Measuring 4708mm long, 1891mm wide and 1676mm tall, the new-generation X3 is 60mm longer, 10mm wider and 1mm taller than its predecessor. Meanwhile, the new car's 2864mm wheelbase is a 54mm gain on the old version. The X3 also retains its forebear's relatively high 204mm ground clearance - making it somewhat more off-road capable than the modern crop of luxury SUVs.
Up front is the latest take on the company's double kidney grille, shaped with now more-elliptical headlight units with full-LED bulbs, along with a new LED daytime-running light signature. There's also a new strip of LED fog-lights which replace the old car's circular units.
Out the back, there's hints of the X1 and X5, though the X3 gets uniquely-shaped LED tail-lights to further distinguish it from its stablemates. All engine variants also get dual tailpipe outlets too, compared to the outgoing generation's single exhaust tip for just about every model.
Filling the arches are a selection of new alloy wheel designs, ranging from 18 to 21 inches in diameter, while a more tapered roofline gives the new X3 an athletic and sleek side profile.
Inside is where the most distinct changes have occurred. Gone is the dated interior layout from BMWs of last decade, replaced by a cockpit very similar to that of the latest 5 Series.
Up front there's a new driver's information cluster with digital instruments, a new floating touchscreen infotainment system with the latest version of iDrive and gesture control, new steering wheel designs and a selection of new trims and materials.
Three model line packages are available to give the X3 a more distinguished look inside and out; xLine, Luxury Line, and M Sport. The xLine version gets a more off-road inspired look, with front and rear skid plates, matte-aluminium exterior trim highlights and 'xLine' sill trims.
Opting for the classier Luxury Line package switches out the matte-aluminium exterior trims for shinier chrome, wood interior trims, and 'Luxury Line' door sill finishers.
Finally, the M Sport package gets the M Aerodynamics body kit, alloy wheel designs up to 21-inches (rather than 20 for the other two), M Sport brakes and suspension, along with high-gloss black exterior highlights. Inside, the M Sport version gets a unique steering wheel, 'M Sport' door sill plates and M Sport seats.
The X3 also offers the suite of BMW Personal CoPilot semi-autonomous driver assistance systems, which includes active cruise control with stop & go function, steering and lane control assistant, and lane change assistant.
Also new is an optional head-up display, and the availability of the Remote 3D View function, which can project a live stream of the vehicle's surroundings to the owner's smartphone. BMW Connected services allow the new X3 to connect to smartphones or smartwatches, allowing owners to remotely check fuel level, lock the vehicle or turn on the ventilation systems.
The front windscreen also as standard with acoustic glass, with the front side windows also optionally available with the sound-reducing technology.
Rear passengers now benefit from the option of three-zone climate control - something previously unavailable in the X3 range - while front passengers can also have active heated and ventilated front seats.
Behind the second row, there's a healthy 550 litres of luggage capacity, extending to 1600L with the rear seats folded, unchanged from the model before it.
Several powertrain options will be offered depending on market, with turbocharged petrol and diesel engines ranging from four to six cylinders available.
The petrol range kicks off with the sDrive20i and xDrive20i, both powered by a 135kW/290Nm 2.0-litre turbo. All X3 engines are mated to an eight-speed 'Steptronic' automatic as standard.
Obviously, the difference between the two is that the sDrive20i is rear-wheel drive, while the xDrive20i is all-wheel drive.
Interestingly, both the sDrive20i and xDrive20i both claim a 0-100km/h time of 8.3 seconds, along with a top speed of 215km/h.
Second cab off the rank is the xDrive30i, which gets a higher-output 2.0-litre turbo, developing a healthier 185kW of power and 350Nm of torque - the latter coming between 1450 and 4800rpm.
Zero to 100km/h takes just 6.3 seconds, which is well within hot hatch territory, on its way to a top speed of 240km/h. Claimed fuel consumption is 7.4L/100km on the combined cycle.
Headlining the petrol-powered range is the X3 M40i, which will serve as the performance flagship until the rumoured X3 M arrives.
Under the bonnet is a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight six, developing 265kW of power and 500Nm of torque - peak torque arrives between 1520 and 4800 rpm.
With those outputs, the X3 M40i is capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h in just 4.8 seconds, on its way to an electronically-limited top speed of 250km/h - putting it on par with the Mercedes-AMG GLC43.
Depending on the wheel and tyre package specified, the M40i's fuel consumption is rated between 8.2-8.4L/100km on the combined cycle.
Headlining additions to the performance-oriented M40i include an M Sport exhaust system, 20-inch light alloy wheels, and a sport-tuned version of the eight-speed automatic transmission with launch control. Adaptive M Sport suspension is available as an option.
Two turbo-diesel powerplants will also be available, one four-cylinder unit and one six-cylinder mill.
Starting the range is the xDrive20d, which utilises a 140kW/400Nm 2.0-litre oiler. Zero to 100km/h takes 8.0 seconds flat, while top speed is rated at 213km/h.
Claimed fuel consumption is between 5.0-5.4L/100km depending on the wheel and tyre package specified.
Finally, the xDrive30d swaps out the four-cylinder oiler for a larger 3.0-litre unit, developing a meaty 195kW of power and 625Nm of torque.
The flagship diesel X3 can sprint from 0-100km/h in 5.8 seconds, on its way to a stop speed of 240km/h. Claimed fuel consumption, on the other hand, ranges from 5.7-6.0L/100km depending on which wheels and tyres are specified, according to BMW.
Launching globally in the European autumn, or fourth quarter of 2017, the X3 will initially be available in xDrive20d, xDrive30d and M40i guises.
Before year's end, the xDrive30i will make it to market, while the sDrive20i and xDrive20i won't be released until 2018.
Given European launch timing, and the likelihood of a Frankfurt motor show debut in September, the new X3 is unlikely to hit Australia before 2018. For now, the company's local arm is keeping quiet on exact timing.
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