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All-new BMW X3: premium SUV gets overhauled, electric iX3 axed

The fourth-generation BMW X3 is here to take on the Mercedes GLC and Audi Q5

  • All-new exterior and interior design
  • No electric option – petrol, diesel or hybrid only
  • Priced from £46,800

The all-new BMW X3 is here, and it marks an important moment for BMW. The mid-size SUV is one of the German carmaker’s key models, popular with families looking for something premium yet practical, so there’s a lot riding on it. On paper, the new X3 looks to offer some key improvements over the outgoing model, with sharper styling, cutting-edge interior technology and an updated range of engines. 

What do the new BMW X3’s exterior and interior look like?

Much of the new BMW X3’s exterior design has trickled down from more expensive models in the lineup, such as the electric BMW iX and the V8-engined BMW XM. There’s a similar simplicity to the surfaces and body lines, although the front end is still dominated by the large ‘kidney’ grilles – now with an optional glowing frame. Overall, it's only 40mm longer than before, placing it in similar territory to the Jaguar F-Pace and the new Porsche Macan Electric.

The new X3 will be offered in xLine and M Sport trims, but both feature a similar styling package, bar a slightly different pattern for the front grille. You get LED matrix headlights for both, along with a pair of sleeker tail-lights and a black diffuser-style trim piece on the lower bumper.

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The cabin has undergone an even more drastic overhaul compared to that of the outgoing X3. The separate digital instrument cluster and infotainment screen have been replaced by BMW’s latest curved display that places the 12.3-inch driver’s display and 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen together on one panel. There are few physical controls on the dashboard itself; most are placed next to the rotary iDrive controller on the centre console. Of course, there are new upholstery options for the seats, doors and dashboard, along with ambient lighting that adjusts with the selected driving mode.

What are the engine specs for the new BMW X3?

Perhaps the biggest change from third to fourth generations for the BMW X3 is the discontinuation of the electric iX3. With the new BMW Neue Klasse X on the horizon, it makes sense for BMW to phase the iX3 out now to make room for its next-generation electric SUV. The rest of the engine lineup has survived intact, with petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid offerings to suit every buyer’s taste.

Petrol models kick off with the xDrive20, which uses a 205bhp mild-hybrid four-cylinder engine – claimed fuel economy stands at a respectable 40.9mpg for this model. Diesel customers are served by the xDrive20d, which manages up to 48.7mpg from its 2.0-litre mild-hybrid four-cylinder.

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While both of those models will hit 0-62mph in under eight seconds, the X3 M50 xDrive is even quicker. Its 392bhp straight-six petrol engine launches it up to the same speed in just 4.6 seconds – not bad for a two-tonne SUV that also delivers up to 36.7mpg. This model also gets 20-inch wheels, upgraded brakes and some additional chassis tweaks.

For maximum efficiency, you’ll want the plug-in hybrid X3 xDrive30e. A 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine works alongside an electric motor to deliver 294bhp, while a relatively large 22.3kWh battery pack means it can silently drive on pure-electric power for up to 54 miles. The quoted economy figure of 313mpg is hard to believe, but like most PHEVs, this can only be achieved if you spend most of your time driving in electric mode. Handily, BMW has provided another economy figure for when the batteries are fully dead – a slightly more down-to-earth 39.2mpg.

How much does the new BMW X3 cost and when can I buy one?

Prices start from £46,800 for the petrol-powered X3 xDrive20, while the diesel equivalent costs £48,210. The xDrive30e plug-in hybrid is the next step up at £56,340, and the top-of-the-range M50 xDrive is priced from £64,990. The first customer cars will arrive in the UK by the end of 2024, while a six-cylinder diesel will join the range in 2025, and we expect a slightly swoopier BMW X4 to appear soon, too. 

You can read up on our favourite mid-size SUVs by reading our top 10 list of the best here.

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