipment lists.
New to the 2014 BMW X3 is the enhanced iDrive controller with integrated touchpad for text input using finger movements, auto parking assistant, colour head-up display, anti-dazzle high beams, and the Driving Assistant Plus package, which includes lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and preventative pedestrian protection.
Updates to the X3’s infotainment system introduce a number of new ConnectedDrive features, including real-time traffic information, automatic emergency calling, and a range of social media and online radio applications.
New trim and upholstery colours and textures and redesigned cupholders with a sliding cover round out the changes to the cabin.
Local pricing and specification details of the 2014 BMW X3 will be revealed closer to its launch.