BMW has given the BMW X3 a mid-life facelift. It’s not just a bumper redesign with this one – the face of the car gets a big update to bring it in line with how its completely redesigned big brother X5 looks. This new face will also be shared with the X3’s ‘coupe’ sibling, the upcoming X4.

The twin circular headlights now meet the kidney grille just like the X5 and Concept X4, and there’s now the option for LED headlamps. The kidney grille has also been revised, there are new front and rear bumpers, and the signal indicators have been moved from the front fender to the wing mirrors.


Inside, there have been some improvements to make it more upmarket. For one, the automatic climate control panel has been revised to have the same black panel look as more premium cars such as the BMW 5-Series. Personally, the biggest improvement of all is the trim that runs from below the driver air con vent (the light switch is on this trim) to the centre dash (where it contains the centre air con vents) has been updated to have black gloss trim instead of just being dash coloured.

The cupholders have also been revised with a new sliding cover. The instrument cluster also gets a full width black panel multi-info display at the bottom. Like the new X5, the door locks have been moved to the door cards, right next to the door handle. The previous position on the center dash area in the middle of the air cond vents has been taken up by the new button that controls driver assist systems. iDrive has been updated to the latest version with the touchpad.

Overall, the interior now has four new upholstery colours and four new interior trim strips.


Making its debut in the new X3 is a revised engine for the xDrive20d model. The 2.0 turbodiesel engine gets a new tune, now putting out 190 hp from the previous 184 hp. Peak torque is 400 Nm, up from 380 Nm. Injection pressure is 2,000 bar. The increased power cuts the 100 km/h spring by 0.4 seconds – it’s now 8.1 seconds. We think this new 190 hp/400 Nm tune will eventually make its way to the other 20d models in the BMW range such as the 320d.

Other diesel engines include the sDrive18d (rear-wheel-drive) with 150 hp/360 Nm, the xDrive30d with 258 hp/560 Nm, and the range topping oil burner which is the xDrive35d with 313 hp and 630 Nm. The petrol engines start from the sDrive20i/xDrive20i with 184 hp/270 Nm, the xDrive28i with 245 hp/350 Nm, and the xDrive35i with 306 hp and 400 Nm. The ZF eight-speed auto now has the coasting function.


There’s a new xLine equipment package, which improves the ‘offroader’ emphasis of the X3. It includes metallic inserts in the bumpers, aluminium satin side cladding, bars in the air intakes, and faux underguards at the front and rear. You can also choose to head the opposite way and equip the X3 with an M Sport package, which has a sporty bias.

Other new features include Smart Opener where you can give the rear of the car a little kick to open the tailgate, as well as a new storage package.