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E83 X3 Series II

1 Dec 2006

BMW’S compact SUV wagon underwent a minor facelift – and a significant drivetrain upgrade – in late 2006, with the release of the Series II.

Stylistically, the smaller brother to the BMW X5 boasts a blink-and-you-will-miss-it front-end makeover, consisting of a larger ‘Kidney Grille,’ reshaped bumpers (now body-coloured except for the black plastic extremities), larger fog lights, and headlights with new reflectors behind clear glass.

Similar changes occurred on the X3’s posterior, with the larger indicator lenses incorporated in the LED tail-lights being the most obvious change.

Owners of the outgoing model should immediately recognise the alterations wrought inside, which is now finished in ‘high quality’ materials – addressing one of the most often damned aspects of the previous version.

The old 2.5i gave way to the 2.5si, powered by a new 2.5-litre Valvetronic in-line six-cylinder engine producing 160kW and 250Nm.

In the new 3.0si guise, power and torque rose to 200kW and 315Nm respectively.

Carried over was the diesel engine launched in the 3.0d model in December 2005, delivering 160kW and 480Nm.

The petrol units join the 3.0d in offering the ZF six-speed automatic gearbox with BMW’s Steptronic sequential shift, while the only manual on offer is a six-speeder unit on the 2.5si.

BMW fitted a second diesel engine to its X3 compact SUV range in late 2007.

The six-speed auto-only X3 2.0d undercuts its similarly equipped 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel X3 sibling by some $13,000.

It is powered by the same common-rail injected turbo-diesel engine as the recently upgraded 120d and therefore offers 125kW of power at 4000rpm and 340Nm of torque at between 1750rpm and 3000rpm (compared with 160kW and 480Nm for the six-cylinder variant).

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