BMWBLOG goes to Woodcliff Lake to test drive the new 2015 BMW X3 xDrive28d.

Introduced in 2010, the second generation BMW X3 has been a sales success for the Bavarians. For 2015, BMW has worked its LCI (Life Cycle Impulse) body refresh magic. More than just a cosmetic exterior refresh, BMW has upgraded the interior, added new powertrain choices, and a host of safety and convenience features. The culmination of all of these efforts makes for a more refined vehicle that feels more upscale.


At the BMW North American Headquarters just prior to the 2014 New York Auto Show, I was able to drive the refreshed 2015 BMW X3 xDrive28d. The X3 xDrive28d features BMW’s 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo diesel 4-cylinder engine. It produces 180 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque which is available way down low at 1,750 rpm, and is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. BMWBLOG took a 328d on a week long test drive covering 2500 miles and found that this motor, when combined with the quick shifting 8-speed auto, complement each other well and make for a great road trip car.


We were eager to see if this same combination would provide the same synergy in the X3 28d.

When firing up the X3 xDrive28d, I could hear a slight diesel clatter but nothing bad. BMW has added both sound deadening material in the engine bay and in the body. Tipping into the throttle provides a nice, though not overwhelming acceleration, as the X3 weighs more than the 328d sedan. Though our test drive was limited, we were able to sense that the X3 28d does indeed have enough power to motivate the X3 and not seem under powered.



Moving on to cosmetic changes, the most noticeable change to the updated X3 is the change in the front headlight assembly. This now carries across the whole front of the car in a uniform band and the small painted panels between the lights and the grille in the previous X3 are gone. The front grille also has larger air intakes.



A welcome change is the more upscale cabin. The multiple little touches, such as better materials in their plastics, more wood surfaces and even a rollable lid cover for the cup holder in the center console make for a more upscale cabin. As with most BMW mid-cycle refreshes, a new color palette is available for both the interior and exterior.

A host of new tech burnishes the 2015 BMW X3 including Active Cruise, Driving Assistance, Parking Assist, Open and Blind Spot Detection. You can now also close the the trunk from inside the vehicle. Lane departure was set on the test X3 28d I drove and worked just as it does on other BMWs, vibrating the steering wheel when you get to wondering out of your lane. I find this particular feature irritating, so it was promptly turned off. Maybe if I was on a long road trip and tired, I’d turn it on, otherwise every time I overtake a vehicle I think I am running over something.


Exterior roof racks are available in a satin silver. There is also a new rear bumper which gives the appearance of a wider stance, though there has been no change to the track width. Lastly, should you so desire the X3 can now be ordered in RWD only and is called the X3 sDrive, but is available only with the N20 four-cylinder motor.

The X3 28d has an EPA of 34 MPG hwy rating and a combined 30 MPG rating. It represents $2,100 up tick in your MSRP, which is more coin than the difference between the X535i and X535d.


  • $39,325 X3 sDrive28
  • $40,725 X3 xDrive28i
  • $42,825 X3 xDrive28d
  • $46,025 X3 xDrive35i

All prices include the $925 Destination and Handling.