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2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i M Sport Review: Mild Mannered

Ben Chia
24/03/2022
2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i M Sport exterior front CarBuyer Singapore

BMW’s popular X3 gets a mild facelift and introduces mild hybrid tech in Singapore, and it’s mildly improved as a result


Photos: CarBuyer Team and BMW

SINGAPORE

As far as facelifts go, the one on the BMW X3 is a fairly minor one. The grille is now bigger, and the twin kidneys are now joined up together, while the headlamps have gone on a slimming diet. The bumpers are redesigned to look slightly more aggressive too, and the rear lamps now seem to look more futuristic with their fancy funky lighting design.

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i M Sport exterior front CarBuyer Singapore

On the inside, the main changes are now the larger infotainment screen, which has been upsized to 12.3-inches, from 10.25-inches previously, as well a slight rearrangement of several switches and buttons, which have made their way from the main dashboard to the cluster between the seats. All in all, nothing very major here really.

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i M Sport interior CarBuyer Singapore

Probably the more significant change to the X3 though is what’s under the bonnet. The X3 now gets an updated powertrain that features mild hybrid tech, which uses a 48-volt system that assists with acceleration using the electric motor. It also results in smoother starts from when the engine cuts out at the lights, while fuel efficiency is naturally improved as well.

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i M Sport engine CarBuyer Singapore

BMW quotes a fuel economy figure of 7.6L/100km for the xDrive 30i variant tested here, and after four days of abuse (I mean driving) from Team CarBuyer, we averaged about 9.0L/100km. With a careful right foot though, figures in the 7s are eminently achievable, depending on your own driving patterns. However, it is not enough to escape from incurring a S$25,000 VES surcharge as it falls under band C2.



The xDrive30i’s 2.0-litre turbo four-pot engine produces a handy 252hp and 350Nm of torque, and can go from 0-100km/h in 6.6 seconds, but the overall driving experience generally leans towards refinement. There is enough punch in the powerplant to get you up to speed with the minimum of fuss, but there’s just that slight lack of oomph or excitement in its delivery or character. 

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i M Sport exterior front driving CarBuyer Singapore

To be fair, it does do the refinement bit pretty well, even when kitted out with the M Sport kit, which in our experience has tended to jar ride quality to the point of ruination. In the X3 though, the suspension does cope pretty well with most road surfaces, and you could even call it comfortable, which is not always something we tend to associate with BMWs with M Sport suspensions.

In return, you get a pretty decent drive, and the X3 is arguably a slightly more enjoyable SUV to steer than its comparable equivalents from Audi or Mercedes-Benz, although that’s not really saying a lot given that most SUVs tend to display fairly similar characteristics. It’s no Porsche Macan, which remains the benchmark for all sports-oriented SUVs, but the X3 at least offers that little bit more of everything over its main rivals, be it grip, composure, sharpness or engagement.

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i M Sport exterior front driving CarBuyer Singapore

Nevertheless, you can see where the X3’s strengths lies, which is comfort and convenience. Aside from the larger infotainment screen, the updated X3 also features BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant (IPA) voice recognition, which is one of the better functioning ones around. The rest of it is classic BMW; pleasant, easy to use, and generally a nice place to be in.

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i M Sport interior CarBuyer Singapore

That said, it does come at a cost, and the X3 xDrive30i M Sport (to give it its full name) will set you back a hefty S$342,888 with COE. Granted that’s partly due to sky high COE prices at the current moment, but then there’s also the entry-level xDrive20i model, which comes in at S$297,888 with COE, a significant S$45,000 saving. You get less power and no M Sport kit, but most of the niceties, including the mild hybrid drivetrain, remain, and for our money that’s probably the one to go for.

2022 BMW X3 xDrive30i M Sport badge CarBuyer Singapore

BMW X3 xDrive30i M Sport

DrivetrainPetrol-electric 48V mild hybrid
Engine1,998cc, inline 4, turbocharged
Power252hp at 5200-6500rpm
Torque350Nm at 1450-4800rpm
Gearbox8-speed automatic
0-100km/h6.6 seconds
Top Speed240km/h
VES BandingC2 / +S$25,000
Fuel Efficiency7.6L/100km
AgentPerformance Motors
PriceS$342,888 with COE
AvailabilityNow
Verdict:Mild hybrid drivetrain brings better efficiency to updated X3, but xDrive30i version is pretty pricey

Tags:

bmw facelift LCI m sport mild hybrid SUV x3 xdrive30i

About the Author

Ben Chia

CarBuyer's senior staff writer went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world. Follow Ben on Instagram @carbuyer.ben

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