Bold new BMW X3 boosts PHEV range, keeps diesel

BMW X3 M50 2024 front quarter tracking
BMW X3 M50 2024 front quarter tracking

X3 M50, pictured, tops the line-up until the full-fat X3 M arrives next year

The fourth-generation BMW X3 has been revealed, touting a radical new look outside, a completely reworked interior and a heavily upgraded chassis – but sticking with petrol and diesel power.

A new pure-electric X3 will arrive next year, previewed by the radical Neue Klasse X concept and based on an all-new architecture. But this latest model – due on sale by the end of the year – is evolved from the ‘G01’ car, which has been around since 2017.

The fourth-gen version of BMW’s best-seller (with 350,000 global sales last year) still uses the rear-biased CLAR platform. However, it has been given a wide-reaching chassis overhaul in pursuit of “an even broader range of driving characteristics and added ride comfort”, project boss Martin Delitz told Autocar recently.


The suspension at each end has been reworked, for example, with the track widened by 23mm and stiffer roll bar mounts installed up front and the rear axle mounts reinforced for added stability. The dual-pinion steering system has been swapped for a new belt-driven set-up and buyers can still choose to replace the standard passive dampers with active ones.

With an unrelated electriconly alternative coming next year, the China-made iX3 has been retired from the line-up. However, unlike the recently updated 1 Series, 2 Series, 3 Series and 4 Series, the X3 keeps its diesel engine – along with petrol and plug-in hybrid options.

The line-up opens at £46,800 for the xDrive20, climbing to £48,210 for the xDrive20d and £56,340 for the xDrive30e plug-in hybrid, which, with a revised electrical system and a bigger battery, can now travel more than 50 miles on electric power. The hot X3 M50 tops the line-up at £64,990, taking 396bhp from a 3.0-litre straight six, ahead of the full fat X3 M returning next year.

BMW X3 30e PHEV rear quarter tracking
BMW X3 30e PHEV rear quarter tracking

The most obvious changes, though, are outside, with the X3 heavily redesigned in line with BMW’s bold new design language. The bonnet has been raised, the grille is more prominent (and now optionally lights up) and there are sleek new light designs at each end.

It is marginally longer and wider than the previous version but the roof has been lowered slightly for a “more sporty silhouette”, says BMW.

The X3 has been completely reinvented inside. A minimalist dashboard is centred on a wraparound digital display that runs BMW’s latest-generation iDrive system, which can be controlled using either the touchscreen or a rotary knob on the centre console. The climate control is adjusted using a new haptic ‘Interaction Bar’ lifted from the 7 Series.

BMW X3 dashboard
BMW X3 dashboard

There has also been a heavy focus on improving the material quality of the X3’s cabin and BMW highlights the extra practicality afforded by a 20-litre increase in boot space.