A new turbocharged 4-cylinder engine replaces the normally aspirated 6-cylinder in the entry-level X3 xDrive28i, for MY2013. Compared to the outgoing 6-cylinder, the new smaller displacement turbo engine can generate the same horsepower (240) and more torque (an extra 49 lb-ft), while consuming less fuel.

There are two versions of the X3, the already mentioned xDrive28i and a turbocharged 6-cylinder (300-horsepower) xDrive35i. Both feature all-wheel drive, engine start-stop technology, hill descent control. Both come with an 8-speed automatic transmission and a 5-link rear axle setup also gives the X3 a smoother ride than most of its competitors.

Here’s an extract from an Autos.ca test drive report on the BMW X3 28i xDrive:

Tom Sedens / Autos.ca: “The turbo engine is plenty powerful for everyday driving. Step on it, and you’ll notice some turbo lag but it spools up quickly and then it pulls hard and revs happily up to the top if you ask it to. I didn’t find any power drop-off either. Unfortunately, this engine sounds terrible above a couple thousand rpms – especially compared to BMW’s six-cylinders. Though power is sufficient, I did feel that highway passing took a little more effort than I had expected.

The eight-speed transmission is fantastic. It certainly hunts for higher gears to save fuel, but you can manually shift it (no paddles on the four-cylinder, though) or put it in Sport mode. It will map your acceleration more aggressively, holds those shift points longer and your steering response quickens. It’s an effective way to enjoy some sportier driving. There’s also an Eco mode, for the environmental weenies.”

Features on the xDrive28i include 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, Servotronic speed-sensitive steering, automatic headlamps, fog lamps, adaptive brake lights, hill descent control, trailer stability control, heated mirrors, heated windshield washer jets, rain-sensing wipers, tire pressure monitoring system, active front head restraints, keyless entry, privacy glass, rear roof spoiler, cruise control, multifunction leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, locking illuminated glovebox, illuminated vanity mirrors, auto up/down windows, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, heated eight-way power adjustable “leatherette” seats, driver’s side memory, CD/MP3 stereo with five speakers, USB and auxiliary input, Sirius satellite radio pre-wiring, Bluetooth connectivity, and iDrive with 6.5-inch screen.

The xDrive35i adds bi-xenon headlamps, chrome-finish stainless steel exhaust tips, sport steering wheel, and 12-speaker sound system.

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