BMW has made a few changes to the X3 and X4 for 2022, including, for some reason, making the kidney grille bigger than before.
There are other mostly cosmetic changes to the pair, which are expected to be on sale in the fall.
Pricing starts at $44,695 for the X3 and $52,795 for the X4.
Midterm facelifts can go well or not, and their purpose is usually to keep customers interested with cosmetic changes. It's a good thing, therefore, that BMW has added "meaningful enhancements" to the new X3 and X4, as the press text claims.
Of course, optics are still part of the game. BMW has made the headlights thinner and more angular, while, we kid you not, increasing the size of the kidneys. Apparently, customers have complained they aren't big enough already. Moreover, the lower air intakes are rearranged in what BMW calls a "pincer claw contour."
In the rear, the taillamps are styled far more aggressively, especially on the X3. And on both models, the exhaust tips grow further in order to "convey more presence," as the brand says. Does it work? Somewhat, we think. BMW follows its own, unique design philosophy, with wrinkled surfaces and muscular elements. The new X3 and X4 don't really look more modern, but they look different, and perhaps that is the entire point.
Inside, the upper center console has been rearranged, the climate control unit now sitting atop the audio system. The air vents are now surrounded with glossy metal, the seats are clad with a vinyl fabric called "SensaTec," and the assembly of buttons around the gear selector resembles the 3-series. The screens are more prominent than ever.
A lot of thought has gone into telematics systems like the cloud-based navigation system, the upgraded connectivity, and a "personal assistant" that is activated by saying "Hey BMW."
But the truly significant changes happen under the hood—at least with the all-wheel-drive X3 M40i and the X4 M40i. Both models, powered by a silky-smooth 3.0-liter straight-six, gain a super-quiet starter-generator system and 48-volt hybridization. They are rated at 382 hp at 5800 rpm and 369 pound-feet of torque at 1800 rpm. Performance is unchanged: The sprint from 0 to 60 mph takes 4.4 seconds, top speed is cut at 130 mph or 155 mph, depending on the tires (specify the right ones at the outset). The 48-volt system can recuperate energy, and the recuperation rate is for some reason especially aggressive in Sport mode.
The still non-hybridized entry-level X3 sDrive and its all-wheel-drive sister models X3 xDrive30i and X4 xDrive30i are powered by a 2.0-liter four that delivers 248 hp from 5200 to 6500 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque from 1450 to 4800 rpm. This translates into a 0-60 mph time of a flat 6 seconds and a tops speed governed at 130 mph, well below cars' capabilities. Every model is fitted with the ZF-sourced 8HP eight-speed automatic. And the plug-in hybrid models are entirely gone.
The new BMW models are competitively priced: The lineup begins at $43,700 for the X3 sDrive30i. All-wheel-drive costs an extra $3000: the X3 xDrive 30i is $46,695, and the X4 xDrive 30i is priced at $52,775. The seriously fast six-cylinder models come in at $58,775 for the X3 M40i and $63,395 for the X4 M40i xDrive.
This facelift, we are happy to report, has gone right—and the most meaningful change is the 48-volt hybrid system, which should deliver not only more responsiveness, but also some fuel consumption benefits.
On the cusp of the launch of a new Mercedes-Benz GLC, a face-lifted Porsche Macan, and the Genesis GV70, the BMW X3 and X4 will have strong competition. Production of the 2022 models begins in late summer.
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