Midlife updates of the second-generation BMW X3 have made their way to our shores, as BMW Group Malaysia introduces the new X3 facelift with two locally-assembled variants. Picking up where the pre-facelift model leaves off, the new X3 comes with the same model mix, namely the xDrive20i and xDrive20d, at roughly the same prices.
The petrol-powered xDrive20i now costs RM5,000 more than before at RM328,800 on-the-road without insurance. It soldiers on with the same N20 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine as before, but its amenities package is enhanced with the inclusion of smart keyless entry, which is complemented by handsfree tailgate access – a feature popularized in our shores by the Ford Kuga.
The diesel-powered xDrive20d, meanwhile, is unchanged in pricing – going for RM348,800 before insurance – but its revisions are more extensive. Being the higher model, the 20d’s equipment manifest is more substantial than the petrol version; it exclusively gets a panoramic glass roof, reverse camera, as well as a higher grade acoustic package for enhanced noise insulation.
Most interesting aspect of the xDrive20d version is perhaps, its engine, which represents the Malaysian debut of BMW’s all-new b47 turbodiesel engine. Displacing identical capacity to the venerable N47 that is still serving in many existing BMW models, the new aluminium engine pushes out 190hp and 400Nm – up from the existing 184hp and 380Nm.
The new engine propels the X3 xDrive20d to 100kph from rest in 8.1 seconds whilst sipping fuel at 5.2 l/100km on the combined cycle; CO2 emissions are measured at 138 g/km. The petrol model is 0.1 seconds slower to the century mark and consumes a full two litres of fuel more per 100km. Both versions are fitted with the now-familiar 8-speed auto from ZF as standard. In its latest iteration, the transmission’s control system incorporates satellite-aided shifting, where GPS navigation data is used by the transmission’s prediction algorithms when selecting gears.
Unlike typical BMW facelifts, the new X3 sports significant visual changes from its pre-facelift predecessor, the front end in particular receiving very comprehensive revisions that bring it in line with the current family look of BMW’s X models that started with the new F15 X5. In Malaysia, the X3’s appearance is further enhanced by matte aluminium bumper inserts that come with the standard xLine package fitted on both variants.
Pictures: Official BMW release.