BMW X3: a facelift that brings it up to speed with the rest

The new BMW X3 is an example of two peculiarities of automotive design and development. First, when you think the auto industry must have already tried every body color that can be tried from the color palette, BMW is still working out what color not only sits well on the body, but is simply stunning. What BMW calls a Metallic M Brooklyn Gray on the M Sport variant I used as a test mule a few weeks ago looks like a soft grey, and makes the new X3 stand out on the streets. Another strange, but remarkable thing is how the face-lift design gives the impression that it has grown in proportion to its predecessor, when in fact it has not. The new X3 is still about 4.7 meters long, 1.9 meters wide, and has a wheelbase of about 2.9 meters.


The new BMW X3 2022 is a facelift. But it’s a big change in the exterior design, and it’s specifically focused on making it look sharper and more in line with the X5’s sculpted appearance. The front end of the 2022 X3 is even more eye-catching than before. It is fitted with a single-frame kidney grille, and can now also be fitted with active vents. Highlighted by vines, it still looks a bit big, but it grows on me after a while. The front apron on my M Sport mule features larger air inlets and air curtains. The headlights are now thinner and feature adaptive LED lighting elements complete with matrix function, including BMW’s version of the signature J-blade LED DRLs. From the side, the new X3 looks almost identical to the outgoing model, with the SUV’s long stance and horizontal stripes making that impression. The new 20-inch light-alloy wheels on my mule looked good, although the standard spec would be a 19-inch.

The best viewing angle for the improved X3 is the rear, with the 3D LED taillights being the most attractive part

The best viewing angle for the Enhanced X3 is the rear, with the 3D LED taillights (BMW calls their “pincer contour” shape) the most attractive part. The taillights sit on the edge of the links to offer more of that squat and wide stance. There’s more by flattening and layering with the rear fender and diffuser to create visual depth and character. The lower visor also has dual free-form rear tubes that enhance the new X3’s impact as a powerful SUV in its class.

The Plane

The X3 is getting a facelift and some new equipment inside the cabin, too. The interior is classic BMW in its blend of materials – brushed aluminum, soft-touch plastic, stitched leather surfaces and, of course, perforated seat upholstery. There are plenty of hexagon design elements, too—another BMW brand. The X3’s hierarchical position is recognizable among other BMW cabins, but it’s still quite luxurious. It’s another matter that cabin design is a bit familiar now. The highlight of the cabin is the 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen in the upper center console and digital instrument cluster. Both focus on the driver and provide all the essential information. There is a new set of air conditioning controls housed within the galvanized frame that houses the twin vents in the center stack. Below is a set of physical controls for the 16-speaker Harman Kardon music system.

The seats are perfect and feature a sporty and airy design. My M Sport ‘Sensatec’ leather upholstery was dyed a warm woody brown. The M Sport steering wheel is nice and chunky to hold, allowing access to multiple functions. Some of the other features that depend on the type of other trim include a panoramic sunroof, a welcome light carpet, ambient lighting and three-zone climate control. The luggage compartment offers 550 liters of space with all seats used, and it can be increased to 1,600 liters by folding the rear seats. The X3 is only offered in two trim variants – the xDrive30i SportX Plus and the xDrive30i M Sport.

The highlight of the cabin is the 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen in the upper center console and digital instrument panel.

The digital instrument cluster powers the latest generation of BMW’s seventh-generation operating system for the professional live cockpit and includes 3D navigation. Wireless connectivity options include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and it also offers gesture control. There’s a range of driver assistance systems as well, including a 360-degree camera and parking assistant as well as tight parking. The new X3 is also offered with a full suite of safety technologies including six airbags.


The petrol powertrain was moved from the previous model to the improved X3. It’s the same 2-liter, four-cylinder, twin-turbo petrol engine, generating the same 252 horsepower and 350 Nm of maximum torque. The engine is still a great fit for the X3, and continues to improve, torque, and rideability. The X3 is highly agile, with a 0-100 km/h speed of 6.6 seconds. Rated top speed of 235 km/h and rated mileage of 13.17 km/l. The maximum torque starts from 1450 rpm; That’s just a throttle tap away from 900 rpm. Combined with xDrive, BMW’s all-wheel drive system, the X3 can be highly qualified even in off-road conditions. It continues to deliver sedan-like performance on twisty roads with a highly balanced chassis and adaptive suspension. The only crib during my test drive was the 20-inch rims and low profile 245/45 R20 meant the ride was very firm on the Mumbai roads.

The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Quiet, refined and unobtrusive, this gearbox can very easily switch between docile performance and agility on the road. It is also possible to select gears manually via the steering-mounted paddles. There are four driving modes to choose from – Comfort. Eco Pro, Sport and Sport +. BMW Efficient Dynamics features include automatic start and brake energy recovery. Adaptive cruise control and automatic differential brakes with electronic differential locks are standard.


The new X3 is currently only offered with a 2-liter petrol engine, but a diesel engine will soon be offered as an option for buyers looking for portability and diesel efficiency. Unlike some other markets where the X3 is offered at lower equipment levels, the two trim options for the Indian market have been carefully prepared to offer more features and technology compared to competitors in this segment. Therefore, despite the excessive familiarity of the cabin, the new X3 managed to impress.

Prices for the new BMW X3 are 59.9 lakh for the xDrive30i SportX Plus and 65.9 lakh for the xDrive30i M Sport.

Posted in

April 22 2022

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: