The BMW X3 has been updated for 2014, with a new turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine, more standard gear and higher pricing for the new-look SUV.
The revamped all-wheel-drive SUV range adopts a more aggressively styled front-end including new headlights and grille designs, different front and rear bumpers, LED side mirror indicators and the choice of four new colours and five new wheel designs.
Inside, the X3 gains a range of updates including high-gloss black design elements, new cupholders in the centre console, and a choice of four new interior trim finishes with three new wood trim options. New leather trim colours are also available (black, mocha and ivory white), and new stainless steel finishes on the boot and door sills have been added.
The new diesel engine in the X3 xDrive20d pushes power outputs from 135kW/380Nm in the existing model to 140kW/400Nm. As a result, BMW claims the performance of the new model has improved, with its claimed 0-100km/h sprint time dropping by 0.4 seconds to 8.1sec. Claimed fuel use drops from 5.6 litres per 100km to 5.2L/100km.
The existing engine range remains largely unchanged. The xDrive20i retains its 2.0-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder that produces 135kW of power and 270Nm of torque, which is teamed to an eight-speed automatic (standard on all X3 models). Fuel use remains at 7.5L/100km, acceleration at 8.6sec from 0-100km/h.
The mid-level xDrive28i's 2.0-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder produces 180kW and 350Nm, with fuel use rated identically to its lower-powered sibling at 7.5L/100km, while the 0-100km/h sprint is dispatched of in 6.7sec.
The top-end xDrive30d's 3.0-litre turbo diesel six-cylinder pumps out 190kW and 560Nm, and is the quickest model in the Aussie range with a sprint time of 6.2sec. It uses a claimed 6.0L/100km.
Standard equipment for the entry-level xDrive20i and xDrive20d models now includes bi-xenon headlights, steering wheel-mounted paddleshifters, Bluetooth audio streaming (previously optional) and ambient interior lighting. New 18-inch alloys take the place of the existing 17s, too, and a standard xLine styling pack adds a more aggressive tone to the range. Front and rear parking sensors are standard, as is a reverse-view camera and sat-nav.
The dearer xDrive28i and X3 xDrive30d gain paddleshifters for their sports automatic transmissions, as well a surround-view camera system, auto-dimming side mirrors, and a 12-speaker HiFi sound system. It also steps up a size for its rims (now 19-inch), and includes leather trim with X embossing on the headrests.
The X3 is the first car to be offered in Australia with BMW ConnectedDrive. This system uses a permanent SIM card in the car that can connect the driver and occupants with emergency services, while options such as an internet-enabled package and real-time traffic and concierge services are also available.
The X3 is also now available with the brand's "BMW Service Inclusive" package, which allows owners to pre-purchase their scheduled servicing based on their needs. Plans start at three years/60,000km.
2014 BMW X3 pricing (plus on-road costs):
X3 xDrive20i $60,900 (up $1900)
X3 xDrive20d $64,400 (up $1300)
X3 xDrive28i $73,400 (up $755)
X3 xDrive30d $77,400 (up $900)