BMW has finally taken the covers off the facelifted G01 X3 and G02 X4, with the Life Cycle Impulse (LCI) update for both models resulting in some pretty substantial changes. Apart from the usual styling revisions, the company’s Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) and Sports Activity Coupe (SAC) also benefit from technological improvements.
In terms of design updates, the updated face on both the X3 and X4 features a slightly larger kidney grille that is now comprised of a single-piece frame finished in pearlescent chrome. A black bar in the middle of the frame that houses a camera visually separates the two sections of the grille.
Elsewhere, the front apron now sports vertical air intakes that are part of a triangular-shaped section on the bumper, which also sees a reprofiled lower intake that blends into a pseudo skid plate.
BMW also redesigned the headlamps to be 10 mm flatter than before, and these are now equipped with full LED technology as standard on the X3. Adaptive LED headlights with matrix function come as standard on the X4 but are optional on the X3, while the range-topping Laserlight system is also available at a cost for both. For those that want a stealthier look, there’s the optional Shadow Line M light package that introduces darkened inserts in the headlamps.
While the revisions at the front are shared, the more stylish X4 gets a mesh insert for its grille rather than the X3’s grille bars – both are finished in satin aluminium (extended to the window trim and roof rails). As for the rear, it is the X3 that sees the most drastic changes, with taillights that feature a modelled pincer contour lighting design, horizontal turn signals and black border.
The darkened look of the taillight clusters is replicated on the X4 too, and both cars have redesigned and repositioned reflectors. Other changes include a tweaked rear apron and the fitment of more tailpipe trims that are larger and sportier in design.
For cars with the M Sport package, there’s a specific front apron that sports larger air inlets and more pronounced air curtains. The rear bumper is also sportier too, with a diffuser finished in Dark Shadow and two side air curtain panels on the X3. On the X4, the rear apron gets a wide, offset insert in the shape of an anvil.
The standard wheels include 19-inch light alloy wheel Y-Spoke style 887M in Midnight Grey Bicolor, and customers can specify the M High Gloss Shadow Line package to have various exterior bits like the grille frame, window trim and grille finished in high-gloss black.
Moving up the tree to the M Performance variants, the specific BMW M kidney grille bears a chrome frame and gets double grille bars in high-gloss black and with an M logo. The bumpers are the same as the M Sport package, but the tailpipes are done in black chrome and come with two “teeth” inserts.
The company also noted that the X3 gets underbody protection and specific side sills in the style of the previous X-Line package as standard. Additionally, the X3 is the only one that gets a plug-in hybrid powertrain, and all X3 xDrive30e units will have blue-ringed BMW logos and an “electrified by i” emblems on the front wings.
Moving inside, both X models adopt the centre console from the latest 4 Series, while the centre stack is taken from the current 3 Series. In the case of the former, the control island here consists of the gear selector lever, buttons for various car functions, the engine start button and the familiar iDrive controller.
Meanwhile, the new centre stack is equally as familiar, with a small display for the climate system and a row of controls beneath it and the sleeker air vents. Below the HVAC panel is another set of controls for media and quick access functions, just like in the 3 Series.
As standard, the X3 and X4 come with the Live Cockpit Plus system based on BMW Operating System 7 that includes a free-standing display measuring 10.25 inches and a 5.1-inch display in the instrument cluster. Upgrading to the Live Cockpit Professional system sees both displays being replaced with 12.3-inch units instead, and there’s a head-up display available as an option too.
Drivers will have access to a variety of connected features thanks to the onboard SIM card, including BMW Maps, smartphone integration (Android Auto and Apple CarPlay), Amazon Alexa, the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant and remote over-the-air updates.
Redesigned sports seats trimmed in Sensatec are now standard, which can be improved to feature additional control and comfort functions, as well as fancier Merino leather. A range of new trim finishers are also available, along with extended ambient lighting functions and other comfort options.
Focusing on powertrains, the X3 and X4 is offered with three petrol (xDrive20i, xDrive30i, M40i) and three diesel (xDrive20d, xDrive30d and M40d) options. The xDrive20i comes with a 2.0 litre twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder that serves up 184 PS (181 hp) from 5,000 to 6,500 rpm and 300 Nm of torque from 1,350 to 4,000 rpm. It takes 8.4 seconds to complete the 0-100 km/h sprint and tops out at 215 km/h.
The xDrive30i offers the same engine configuration but is tuned to deliver 245 PS (241 hp) and 350 Nm, which is good for a 0-100 km/h time of 6.6 seconds and 235 km/h top speed. The M Performance variant that is the M40i swaps out the 2.0 litre unit for a 3.0 litre turbocharged straight-six making 360 PS (355 hp) from 5,200 to 6,500 rpm and 500 Nm from 1,900 to 5,000 rpm for a 4.9-second century sprint time and electronically limited 250 km/h top speed.
On the diesel front, the xDrive20d’s 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbodiesel makes 190 PS (188 hp) at 4,000 rpm and 400 Nm from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm, allowing for a 0-100 km/h time of 7.9 seconds and 213 km/h top speed. Stepping up to the xDrive30d results in a larger 3.0 litre straight-six turbodiesel making 286 PS (282 hp) at 4,000 rpm and 650 Nm from 1,500 to 2,500 rpm, which translates to a 0-100 km/h time of 5.7 seconds and 245 km/h top speed.
The M40d takes things further to have a 4.9-second century sprint time and 250 km/h top speed, thanks to its more powerful 3.0 litre turbo straight-six that delivers 340 PS (335 hp) and 700 Nm. All variants come with xDrive all-wheel drive and an Steptronic eight-speed automatic transmission as standard, although M Performance variants get the Steptronic Sport version.
That’s not all, as all six engine options are equipped with 48-volt mild hybrid technology by default, with a starter generator rated at 11 PS (11 hp or eight kW) to aid in energy recuperation, engine support during acceleration and coasting. This is linked to an 11 Ah battery that also supports the 12-volt, 90 Ah battery for auxiliary systems.
As mentioned earlier, only the X3 can be had with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, and the xDrive30e is largely based on the xDrive20i. However, it has an electric motor integrated into the Steptronic transmission that is rated at 109 PS (107 hp or 80 kW) and 265 Nm. All in, the total system output is 292 PS (288 hp) and 420 Nm, which allows for a 6.1-second century sprint time and 210 km/h top speed.
Running on electricity alone, the top speed is capped at 135 km/h, and the 12-kWh lithium-ion battery provides up to 50 km of electric-only range. The xDrive30e supports charging up to 3.7 kW via a Type 2 connector, with a full charge taking about 2.4 hours.
Lastly, in the safety and driver assist department, BMW has made the Driving Assistant Professional package available for the first time as an option for the X3 and X4. This consists of active cruise control with stop and go function at speed of up to 210 km/h. The avoidance manoeuvre assistant also reacts to pedestrians and cyclists, while emergency stop assistant, steering/lane guidance assistant, front cross-traffic alert and wrong way alert are some of the other functions.
The Parking Assistant package also now includes the reverse assistant as standard, and going up to Parking Assistant Plus nets you a 360-degree overview of the vehicle and its surroundings. Joining the list of system is the optional BMW Drive Recorder, which is essentially a built-in dashcam.
The new X3 and X4 will get their market launches in summer this year, following the start of production at the Spartanburg plant in the United States beginning August 2021. Following its digital premiere, both will appear at the Chengdu Motor Show in China, and the European unveiling takes place at Munich during the The International Mobility Show (IAA).
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