2025 BMW X3: The Kidney Grille Bars Are Diagonal Now

Wait 'til you see the light bars inside.
Daniel Kraus

The 2025 BMW X3 is redesigned and brings BMW’s compact crossover into its fourth generation. It rocks a new design language on the outside that BMW describes as “almost monolithic,” which is to say, it’s a simpler, cleaner-looking vehicle that dials back on the surfacing of the previous generation. However, one design element that may raise some eyebrows is the diagonal bars inside the kidney grille inherited from the new, overseas-only 1 Series. Naturally, perhaps, this is limited to the base model since the M50 will sport blacked-out horizontal bars.

Yes, “M50” because also of note is a change in naming convention. Now that BMW is doing away with the “i” to denote direct injection—those are reserved for EVs now—the X3 will now either be known as the X3 30 xDrive in base four-cylinder form or as the X3 M50 xDrive if equipped with the straight-six. The M50 (the artist formerly known as M40i) continues to use the 3.0-liter turbocharged B58 six but revised with redesigned intake ports, combustion chamber geometry, and a new crankshaft drive, among other things. X3 M50 makes 393 horsepower, up 11 hp from before, and hits 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. The M Performance X3 also gets Adaptive M Sport suspension with electronic dampers, variable sport steering, M Sport brakes, 20-inch wheels, and an M Sport diff out back.

Those who just want a nice crossover to casually putz around in will find that in the X3 30 which uses a 2.0-liter turbo-four making 255 hp and gets to 60 mph in six seconds. Both engines are paired with 48-volt mild hybrid tech for smoother start-stop and better efficiency. Overall, BMW says the new X3 is a better handler and more comfy on long drives than the old car. Its body-in-white is said to be lighter but more rigid, and the rear track (i.e. the distance between the rear wheels) is wider. Physically, the new X3 is 1.3 inches longer than before and 1.1 inches wider but an inch lower.

Inside, though, is where designers have appeared to go a little bit wild. Dual-screen iDrive 9 is here as are newly designed seats and, as a BMW first, you can option woven fabric dash trim made from recycled polyester. But then you have ambient, interactive light bars underneath the screen, surrounding the phone cubby, and on the door cards. Photographed here in obnoxious “license and registration, please” red and blue, none of it is subtle. Also, peep the massive door handles that remind occupants that they’re not just in any ol’ BMW but the utility BMW.

Whatever you think of its looks inside and out, the 2025 BMW X3 will start at $50,675 for the base four-cylinder or $65,275 for the M50. It will be built in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and arrive in Q4 2024.

Got a tip or question for the author about the new X3? You can reach him here: chris.tsui@thedrive.com