This refresh comes at a time when the mid-size SUV is a consistent strong seller for BMW, with global sales of 157,298 units in 2013 representing an increase of five per cent over the previous year.
The most significant changes are under the bonnet, where the latest-generation turbodiesel engines combine more power and better economy than the outgoing cars. The X3 can be ordered with a six-speed manual gearbox or eight-speed automatic transmission, depending on the chosen engine.
BMW's rear-wheel-drive X3 sDrive18d is equipped with a 1995cc TwinPower turbodiesel four-pot unit that produces 148bhp and 266lb ft. When fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox, this variant returns a claimed 56.5mpg on the combined cycle and emits 131g/km, the best in the range.
Three other diesel variants come with all-wheel drive as standard. The X3 xDrive20d produces 187bhp and 295lb ft, returning a claimed 52.3mpg on the combined cycle and emitting 143g/km of CO2.
The X3 xDrive30d is powered by BMW’s 2993cc inline six-cylinder TwinPower turbodiesel and generates 254bhp and 413lb ft. Claimed combined fuel economy for this variant, which is only available with the automatic transmission, is 47.9mpg and CO2 emissions are put at 156g/km.
In the flagship X3 xDrive35d the same engine puts out 309bhp and 465lb ft, accelerates from 0-62mph in 5.3sec and hits a top speed of 152mph. This variant’s claimed combined fuel consumption of 47.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 157g/km are improvements over the outgoing model.