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2022 BMW X3 revealed: Sharp facelift with new plug-in hybrid power for Audi Q5, Volvo XC60, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Lexus NX rival

The X3 (pictured) and its X4 sibling have received their midlife facelifts, M Competition flagships included.

BMW has revealed the facelifted versions of the related third-generation X3 wagon and second-generation X4 ‘coupe’, with the mid-size SUVs due in Australian showrooms in the fourth quarter of this year with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) surprise.

If the new X3 looks familiar, that’s because it was leaked last month, and given its obvious similarities with the X4, there isn’t a whole lot to be surprised about here.

For starters, the mid-size SUVs feature a new version of BMW’s signature kidney grille, which is not only larger and squarer than before, but also linked by a section of colour-matched trim, as per the first-generation M2 Competition Coupe.

Then there’s the reshaped adaptive LED headlights (laser versions of which are now optional), which are similar to that of the second-generation 4 Series Coupe, while fresh takes on the variant-specific front bumpers are also on hand.

Around the side, new sets of alloy wheels feature, while the X3’s rear end is punctuated by properly 3D LED tail-lights, which are set to be shared with the upcoming second-generation 2 Series Coupe. And the rear bumpers for both models have been tweaked slightly.

  • 2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e 2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e
  • 2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e 2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e
  • 2022 BMW X3 and X4 M Competition 2022 BMW X3 and X4 M Competition
  • 2022 BMW X3 and X4 M Competition 2022 BMW X3 and X4 M Competition
  • 2022 BMW X3 and X4 M Competition 2022 BMW X3 and X4 M Competition
  • 2022 BMW X4 M40i 2022 BMW X4 M40i
  • 2022 BMW X4 M40i 2022 BMW X4 M40i
  • 2022 BMW X4 M40i 2022 BMW X4 M40i

Inside, we see something we haven’t seen before, with the X3 and X4 getting a 10.25- or 12.3-inch central touchscreen and digital instrument cluster powered by BMW’s iDrive 7 multimedia system, which supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

This ‘floating’ item crowns both model’s redesigned centre stacks and consoles, which are more or less lifted from the seventh-generation 3 Series mid-size car.

Advanced driver-assist systems for the X3 and X4 have been expanded, with the autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system now coming with intersection assist, while lane-keep/steering assist has added emergency functionality. Reversing assist is also new.

Locally, the X3 and X4 will continue with a 135kW/300Nm (20i) or 185kW/350Nm (30i) 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine, while a 285kW/500Nm 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder unit (M40i) will also stay on.

Another petrol engine option, a 3.0-litre twin-turbo inline six-cylinder unit (M Competition), will also return with the same power but 50Nm more torque, at 375kW/650Nm, helping to reduce the flagships zero-to-100km/h sprint times to 3.8 seconds (-0.3s).

Meanwhile, the X3 goes it alone with two carryover turbo-diesel engine options, a 140kW/400Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder (20d) and a 195kW/620Nm 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder (30d).

Critically, the X3 is also set to become available with a PHEV variant for the first time in Australia. Called 30e, it develops 215kW/420Nm by combining the 20i’s engine with an electric motor, and delivers 42-50km of WLTP electric-only range from a 12.0kWh battery.

Aside from the rear-wheel-drive X3 20i, all variants of the Audi Q5, Volvo XC60, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Lexus NX rivals use BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system, with an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission responsible for swapping gears.