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BMW drops X3 inline-six

Hit for Six: The BMW X3 no longer comes with a six-cylinder petrol engine, instead getting a punchier turbo-four.

TwinPower four-cylinder turbo-petrol replaces inline-six in BMW X3 xDrive 28i

7 May 2012

BMW Australia has dropped the six-cylinder petrol engine from its X3 xDrive28i and replaced it with a faster, pricier and more frugal turbocharged four-cylinder unit while retaining the same badges.

The addition of the new engine – already found in the Z4 roadster, 3 Series and 5 Series sedans, and possibly the smaller X1 later this year – means the popular premium SUV range is now all-turbo.

While power output is down (180kW compared to 190kW for the inline-six), torque is up by 40Nm to 350Nm between 1250 and 4800rpm, while 0-100km/h acceleration is two-tenths of a second faster at 6.7 seconds.

As before, the 28i is matched to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission with Steptronic manual mode.

Like the rest of the engine range, the xDrive28i now comes with a fuel-saving idle-stop function, which helps bring claimed petrol consumption down by a substantial 1.5 litres per 100km to 7.5L/100km.

Carbon dioxide emissions are reduced to a claimed 175 grams per kilometre – giving the 28i identical economy and CO2 figures to the xDrive20i with a less powerful version of the same engine.

The new xDrive28i is priced from $72,900 plus on-road costs, an increase of $1000.

This price hike also applies to the flagship xDrive30d, which now costs $75,900.

Entry-level xDrive20i petrol and xDrive20d diesel variants also cop price rises – up by $300 to $59,500 and $62,500 respectively.

14 center imageTo counterbalance these price increases, BMW has made satellite-navigation – previously a $2000 option – a standard feature on both xDrive28i and xDrive30d variants, while its Driving Experience Control system is now standard on all X3s.

The Driving Experience Control system – previously called the Dynamic Driving Control system and available as an optional extra – offers up to four driving modes that tweak the throttle response, steering weight and gear shifts.

X3 sales are up 93.5 per cent to 780 units in the first four months of this year, having introduced the all-new model in March 2011, but still trails the segment-leading Audi Q5 (936) and Range Rover Evoque (857) while leading the Volvo XC60 (683).

The Bavarian car-maker has also made some tweaks to its larger X5 SUV range to keep it fresh next to the all-new Mercedes-Benz M-class that was launched Down Under last week.

The previously optional Innovations Pack, with updated satellite-navigation, powered tailgate and rear-view camera with top view, is now standard in the X5, adding up to $9000 of extra value.

At the other end of the SUV size scale, BMW Australia confirmed last week it was working towards introducing a new turbo-diesel engine and a pair of turbocharged petrol engines – including the 2.0-litre TwinPower – when it launches a revised X1 in October.

BMW X3 pricing (plus on-roads):
xDrive 20i (a)$59,500 (+$300)
xDrive 20d (a)$62,500 (+$300)
xDrive 28i (a)$72,900 (+$1000)
xDrive 30d (a)$75,900 (+$1000)

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