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2015 BMW X3 revealed


BMW has their revised X3 waiting in the wings for a global debut at Geneva motor show next month, and official images and details are giving an early viewing of the styling and equipment changes.

The fornt of the X3 follows the updates we've seen to the 3 Series and on the new 4 Series ranges, with redesigned headlight clusters integrating more tightly with the lines of the wider chrome-bevelled kidney grille. The front bumper has also been given a makeover with more imposing air intakes, and the side skirts have been resculpted. 

The cabin has been given trim and feature upgrades to freshen it and bring it in line with the other latest arrivals to the stable. The X3 cabin was last given an update -- and a classy one at that -- about three years ago, so it was due for some extra weaponry to better capture buyers in the SUV segment.

The X3 will be available overseas with a larger choice of than the four we currently get here: the xDrive20i 135kW/270Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder, plus the more powerful 180kW/350Nm version in the xDrive28i, with the turbodiesel side catered for by the xDrive20d's 135kW/380Nm 2.0-litre and xDrive30d's 190kW/560Nm 3.0-litre inline six.

The new line-up upgrades the xDrive20d with a new 2.0 litre turbodiesel, lifting the outputs to 140kW and 400Nm and giving it better fuel economy of 5.4L/100km (an improvement of 0.2L) or as low as 5.0L with optional low rolling-resistance tyres. The range also sees the addition of a rear-wheel drive sDrive18d with a 110kW/360Nm turbodiesel, while overseas markets will continue to get the xDrive35d with a 230kW/630Nm 3.0-litre turbodiesel, the rear-wheel drive sDrive20i with a 135kW/270Nm 2.0-litre petrol four, and the xDrive35i with a 225kW/400Nm 3.0-litre petrol six .

New features include LED fog lights and turn indicators as standard across the range, and full-LED headlights as an option, along with cosmetic and wheel upgrades avaialable in the optional M Sport and xLine packages.

BMW says the updated X3 will arrive in Australia in the third quarter of this year, but it's to far in the future to determine exact price and spec. "We're still going through specification and details, but it will follow the current X3 -- which has proven to be quite popular -- in being highly featured and attractively priced," BMW Australia spokeswoman Lenore Fletcher says. "Pricing and positioning of models has been an ongoing focus for BMW, and you can expect to see similar strategies applied to the new X3."

This reporter is on Twitter: @KarlaPincott