2022 BMW X3 and X4 updates bring mild-hybrid power, edgier looks – Roadshow

The “Sport Active Vehicle” returns.

BMW

The 2022 BMW X3 and X4 made their debuts Tuesday, and they haul in a host of updates to the outside, inside and under the hood. There isn’t anything groundbreaking, but those looking at the M40i models will find a little bit of electrification now as a mild-hybrid system joins the party.

But let’s start outside with the visual changes. Through and through, the X3 and X4 retain most of their looks, though designers redesigned the kidney grilles, retouched the bumpers and exhausts, and tweaked the lighting elements in the front and rear. Up front, the LED accents in the headlights are a little slimmer, and the taillights now form a pincer claw element on the X3. I’m not sure I love the look personally, but they definitely help the 2022 model stand out. The X4’s grille gets a unique mesh kidney grille with satin aluminum accents, since it’s the sportier of the two, and a set of wider, sleeker taillights. The performance-oriented M40i models embrace the M life with M kidney grilles and a helping dollop of glossy black elements. A beefier rear diffuser also joins the fray.

Pop the hood on the new SUVs and there sits a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine, unchanged from last year. It still makes 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system is standard (save for the X3’s base model), as is an eight-speed automatic. Now, step up to the M40i trims and you get an electrified, turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine. It now makes 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, thanks to the addition of a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. The system pulls power from a separate battery to deploy and also recoups energy typically lost while driving. BMW said the regenerative properties are very intense in the SUVs’ sport mode for more power, more often. All in all, 0-60 mph happens in 4.4 seconds, which is darn quick for a couple of utility vehicles.

There are loads of options on the menu to make either the X3 or X4 racier. An M Sport package for lower trims drops in glossy black exterior elements and 19-inch wheels, and a Dynamic Handling Package makes both vehicles sharper with M Sport brakes and Dynamic Damper Control. The X4, however, comes standard with variable sport steering since, again, it’s supposed to be the sportier option of the two. M40i models also get the adaptable M Sport suspension, exhaust and an AWD system with more bias towards the rear wheels.

But drivers spend most of their time inside the vehicle, and BMW updated the cockpits of the X3 and X4 to keep things fresh. Both SUVs pull from the latest 4 Series in the center console design. A freestanding display now hangs out, too, and measures 10.25 inches. Opt for the Live Cockpit Professional digital gauge cluster and you’re awarded a 12.3-inch display. It’s standard on the X4, mind you.

Below the big center screen are revised HVAC and audio controls with more glossy black touches. LCD displays also accompany the useful physical buttons. Those who follow BMW updates closely will notice new, standard Sport seats in the SUVs complete with perforated SensaTec upholstery. On the active safety front, cruise control, automatic emergency braking with forward collision alert, lane monitoring and blind-spot sensors are all standard. 

Buyers can step up to the Driving Assistant Professional to get fancier tech, such as adaptive cruise control complete with stop-and-go functions, and more. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon’s Alexa all come along for the ride, too. Or, you can use BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant to execute various in-car commands with the “Hey, BMW” wake phrase. More features will likely be added, since both the X3 and X4 also support over-the-air updates now.

Prices for the new X3 start at $44,695 for a base sDrive30i model and climb to $58,795 for the M40i. Prices include a $995 destination charge. If you need an X4, the SUV costs $52,795 and rises to $63,395 for an M40i trim. Production starts this August, so look for them at dealers this fall.

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