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BMW’s diesel X3 SUV gets a much-appreciated mid-life revamp

BMW’s X3 has been given an update

Robbie Farrell

THERE is no doubt that German premium brand BMW has its ‘i’ firmly set on an all-electric future, but it certainly not just not throwing in the towel on diesel and petrol engines – not yet anyway.

The manufacturer obviously still sees a big future for the internal combustion engine (ICE) – even with the fuel prices across Europe going through the roof.

The brand is sticking to its diesel guns when it comes to the refreshed X3 SAV (sports activity vehicle) albeit with some mild-hybrid technology to make it more economical.

The X3 has undergone a mid-life makeover for 2022 to keep it up with the Joneses and, although you’d have to be Hercule Poirot to find them on the outside, the subtle changes freshen up the popular SAV.

On the outside, the majority of the facelift comes at the front end. The designers have given the X3 a new front grille that drops slightly deeper although they have refrained from fitting with the new controversial oversized one that some of the other models display.

The lights too have been updated and reshaped and if you want to dig a little deeper you can upgrade them to either Matrix LED units or the range-topping ‘Laser Lights’ that could guide a ship home from the middle of the Atlantic ocean.

Step around to the rear and you’ll notice new 3D-effect brake lights using the latest LED technology and a redesigned boot that’s now electrically operated as standard.

Step inside the revised X3 and you’ll find a new centre console that is identical to the one found in the BMW 4 Series. The free-standing, central control display with touch function now offers a 10.25 inches screen as standard in all vehicles.

There is also a 12.3-inch version of the touch display available as an option. The significantly improved standard equipment now also includes sports seats with covers from a new ‘Sensatec’ generation and automatic climate system with three-zone control. On the road, the new X3 is still as good as it gets when it comes to comfort and handling.

For me, BMW still remains ahead of its closest competitors when it comes to all things driving, and the X3 is no different than the rest. What is different is that the BMW X3 now comes with mild-hybrid technology.

In addition to the BMW X3 xDrive30e with plug-in hybrid drive, which has been in production since December 2019, all four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines in the series now use 48-volt mild hybrid technology.

After the three available diesel engines were converted to the mild-hybrid-system in the course of 2020, the petrol engines are now also available with this technology, including a 48-volt starter generator, ensuring even better driving performance with lower fuel consumption and increased driving comfort.

The energy obtained by means of recuperation and stored in the 48-volt battery can also be used for an electric boost of 8 kW/11bhp in addition to supplying the 12-volt on-board network.

Prices for the refreshed BMW X3 start at €64,005.

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