2014 BMW X3 facelift review, test drive

    New engine leads list of changes on updated BMW X3.

    Published on Sep 09, 2014 11:30:00 AM


    Performance, on the whole, is impressive. There’s strong punch right from the word go and with manual mode engaged, the engine also revs to a solid 4800rpm before the electronics automatically upshift. The driving modes further help tailor the engine and gearbox’s characteristics to your driving style. That, coupled with the top-spec X3 xLine’s dynamic damper control let you truly exploit this SUVs inherent sportiness. Turn-in is sharp, the steering feels nicely weighted and the advantages of that 50:50 weight distribution can be felt at just about every corner. The X3 is a genuinely fun SUV to drive. It’s also one that’s quite adept at dealing with the rough stuff on Indian roads. Ride quality is on the firmer side but the fact is you hear the bumps more than you feel them.

    Just wish BMW had also reworked the X3’s rear seats with this update. The seat base is a tad low and the resulting knees-up seating position compromises thigh support. But, as before, the front seats remain hard to fault for comfort or support.

    Changes to the interior are limited to a tidied up centre console, more glossy black plastics, and more metal highlights. There’s also a larger 16.5cm screen for the iDrive system. Small as these changes are, they help uplift the ambience inside an already well-finished cabin. As for the exteriors, there are few visual cues to tell you this is the new-for-2014 X3. The most prominent change is in the attractive new headlights that are larger than before and now fuse with the kidney grille, ala the 3-series and new X5. Look closely and you’ll notice both bumpers have been restyled too.

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