IOL Motoring Staff

Munich, Germany - BMW's X3 has come in for a midlife makeover, gaining a fresh look and a range of new-generation diesel engines that produce more power and drink less fuel.

The front end is notably different. Mimicking the new X5, the X3 gains new twin circular headlights that now run into the grille, which itself has been redesigned along with the front and rear bumpers and the mirrors. New colours and alloy wheel designs round off the external upgrade.

On the engine front, the German market is offered a choice between four diesel engines and three petrol units, with outputs ranging from 110kW to 230kW.


The oil-burning highlight is the new generation 2-litre turbodiesel, with increased injection pressure of 2000 bar. Its outputs climb to 140kW and 400Nm (from 135 and 380) and this model can now run to 100km/h in a claimed 8.1 seconds. Fuel consumption, meanwhile, drops by 7.1 percent to 5.0 litres per 100km.

BMW also offers a less powerful 2-litre turbodiesel at the bottom of the range, which is still good for 110kW and 360Nm, with claimed fuel consumption of just 4.7 l/100km.

At the top end of the diesel range, BMW offers the six-cylinder 30d with 190kW/560Nm and consumption of 5.9 l/100km and the 35d, which pushes 230kW/630Nm and sips 6.0 l/100km.

Petrol options in the new X3 include the 135kW/270Nm 20i, 180kW/350Nm 28i and 225kW/400Nm 35i. The latter will scream from 0-100km/h in just 5.6 seconds.

While entry-level models have rear-wheel drive, most of the X3 range comes with BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system, with need-based power distribution between all four wheels.

The transmission menu, depending on the engine choice made, comprises the usual six-speed manual, eight-speed automatic and eight-speed sports automatic with flappy paddles.

BMW has made some minor changes to the X3's cabin, including various chrome applications and four new upholstery colours and trim strips.

Furthermore, all X3s are now fitted with BMW's Radio Professional with Central Information Display and iDrive Controller.