The BMW X3 sport-utility vehicle will add a diesel engine option for 2015 to the two gasoline engines now offered, part of a mid-cycle refresh for BMW’s compact crossover.
The new diesel X3 gives BMW a direct competitor for the new 2014 Audi Q5 TDI, and the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK 250 BlueTEC—meaning that all three German luxury brands now offer a small crossover with a diesel engine and all-wheel drive.
MORE: 2014 Audi Q5 TDI Diesel Crossover: Fuel Economy Test
Known under BMW’s complex naming system as the X3 xDrive28d, the new model will likely just be called the “X3 diesel” by many. It uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine that produces 180 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. BMW quotes a 0-to-60-mph time of just under 8 seconds for the new diesel X3.
2015 BMW X3
Coasting for fuel economy
The turbodiesel engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that includes a coasting function to disengage power delivery when the driver lifts off the accelerator.
For further fuel-economy gains, a driver-selectable EcoPro mode remaps power delivery, transmission shift points, and heating and air conditioning to use more efficient settings.
MORE: 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK 250 BlueTEC: Fuel Efficiency Drive Report
The new engine and transmission power all four wheels of the X3 through the company’s xDrive all-wheel drive system that adds variable front-wheel power to the rear-biased power delivery. Normal torque split is 80 percent rear, 20 percent front.
The new engine is part of a comprehensive mid-cycle refresh for the second-generation X3, which was launched as a 2010 model.
2015 BMW X3
The updates include a number of other changes to interior and exterior styling, powertrains, infotainment technology, safety systems, and available features.
Revised front-end styling and a new rear bumper fascia freshen the exterior appearance, including a revised twin-kidney grille design and new twin circular headlamps with optional full LED lights.
The so-called ConnectedDrive suite of electronic systems gets several updates as well. Those include the addition of touchpad input to the iDrive controller, which lets drivers input text by tracing it with a finger rather than choosing letters from the in-dash display.
A full-color Head-Up Display is optional, projecting selected information on speed and routing just below the driver’s natural line of sight.
Safety systems include adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, front collision warning, pedestrian warning, and city collision mitigation, which automatically brakes the car after alerting the driver when it senses a collision is imminent.
Rear-wheel drive too
Another addition to the X3 range is a rear-wheel-drive model, although it is offered only with a gasoline engine. The goal, BMW says, is to offer a less expensive entry point into the X3 range; it is priced at $39,325 including a mandatory $925 destination fee.
The diesel all-wheel-drive X3 will start at $42,825, $2,100 more than a the base all-wheel-drive gasoline model at $40,725, which uses a 240-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.
The revised 2015 BMW X3 range will go on sale this spring.