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HomeNewsNew BMW X3 unveiled – When you can buy it in South Africa

New BMW X3 unveiled – When you can buy it in South Africa

The next-generation BMW X3 has been unveiled in all its glory and is penned in to arrive in South Africa in the fourth quarter of 2024.

The popular mid-size SUV has been overhauled from the ground up and will be available in diesel, petrol, and plug-in hybrid guise from launch.

BMW has systematically invested as much as R4.2 billion into its South African manufacturing hub to build the next-gen X3 right here on local soil in Rosslyn, Pretoria.

Everything new

The fourth-generation X3 wears BMW’s new signature design language, underscored by an updated kidney grille with vertically and diagonally arranged bars, L-shaped headlight fixtures, bolder side skirts, more flared wheel arches, a long roof spoiler, a new tailgate, and refreshed T-shaped tail lamps.

The entire range sees adaptive LED headlights as standard featuring non-dazzling matrix high beam, urban light, and cornering light functions.

All model variants of the new SUV, bar the flagship M50 xDrive, now also come with exhaust tailpipes integrated out of sight in the rear apron. The M50 retains the quad-tailpipe setup of the previous generation to show off its dynamic persona.

The lower-level X3 20 and 20d are then equipped with 18-inch light-alloy wheels as standard, the 30e sees 19-inch alloys, and the M50 gets 20-inch rims.

The new SUV measures 34mm longer than its predecessor at 4,755mm and 29mm wider at 1,920mm, with its roofline now sitting 25mm lower at 1,660mm. A wider track further assists in producing a more powerful and sporty look than before.

Cargo capacity in the upsized BMW comes in at 570 litres in five-seater mode and expands to a maximum of 1,700 litres with the rear bench folded flat – an increase of 20 litres and 100 litres, respectively, compared to the outgoing X3.

Moving into the cabin, highlights include a new BMW Curved Display on the dash consisting of a digital driver’s display and touchscreen infotainment system, the colourful BMW Interaction Bar for climate control settings, a range of flat-bottom steering wheels, and a new-look gear selector.

Other standout design cues include new lighting elements in a contrasting colour in the centre console and door trims, in addition to Sports seats wrapped in Econeer fabric with heating and electric adjustability.

As an option, buyers can get the new “Luxury” instrument panel made from recycled polyester and featuring a knitted texture, as well as Veganza and Merino leather upholsteries.

Standard equipment on the new X3 has been extensively enhanced, now comprising keyless entry and start, three-zone automatic climate control, ambient lighting with Welcome and Goodbye animations, a wireless smartphone charger, four USB-C ports, and automatic tailgate operation.

The new infotainment unit runs on the latest Operating System 9 with a revised menu structure, over-the-air software updates, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and cloud-based BMW Maps navigation.

It also allows passengers to stream music from popular apps like Spotify, play games like “Who Wants to be a Millionnaire?” through the AirConsole game platform, and activate the Digital Key Plus function that lets the owner use their smartphone or smartwatch as a key.

Furthermore, a host of advanced driver’s assistance systems is fitted to all new X3 derivatives, encompassing front-collision warning, lane-departure warning, lane-change warning, speed limit info, speed limit assist, and the Parking Assistant which incorporates the Reversing Assistant and a reverse camera.

Customers of the new X3 can choose between the 20, 20d, 30e, and M50 powertrains.

The 20 sees a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol mill under the hood putting out 153kW and 330Nm with an additional 13kW and 200Nm coming from a 48V mild-hybrid system.

Fuel consumption for the configuration is pegged at 6.9-7.6l/100km and 0-100km/h is attained in 7.8 seconds with a top speed of 215km/h on the cards.

Meanwhile, the 20d consists of a 2.0-litre, turbo-diesel engine generating 145kW and 400Nm, with the mild-hybrid system adding a further 8kW and 25Nm.

This sends the SUV to 100km/h in a slightly faster 7.7 seconds while returning a lower fuel spend of 5.8-6.5l/100km.

The plug-in hybrid 30e model marries the petrol engine to an electric motor with 135kW and 250Nm for a total system capacity of 220kW and 450Nm.

It also boasts a 17.9kWh battery pack which affords it a maximum all-electric driving range of 90km at a top speed of 140km/h, and the module can be recharged at an 11kW AC plug in two hours and 15 minutes.

The higher output cuts the 0-100km/h acceleration time of the 30e to 6.2 seconds and sees average propellant usage coming in at a low 0.9-1.1l/100km with a full battery, and 7.2-7.9l/100km with an empty battery.

At the helm of the X3 family sits the M50 trim that sports a 3.0-litre, turbocharged block generating 280kW and 540Nm, once again complemented by a 48V system with 13kW and 200Nm.

This specific model eclipses 100km/h in a rapid 4.6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 250km/h, and consumes petrol at a rate of 7.7-8.3l/100km.

All variants of the new X3 feature an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and feed power to all four wheels via the xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system.

More details surrounding the South African specifications of the new X3, such as its pricing and model line-up, will be revealed closer to its launch date in Q4 2024.

BMW X3 M50 xDrive

BMW X3 30e xDrive


BMW X3 20



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