Diesel version of BMW's new SUV tops 50mpg to beat Audi rival; on sale next January
30 September 2010

BMW has unveiled the second-generation X3 model at the Paris motor show.

It will be among the most economical and efficient mid-sized off-roaders on sale when it reaches the UK in January, the company claims.

See official pics of the new BMW X3 - plus the pics from the Paris motor show

The entry-level 181bhp, 2.0-litre manual X3 xDrive20d will offer combined economy of 50.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 149g/km. That trumps the Audi Q5 2.0 TDI 170 by 4.8mpg and 14g/km.

Set to be unveiled at the Paris motor show in October, the new X3 has been thoroughly re-engineered inside and out. But, once again, it is the new off-roader’s styling that’s sure to stir controversy.

Read Autocar's development drive of the new BMW X3

The X3’s exterior blends styling elements from the smaller X1 and larger X5 in a five-door body that has a familiar silhouette and, significantly, larger rear door apertures than the outgoing model for easier access.

The new off-roader has grown, but not by as much as was expected after the introduction of the more affordable X1. Length is up by 78mm to 4648mm, width decreases by an incremental 4mm at 1855mm and height rises by 14mm at 1675mm.

The wheelbase has also grown by 15mm to 2810mm, providing the basis for a 70-litre increase in luggage capacity to 550 litres.

Inside, there’s a new dashboard, multi-function steering wheel, revised seats and more elegant trims — all at a quality level on a par with the 3-series. BMW hopes that this will silence critics of the outgoing X3’s dowdy interior. Equipment levels have been improved, although UK pricing has yet to be fixed.

As well as the 181bhp 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel in the xDrive20d, BMW will introduce the new X3 with a 302bhp, 3.0-litre, turbocharged straight six petrol in a more luxurious xDrive35i range-topper.

The diesel will come with the choice of either a standard six-speed manual gearbox or an optional ZF-engineered eight-speed automatic. The xDrive35i will get the auto as standard, allowing it to hit 62mph in 5.7sec and a 152mph top speed. It will also return a claimed 32.1mpg and emit 204g/km of CO2.

Both gearboxes offer a standard stop-start function and operate in combination with a brake energy recuperation system. Further efficiency savings are made through a new electric power steering system.

Further X3 models are planned for the UK, including a 254bhp 3.0-litre xDrive28i petrol and a 201bhp xDrive23d that has a twin-turbocharged, four-cylinder diesel. But they are unlikely to go on sale until at least this time next year.

As with today’s X3, the new model will be available exclusively with four-wheel drive. No rear-wheel-drive version is planned for the UK, although BMW is still considering introducing such a model in North America.

Chassis developments for the new off-roader include new double wishbone front suspension and variable damping that incorporates BMW’s Dynamic Control system, which also influences the throttle, engine, steering and dynamic stability control mapping.

Production of the new X3 will take place at BMW’s Spartanburg facility in North America alongside the X5 and X6. By contrast, the first-generation X3 was produced at Magna in Graz, Austria — the same factory BMW has tapped to turn out the new Mini Countryman.

Greg Kable

See all the latest BMW X3 reviews, news and video

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Comments
61

14 July 2010

[quote Autocar]The entry-level 181bhp, 2.0-litre manual X3 xDrive20d will offer combined economy of 50.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 149g/km. That trumps the Audi Q5 2.0 TDI 170 by 4.8mpg and 14g/km.
[/quote]

Pretty impressive figures.

14 July 2010

as nice as the specs, mpg etc sound, is it just me that thinks it is hideous, inside and out, and will undoubtibly be very expensive for not alot, everything will be extra.

14 July 2010

Looks like a bad Chinese copy of the ugly old X5!

14 July 2010

Sorry - this car looks butt ugly; this really is someone going for the badge more than anything else. The Q5 looks better and is better, plus the new baby Range Rover (evoque??) looks stunning too.

14 July 2010

I'm not into this sort of car at all, but, I think this actually looks ok. Its much better than the present X3 (though that's not difficult), and definitely better looking than the oddly proportioned and weird looking X1. I like the shape of the front headlights (somewhat Audi-esque), and I think the dashboard looks good too.

14 July 2010

[quote Autocar]The second-generation BMW X3 will be among the most economical and efficient mid-sized off-roaders on sale when it reaches the UK in January, the company claims.

The entry-level 181bhp, 2.0-litre manual X3 xDrive20d will offer combined economy of 50.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 149g/km. That trumps the Audi Q5 2.0 TDI 170 by 4.8mpg and 14g/km.

See official pics of the new BMW X3

S...Read the full article[/quote] Wow, the dullest car from BMW just upheld the tradition. I have only ever driven the first generation 2.0 oil burner and it was OK at best. The new one looks like it will astound no-one, and it's not on my shopping list!

15 July 2010

[quote asian sensation]Sorry - this car looks butt ugly; this really is someone going for the badge more than anything else. The Q5 looks better and is better, plus the new baby Range Rover (evoque??) looks stunning too.[/quote] Your dead right. The Volvo X60, Audi Q5 and the new Evoque make the X3's styling look really dated. Indeed as one other poster said this X3 looks like a cheap Chinese rip off. I'm sure it's a very good car, but if Range Rover are now planning a mid size RR, with Evoque styling then BMW should just give up now if the X3 and X6 is the best they can come up with!

15 July 2010

Come on Autocar, you have had your fun, can you please post the real pictures now.

You can honestly believe we would fall for them being real, BMW are not that stupid....are they?

15 July 2010

I want the full 268bhp 3-litre naturally-aspirated straight-six, with a manual gearbox - not the mere 254hp version.

Actually, no, I don't. I hate the X3 and everything it stands for. It's far too tall, far too ugly, and now it's even badly-proportioned. Oh dear. BMW, please, kill off the X range in its entirety - except perhaps the X1.

Also, I've just noticed they've nicked the indicator side repeaters on the front wings off the Mk1 Ford Focus...

15 July 2010

[quote Straight Six Man]

Also, I've just noticed they've nicked the indicator side repeaters on the front wings off the Mk1 Ford Focus...

[/quote] I think they are off the Mondeo mk3, the ones on the mk1 Focus were orange..good spot by the way.

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