BMW announced today that its venerable X3 SUV is getting a much-needed upgrade. BMW is blowing open the new 2015 BMW X3 SUV by offering it with multiple U.S.-market firsts. Most notably, you can now get the X3 with diesel power, and there is now a model without all-wheel drive.
The availability of the rear-wheel-drive model helps bring the price of the X3 down into a new market, and the diesel engine option provides a level of fuel economy that far exceeds any of the previous X3 models.
As expected with any major update, the designs of the interior and exterior have been updated and overall equipment levels have increased.
Is the new 2015 BMW X3 the best luxury SUV money can buy, or does BMW need to make more substantial changes to make the model worth looking at?
Continue reading to find out all the details on this new machine.
The biggest competitors for the BMW X3 are the Audi Q5 and the Mercedes GLK - and both of them have just entered the market in their facelifted versions. So as no surprise BMW has decided to do the same for the X3. And our spy photographers have caught the upcoming X3 facelift taken out for a test session.
And as you can see from these spy shots, the changes will be limited to front and rear bumper, grille and head lights - the only items that are being camouflaged. The front bumper will get new air intakes and the grille will be more upright as on the current version. What we can not tell for sure is if the headlights will go all the way to the grille now, just like on the 3 Series, but we will find that out pretty soon.
The most noticeable change for the exterior of the 2015 X3 is the front end. With a new front bumper, revised kidney grille and new twin-circular headlights, the outside feels fresher and more aggressive. The profile and general overall shape are unchanged however. The rear bumper and exterior mirrors have also been revised.
New exterior colors and wheel designs round out the exterior updates.
If you enjoyed the style of the last X3, you will be thoroughly smitten with the new model, but if you never enjoyed BMW’s SUV, the new car’s styling will do little to change your mind.
2015 BMW X3 - Exterior Dimensions
|Track, front / rear (In.)||63.62 / 64.25|
|Turning Circle (In.)||0.47|
The inside of the new X3 sees more thorough changes, with a focus on refinement. Chrome and gloss-black trim pieces are scattered about the cabin, and new cup holders with a sliding cover in the center console combine functionality and design.
2015 also brings new interior trim options and upholstery designs.
Drivetrain and Performance
This is where the biggest changes for the X3 are taking place. For the first time ever in the U.S., the X3 can be ordered without the xDrive AWD system. The new X3 sDrive28i is a RWD version of the small SUV, and is powered by BMW’s 2.0-liter, TwinPower turbocharged four-cylinder. That means 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. That same engine is also available with the xDrive AWD system.
The new engine for the 2015 model is the TwinPower Turbo diesel in the xDrive28d. It is low on horsepower compared to the gasoline engines, with only 180 ponies, but its 280 pound-feet of torque will provide confident thrust in any situation. No fuel economy numbers have been released, but this will be the most fuel efficient version of the 2015 X3. Expect highway EPA numbers to hover around 35 mpg; not bad considering the diesel will be sold exclusively with AWD. We suspect a RWD version of the diesel would be able to clear 38 mpg on the highway cycle.
The most powerful version of the new 2015 BMW X3 is the xDrive35i. With a 300-horsepower six-cylinder, this version of the new X3 should clear the 60 mph barrier in less than 6 seconds.
Each version of the 2015 X3 gets its wheels turned by a new eight-speed automatic transmission.
|BMW X3 sDrive28i||BMW X3 xDrive28i||BMW X3 xDrive35i||BMW X3 xDrive28d|
|Effective Capacity||2.0 liters||2.0 liters||3.0 liters||3.0 liters|
|Output (HP @ RPM||240 @ TBA||240 @ TBA||300 @ TBA||180 @ TBA|
|Torque (LB-FT @ RPM)||260 @ TBA||260 @ TBA||300 @ 1,200-5,000||280 @ 1,740|
|0-60 mph||6.2 seconds||6.2 seconds||TBA||< 8 seconds|
|Model||MSRP (Incl. Destination Fee)|
Audi has stuffed its amazing new 3.0-liter TDI V-6 into the nose of the Q5, giving it 240 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque; easily trumping the X3’s new diesel. The Q5 also manages to return more than 30 mpg on the highway.
The Mercedes GLK is a closer competitor to the BMW especially in the diesel department. With a 2.1-liter motor producing 200 horsepower, it still makes more grunt than the BMW, and its 33 mpg highway rating is nothing to scoff at.
The X3 has no doubt been a runway success for BMW, and this updated version is only going to help increase sales. Thanks to a new lower base price, and the availability of a fuel-efficient, diesel engine, the new 2015 X3 is sure to win over some new buyers from the other luxury SUVs.
This new model is expected to start hitting showrooms this spring, so get your orders in now.
- New available diesel engine
- Cheaper RWD model
- Better looking exterior
- Diesel only available with AWD
- Interior technology still too complicated