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Uh oh, the new BMW X3 is here, and it’s… not happy about something

BMW ditches the old X3’s conservative face in favour of a quite angry one

Published: 18 Jun 2024

This is the new BMW X3, and it is not happy about something.

BMW has not revealed the source of the new X3’s ire, only reporting that the fourth-generation, 3 Series-based SUV now boasts a “distinctive character” with a kidney grille that “gives off an air of assured presence”. For ‘assured presence’, read: getouttamyway.

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(Maybe the rage stems from being released before we see its fully-electric, next-gen iX3 sibling, an SUV arriving next year and one that'll follow the form of the Vision Neue Klasse X. Or somebody spilled its pint. Who knows.)

As ever with model refreshes, BMW’s new baby SUV has grown in both length and width – albeit fractionally – though it’s been dropped by 25mm which, combined with wider tracks, certainly makes it look squatter than before.

You’ll note the almost slab-sided new front sporting a fresh set of definitely-irritated-by-something headlights, really-rather-cross grille, flared arches, a squarer roofline towards the rear and those admittedly rather handsome rear light signatures.

You’ll get a choice of four new X3s, at least in the UK. The baby of the range is the 20 xDrive (205bhp, 0-62mph in 7.8s), followed by the 20d xDrive (194bhp, 0-62mph in 7.7s), the hybrid 30e xDrive (295bhp, 0-62mph in 6.2s), and topped off by the M50 xDrive (393bhp, 0-62mph in 4.6s).

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The diesel – yes, a diesel in 2024! – gets a 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit, while both the petrol X3 20 and X3 30e cars get 2.0-litre four pots as well. There’s mild-hybrid 48V tech in the former, and full plug-in capability in the latter, which now offers between 50 and 56 miles of e-range. That’s more than before, but then it’s a lot angrier than before, so that tallies.

The M50? A proper BMW straight-six turbo featuring 48V mild-hybrid tech, and of course an M-specific chassis and suspension tune. This includes yer usual hits of ‘M Sport suspension’ (read: stiffer, angrier), an M Sport diff, M Sport brakes, many exhaust pipes and the option of adaptive dampers.

 

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All, you’ll note, are four-wheel-drive, and all come with BMW’s eight-speed auto ‘box. And this increased fury has corresponded to an increase in agility across all X3 variants, BMW claiming better cornering stability and ride comfort over the old car.

There’s more kit as standard too, and the interior is – as one would expect of an SUV released in 2024 – dominated by a massive screen, BMW’s one dubbed ‘Curved Display’. There’s a new flat-bottomed steering wheel and infinitely adjustable luxury seats.

The new X3 gets smartphone integration too, optional in-car games, and BMW’s Operating System 9, if you’re keeping score. Please do – it’s already angry enough.

Prices in the UK kick off from £46,800 for the entry-level petrol-powered 20, £48,210 for the diesel, £56,340 for the straight-six 30e PHEV, and finally £64,990 for the M version.

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