2015 BMW X3 Preview

Jeff Youngs | Feb 07, 2014
  • New entry-level, rear-drive X3 sDrive28i model
  • New diesel-powered X3 xDrive28d model
  • Revised design inside and out
  • New xLine trim package
  • New M Sport trim package
  • Next-generation iDrive system
  • Standard BMW Assist eCall system
  • Available Smart Opener tailgate
  • Available Parking Assistant technology
  • Available Active Driving Assistant systems
  • Available next-generation navigation system
  • On sale in spring of 2014
  • Priced from $39,325, including destination


Debuting at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, the 2015 BMW X3 represents a mid-life freshening for the popular crossover SUV, or Sports Activity Vehicle, as BMW prefers. Though it might not look much different, BMW has bestowed upon the 2015 X3 multiple powertrain, infotainment, and safety upgrades in order to keep it competitive.

Exterior Features

Look closely and it is easy to spot the 2015 BMW X3 model's updated headlight and grille designs, new front and rear bumpers, side mirrors with LED turn signal indicators, and LED fog lights. The new 2015 X3 is offered in four new paint colors, and with four new wheel designs. A new Smart Opener power tailgate is available, providing hands-free access to the cargo area.

Interior Features

Behind the 2015 BMW X3 model's 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat, the cargo area can hold up to 27.3 cu. ft. of stuff. Fold the seat down and capacity expands to 63.3 cu. ft.

For 2015, the BMW X3 features new chrome interior accents, a black panel display climate control system, new cup holders with sliding covers, and a sliding center console armrest. A leather-wrapped sport steering wheel is standard, and BMW offers four new upholstery colors and four new interior trim types.

Optional Features

The 2015 BMW X3 can be fitted with a new xLine trim treatment designed to give the crossover SUV a more rugged appearance. The look includes metallic bumper inserts, satin grille trim and side cladding, and simulated brush guards front and rear.

A new M Sport trim treatment is also available for the 2015 X3. It includes an M Sport aerodynamic styling kit, Shadowline exterior trim, and unique 19-in. or available 20-in. wheel designs. Inside, the X3 M Sport model is equipped with sport seats and an Anthracite headliner, and hardware upgrades include an 8-speed Sport automatic transmission with paddle shifters, sport suspension tuning, and sport steering tuning.

In addition to these trim packages, the 2015 BMW X3 can be optioned with LED headlights, a premium audio system, navigation system, and a Storage package to configure the cargo area in multiple ways.

Under the Hood

The new 2015 BMW X3 sDrive28i and the familiar X3 xDrive 28i have a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine making 240 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard, helping the rear-drive X3 sDrive28i model to accelerate to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, according to BMW. The xDrive all-wheel-drive (AWD) system splits power 20% to the front wheels and 80% to the rear wheels under normal driving conditions, is designed to compensate for understeer and oversteer, and includes a hill-descent control system.

The new 2015 BMW X3 xDrive35i includes AWD and is equipped with a turbocharged, 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine producing 300 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque, the latter available from 1,500 rpm to 5,000 rpm.

New for 2015, the BMW X3 xDrive28d features a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine generating 180 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque, the latter starting at 1,750 rpm. A 6-speed automatic transmission feeds the power to the standard AWD system, and this clean-diesel engine propels the X3 xDrive28d to 60 mph in less than 8 seconds, according to the automaker.

The X3's standard Driving Experience Control system includes an Eco Pro setting. With Eco Pro engaged, the automatic transmission is decoupled from the engine when the SUV is coasting at speeds between 30 mph and 100 mph in order to improve fuel economy.


BMW Assist eCall technology is included with every 2015 X3, with 10 years of free service. Among other features, the system automatically summons help after a collision in which the air bags have deployed, even if occupants of the vehicle are unable to respond to the emergency operator.

A new suite of Active Driving Assistant systems is offered for the 2015 BMW X3. It includes Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go capability, as well as lane-departure warning, frontal-collision warning, pedestrian warning, and City Collision Mitigation systems.


The 2015 BMW X3's new iDrive system includes a 6.5-inch display and a touchpad allowing for fingertip character entry. The optional next-generation navigation system features Eco Pro route guidance to put the X3 on the most economical path to the destination.

A new Parking Assistant system is offered for the 2015 X3, steering the vehicle into a parallel parking space while the driver operates the pedals and transmission. Additional updates for 2015 include a new full-color head-up display, as well as BMW ConnectedDrive Service and Apps with concierge service and advanced real-time traffic information.
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