2024 BMW X3: The New BMW X3 SUV Models Ultimate Review

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2024 BMW X3 is OG’s premium compact SUV. Sure, now they’re called “medium size,” because of all these new sub-categories, but when BMW and Mercedes only made the X5 and ML-Class, the X3 was considered 100% compact.

Personally, I see the X3 as a dignified nameplate. I’m not a fan of small and compact SUVs, but I respect BMW for its consistency. The X3 has always been one of the most attractive and well-built models in its class, and that’s unlikely to change in the years to come.

The first-generation model went into production in August 2003, and essentially rewrote the book about what a “smaller” SUV could do. The second-generation X3 is even more impressive.

It’s still very nice to drive, only this time BMW doesn’t skimp on amenities and overall comfort. Not only is it much better than its rival from Mercedes, the GLK, but it’s also better than Audi’s Q5 crossover, at least according to some.

The third-generation and current X3s are, of course, excellent. It shares many technologies with the G30 5 Series, such as gesture control, LED lighting, and the latest iDrive system. It is also very talented when it comes to active safety technology.

The only downside is some people’s need for extra space inside – which is why they might opt for the X5 or even the X7.

As for what’s to come next, you saw it here earlier this week in prototype form – the all-new 2024 X3. Even though it’s completely disguised, we can still see that it has a more dynamic overall shape, which may also mean a new design language.

If I had to make a basic guess, I’d say it might look like a smaller BMW XM (another model in progress, but one that’s expected to arrive later this year).

This rendering by Kolesa can be very accurate. The designer nailed the overall shape of the SUV, according to our spy drawings. There is no denying that BMW will offer its customers a more dynamic X3 going forward.

It almost looks like a so-called “SUV Coupe” thanks to the sloping roofline, but if they could lower the rear seats a bit, then headroom at the back shouldn’t be a problem.

Once it enters the showroom, the next-generation BMW X3 will soon catch up with the newly launched Mercedes GLC and the upcoming third-generation Audi Q5.

2024 BMW X3 Review

The current-generation BMW X3 just received a slight facelift for 2022, but our spy team has caught its successor in action. Two prototypes of the next-generation X3 were caught on camera as the BMW crew unloaded them from the closed trailer, giving us an early preview of the new model.

2024 BMW X3

The main takeaway is that BMW will stick with a conservative approach to styling. The shape of the X3 is quite familiar here, even clad in camouflage with faux panels and built-in placeholder lights.

Zooming in on the nose we can see the grille will grow a bit, dipping lower into the fascia although not quite as extreme as we saw on the 4 Series.

Visible holes under the kidneys are an indication of where the louvers should reach, and while we’re at it, turn your attention to the corners of the fascia. We can see what appear to be round holes, perhaps for the drive lights mounted above the slimmer corner vents.

We also have a clear view of the X3 from the side, which looks a bit longer to our eyes. Granted, it could be a camo trick but we can definitely see a changed body line compared to the current model. The C-pillar looks a little thinner, and the doorknob is lower.

On the back it’s hard to see any details; we know that the taillights are temporary reservoirs but the quad exhaust tips suggest that this is an M40i model.

Our photographer couldn’t get close, so we don’t know what was going on inside. Don’t be surprised to see a glass cockpit that’s mostly similar to the BMW iX, packed with the latest technology.

As such, electric power will almost certainly be part of the X3 package with pure plug-in hybrid and EV models on offer. The next X3M can combine gasoline and electric power for a serious performance punch.

Given that the current X3 has just received a facelift, we caught the next-gen model very early in its public testing cycle. Debut is probably at least a year away, probably won’t happen until 2024.

Read next: 2024 BMW X5: The New Ultimate BMW X5 Looks Prestige Review

2024 BMW X3 Report

The facelifted BMW X3 has just gone on sale, but a next-generation prototype has been eyed.

Based on the traditional BMW product cycle, the new X3 is not expected to launch until 2024 or 2025.

Our spy photographers have captured what the M40i model looks like, or whatever nameplate the flagship M Performance model would be wearing.

The prize is the presence of a quad exhaust outlet, as seen on the current M40i.

The design of the next X3 is an evolution of the current car, with essentially the same silhouette and similar details like the way the belt line bends up at the rear doors.

BMW has been careful not to change the design formula of the popular X3 too much over the years, with these elements remaining largely the same across all three generations.

The headlights and taillights appear to be temporary prototype units, though unless our eyes (or rather, the camouflage) fool us, the next X3 looks set to retain the conventionally sized grille.

There appears to be a hole under the grille, which indicates the grille will drop slightly lower than the current car.

However, it doesn’t appear that the X3 will follow the Series 4, M3, and M4, which have moved to a dual coffin grille.

We hope that the X3 will continue to offer a wide range of powertrains like the current car.

The current X3 can be had with a choice of four- or six-cylinder turbocharged petrol or diesel engines, including the twin-turbo inline-six engine found in the X3 M, plus a plug-in hybrid and electric (iX3) version.

It also bears close ties to the X4, a slimmer ‘coupe SUV’ variant of the popular X3.

The next X3 and X4 will compete with the recently revealed second-generation Mercedes-Benz GLC.

The new Audi Q5 has also been spied on and could be revealed in 2023, while Volvo is expected to replace the XC60 in 2024.

The X3 is currently the best-selling vehicle in its segment in Australia and received a facelift earlier this year that brought new styling inside and out – although it hasn’t yet received the BMW Curved Display rolled out across the range.

As of late May, BMW had sold the 2004 X3 along with the 409 X4.

By contrast, Mercedes-Benz has sold 1721 GLC wagons and 792 GLC Coupes, Volvo has sold 1707 XC60s, and Audi has sold 1494 Q5s.

Other popular models in this segment include the Lexus NX (1461) and the Porsche Macan (1317).

2024 BMW X3 Spyshot

Well, it didn’t take long. Just days after a spy photographer captured the new BMW X3 for the first time, an independent artist attempted to digitally disarm the camouflage.

The fourth-generation model is believed to carry the code name “G45” and won’t enter production until August 2024, according to Bimmer Post forum member ynguldyn.

That tells us that an official reveal is unlikely before the end of 2023, even though our money is at a world premiere in the first months of 2024.

With the prototype looking completely camouflaged, it’s hard to know what’s going on under the cover. That said, the test vehicle appears to be based on the CLAR platform whereas the next-generation iX3 will switch to a dedicated Neue Klasse architecture for EVs.

The in-progress X3 has a quad exhaust tip, but it’s not the X3 M. How come? Since BMW has already installed a more aggressive exhaust configuration on M Performance cars, a relevant example is the new M760e.

The facelifted M135i and X1 M35i have first been spotted with a quad-tip setup, so it’s definitely coming to the “M Lite” model. An adjacent unofficial rendering depicts the 2025 X3 with quad exhausts and sharper headlights inspired by the LCI Series 3.

Interestingly, the M Performance model is believed to be promoted from the current X3 M40i name to the “M50i” designation.

That suggests a power boost over the currently available 382-hp output, but it’s highly unlikely to come anywhere near the 523-hp X5 M50i. BMW is still planning a full-fat X3 M, which is rumored to be internally known as the “G97.”

The German luxury brand intends to sell the revamped X3 with a range of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines, joining the zero-emissions iX3.

As for the next-generation X4, the coupe SUV is rumored to be codenamed “G46” and appears to have an SOP date of December 2025. An X4 M (G98) will be launched further.

Read next: 2024 BMW M5: New BMW M5 Hybrid Performance Review

2024 BMW X3 Drivetrain

The next-generation BMW X3 – and one of BMW’s best-selling crossovers – will launch in 2024. A facelifted version came out earlier this summer, alongside the BMW X4 Sports Active Coupe.

According to sources, the new and improved BMW X3 will be produced under the code name G45 and is rumored to go into production in the summer of 2024. Of course, the timing is also quite interesting, for various reasons.

For starters, BMW plans to unveil the new architecture in 2025. The Neue Klasse will take over from the modular CLAR architecture and will be used by electrified BMW models. Therefore, the new X3 is somewhat stuck in a cycle before moving to the new architecture.

So it’s unclear how BMW will handle this. In our personal opinion, and not confirmed by the brand, there are several options on the table.

BMW could continue to build the next-generation G45 X3 with a flexible (and potentially upgraded) CLAR architecture that is unlikely to be retired by 2025.

BMW has often said that a full move towards electrification will not occur until the end of the decade and that many markets will still include a large number of conventionally powered BMW models.

But at the same time, BMW will need a replacement for the current BMW iX3. The premium mid-range segment for electric crossovers is so important to most automakers, so the Bavarians need a strong competitor.

That brings us to the next point. With a new class of cars coming out after 2025, rumored to feature the NKxx chassis designation, BMW could easily leverage its new and more EV-friendly, or EV-first, platform to build a separate iX3 electric product.

This can certainly be a great solution for brands. On the one hand, the best-selling BMW X3 will continue to be offered with a conventional powertrain, and on the other, the new iX3 with a slightly different design and improved packaging will appease the electric-focused customer base.

It is also possible that BMW will build the next-generation iX3 on the same CLAR platform, a move that will simplify production plans, and be consistent with the current product lineup.

But, of course, that would imply that the electric X3, built from the ground up on an electric platform, won’t arrive until 2030, which seems a bit late in the fast-paced automotive world.

Regardless of the option, BMW bosses choose – that decision is likely already made by this point in time – one thing is certain: BMW customers can still enjoy the popular X3 with a variety of drivetrains: from petrol and diesel to plug-in hybrid and all-electric.