The new F25 BMW X3 is here – bigger, and more powerful, but still immediately recognizable as an X3, partly because it looks so much alike to the model it replaces. It’s wheelbase of 2,810mm puts it smack in the middle of the X1’s 2,760mm and the X5’s 2,933mm. The old X3 had a 2,795mm wheelbase.

Only three engines are available at launch time – two petrol and one oil burner. The petrol engine for the European debut is the powerful xDrive35i, which uses a 3.0 litre straight-six making 306 horsepower and 400Nm of torque thanks to its turbocharger. In the US, the engine is the normally aspirated xDrive28i.

The diesel model is the new 184 horsepower BMW X3 xDrive20d – this 184hp and 380Nm version of BMW’s single turbocharged 4-potter diesel engine made its debut in the BMW F10 and is expected to hit our E90 LCI 320d pretty soon. The xDrive35i engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with an auto start stop system.

The xDrive20d comes with a 6-speed manual as standard but can also be equipped with an optional 8-speed automatic. However the manual option is not available on the xDrive35i. It’s also the first time that BMW has fitted an electric power steering in a BMW X model, and there’s also an optional variable sports steering.

Power is sent to all four wheels via xDrive, and there is also optional Performance Control. The optional Dynamic Damper Control uses electronically controlled dampers that can adapt to road surface conditions and driver driving style – this is your usual NORMAL, SPORT and SPORT+ modes that we’ve seen in new BMW vehicles.

The interior kinda looks like the X1’s interior, but it’s much more premium (unlike the seriously el cheapo X1 interior) and also incorporates some features from the new BMW interior design theme, which first appeared in the F01/F02 7-Series and then carried on in the 5-Series GT, Saloon and Touring.

For example, there’s a black panel LCD but it only covers the bottom right and bottom center area of the instrument cluster, while the more premium BMWs have the black panel extended the whole bottom width of the instrument cluster.