X-rated: new BMW X3 revealed with 392bhp engine option | CAR Magazine
More like this:

X-rated: new BMW X3 revealed with 392bhp engine option

Published: 18 June 2024 Updated: 18 June 2024

New BMW X3 family SUV revealed
► Fresh looks and new engines
► Prices start from £46K

Just when you thought BMW’s wrap-lifting season might’ve bowed out, it goes and launches a new mid-size family SUV. You’re looking at the all-new, fourth-generation BMW X3 – a remaster of one of the segments heaviest hitters. 

As a former Bavarian best-seller – over 3.5 million of them have been sold over the previous three generations – this is an especially important reveal, even among the most esteemed of its recently updated siblings.

Looking to continue the success of the X3 badge, BMW has given its SUV a full refresh, with striking new looks – much in line with the rest of the current BMW lineup – a revamped interior with the latest iDrive systems and a bigger boot. Oh, plus an enhanced engine lineup that now includes a six-cylinder power unit producing just shy of 400bhp. 

Want to learn more? Read on for everything you need to know about the new BMW X3 from CAR. If you want to know how it drives, we put a prototype model through its paces earlier this year. 

New looks?

You’ve seen it now, so the new face is probably worth discussing first. With its sharp lines, blocky build and L-shaped headlight elements, the new X3 features some of BMW’s latest design language, as found on a few other members of the current crop. 

BMW X3 (2024) front driving

That could prove divisive as it already has on a raft of other models, but where the electrified five series and combustion five series models are nearly identical, the new X3 is a stark removal from the Neue Klasse X electric SUV concept – its spiritual all-electric twin. 

Juxtapose the two together and the new X3 looks positively vanilla. That being said, all model except the range topping M50s feature out-of-sight exhaust pipes integrated into the rear bumper, so there a few subtle nods to an electrified avant-garde.  

But while the upcoming Neue Klasse X will sit on a bespoke chassis, the fresh X3 remains on the CLAR WE architecture line. The new model is 34mm longer than the outgoing generation, while 29mm wider. It’s also a touch lower (25mm) to crank up the sportiness, according to BMW (not verbatim).

Talk to me about engines

The new X3 will be available with four different engines, all with BMW’s xDrive AWD technology, an eight-speed transmission and a 48-volt mild hybrid system. 

BMW X3 (2024) M50 rear driving

The engine lineup includes a diesel, a hybrid and a six-cylinder M-line unit at the top of the range. Bottom-spec 20 xDrive models produce 205bhp and 243ft lbs of torque. The diesel 20 can’t quite match that power output with 194bhp, but it’s made up for with 295ftlbs of torque. 

The plug in hybrid spec on offer, the X3 30e, utilises a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine alongside an electric motor for a total system output of 296bhp through an eight-speed transmission. According to BMW’s WLTP figures, the PHEV X3 will be able to cover between 50 and 56 miles on electric power only.  

The plug-in hybrid system does, however, come at a cost of boot space. The new ICE X3s have a slightly more commodious boot compared to the last generation with 570 litres on offer (extends to 1,700) but the PHEV can only carry up to 460 litres (1,600).

At the top of the engine range is a twin-turbo six-cylinder unit that produces 392bhp and 398ftlbs of torque – the most powerful in-line six pot ever fitted to an M model. It’ll knock off 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds and go on to an electronically limited 155mph top speed. M50 models also benefit from a plethora of M trimmings, including up-rated M Sport brakes, an M Sport diff, 20-inch M wheels and an optional adaptive suspension system.

BMW says that all models will benefit from the new X3’s lower body weight and wider track in terms of cornering stability and comfort value on the road.

BMW X3 (2024) front driving

Trick new set ups on the front and rear axles will assist turn in, the marque adds, while tweaks to the steering axle develop straight-line ability. From our drive of the pre-production X3 model, the developments work well to enhance the X3’s dynamic side.

What about the interior?

Yep, that’s been updated, too. The new X3 cabin sports the same single curved display and infotainment screen, as is now commonplace across the rest of the range. From our experience, the displays are supremely crisp, clear and doddle to use, so it’s unlikely any previous-generation X3 owners will have any qualms.

BMW’s interior lighting stitches are also present and correct, extending around the front section of the transmission tunnel, under the infotainment display and in the passenger doors. 

BMW X3 (2024) interior

The gear selector has also been updated – now a clear crystal switch to match the rotary knob which will look familiar to any drivers of the latest BMW generation. To complete what looks like a well-refined and elegantly revamped interior, the steering wheel now has a flat bottom edge for a touch for modernism. The new X3 will come with electronically adjustable front seats as standard, while a host of upholstery materials are on offer.

How much will the new BMW X3 cost and what are the specs?

Prices for the new X3 start from £46,800. That’s for the petrol 20 engine model, producing 205bhp for a 0-62mph for 7.8 seconds and a top speed of 134mph. The 20d will set you back £48,210 for 194bhp and 7.7 seconds to 62mph while the hybrid starts from £56,340, producing 296bhp for a 0-62mph of 6.2 seconds. The diesel and the hybrid both share the same 134mph as the petrol 20 X3.

BMW X3 (2024) side static

If you want a top of the range M50 to chase some lingering performance dreams then that one costs £64,990, but it does produces 395bhp and can get from 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds. Not that these are all recommended retail prices as on the road prices haven’t yet been announced. We’ll report back here when we know more.

By Seth Walton

Staff writer at CAR and our sister website Parkers, specialising in ownership and car advice