What Is It?

The 2015 BMW X3 is a premium compact crossover with a revised look and new models. The headlights have been redesigned, along with the front and rear bumpers and side mirrors.

In BMW nomenclature, all-wheel-drive versions are called xDrive; sDrive denotes rear-wheel drive. A new entry-level model is the sDrive 28i. It packs a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, turbocharged to produce 240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, which should be quite zesty given the lighter weight of the drivetrain.

For the first time in the United States, BMW now offers a diesel-powered X3. The xDrive 28d enjoys 180 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque from its 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder. BMW hasn't given any fuel consumption figures yet, but they should be impressive enough to tempt some buyers away from gasoline.

At the top of the range remains the xDrive 35i, developing 300 hp and 300 lb-ft from its 3.0-liter turbo inline-6.

How Much?

From $39,325 for the sDrive 28i; the xDrive 28i starts at $40,725; the xDrive 35i starts at $46,025. The diesel-powered xDrive 28d costs from $42,825. All prices include destination and handling charges.

When Can You Get It?

Spring 2014

Add It to Your Shopping List Because...

The 2015 BMW X3 lineup now offers a greater amount of choices. If any company can inject some driving fun into a compact crossover, it's this one.

Other Cars to Consider

2014 Audi Q5 -- A stylish, comfortable premium compact crossover.

2015 Lexus NX -- Not available until later this year but quite possibly worth the wait.

2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK -- Also features a superb diesel engine option.

2015 Porsche Macan -- Due this May, the Macan is pricey, even in this well-heeled crowd.

Used Lexus RX -- If more space is preferred, the RX is a well-made, well-equipped choice.

Used Mercedes-Benz G500 -- If angular Teutonic design is preferred, a 2009 model would be ultra cool.

author photo

Colin Ryan has driven hundreds of cars thousands of miles while writing for BBC Top Gear magazine, Popular Mechanics, the Los Angeles Times, European Car, Import Tuner and many other publications, websites, TV shows, etc.

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