New BMW X3 Arrives With Diesel, PHEV Or 393bhp I6 Power

Beemer’s mid-size crossover enters its fourth generation with a wide spread of powertrains
BMW X3 M50 - front
BMW X3 M50 - front

The BMW X3 is one of those cars that’s sort of slipped into the background of BMW’s range since its 2003 launch, but it’s one of the most important cars the company sells, and was in fact its global best-seller in 2023. No pressure, then, on this, the fourth-generation ‘G45’ X3, which has been unveiled today ahead of its arrival with customers towards the end of 2024.

It certainly looks a bit cross, although it’s far from the most egregious styling offence to come from BMW in recent years. Beemer says it’s toned down its recent obsession with creases, reducing the new X3 to just the essentials styling-wise. We’ll leave you to be the judge on whether it’s been successful.

BMW X3 M50 - side
BMW X3 M50 - side

Things are just as minimalist on the inside, where it gets BMW’s enormous Curved Display screen arrangement with the very latest iDrive system, apparently set up specifically for touch and voice control. This new OS also features various games to keep you occupied if you’re sat stationary, including Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, although we suspect the opportunity to actually win £1 million – or get berated by Jeremy Clarkson – probably isn’t there. Shame. The new contrasting ambient lighting that wraps around various bits of the interior is rather on the bold side, though.

BMW’s making sure it’s covering all bases with powertrains at launch. At the bottom of the tree are a pair of 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinders, the 205bhp petrol 20 (note the lack of ‘i’) and the 194bhp diesel 20d. Next up comes the plug-in hybrid 30e, pairing that 2.0-litre four with an electric motor integrated into the gearbox for a combined peak of 295bhp and up to 56 quoted miles of all-electric range.

BMW X3 M50 - interior
BMW X3 M50 - interior

The one you’re probably most interested in, though – at least until the full-fat M version arrives – is the M50. This gets a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six with 393bhp, and will hit 62mph in 4.6 seconds and an electronically governed max speed of 155mph. Regardless of powertrain, you’re getting standard four-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic ’box with paddle shifters.

Commendably, the new X3 is actually lighter than the outgoing model. Together with a wider rear track and reworked suspension, BMW says it’s more agile, stable and comfortable than its predecessor. Order the X3 in M Sport trim and you get standard M Sport suspension, which further tightens things up and features different gearing for the steering. There’s also optional adaptive suspension on all models.

BMW X3 M50 - rear
BMW X3 M50 - rear

Available to order now and with deliveries expected towards the end of 2024, prices for the new X3 start at £46,800, which gets you into the basic 20 petrol. If you want the rapid M50 version, you’ll have to stump up a minimum of £64,990.

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