The Life Cycle Impulse, every BMW after a few years in production from its initial date of the reveal will receive a facelift which they call an LCI and the compact X crossovers were in line for that makeover. The X3 was already fine but personally, the X4 needed that the most and the refreshed look don’t disappoint at all. Both still recognizable as appearing the same on the front end but different towards the rear with the sloping roofline of the X4. And it is best to mention how aggressive the M variants look compared to the pre-facelifts and clearly, you can see where the influence comes from.

Let’s first take a look at the changes of the X3 and X4, and straight away the goal was to make things slimmer and sleeker. The headlights for example are narrow in size with the adoption of LED headlights as standard, the adaptive lights with Matrix function are optional and if you need to shine your lights to a further 650 meters, the laserlights cost as an extra option on top. Between the headlights is an enlarged kidney grille which is tolerable to the eye compared to what you find on the 4 Series, and it is 10 millimeters flatter.

The redesigned front apron features vertical side air intakes arranged in a triangular manner for the standard model whilst the M sport variant has larger air inlets finished in high gloss black, as well as the window graphics, roof rails and the kidney grille. The hybrid version sports a BMW i emblem on the front wing with the BMW logo having a circular blue aura. The rear of the X3 and X4 have redesigned rear aprons and 3D modeled taillights and horizontal turn signals integrated in filigree style. Wheels that are available as standard are 19 inches in size, in a Y-spoke design finished in Midnight Grey Bicolor, with 20-inch and 21-inch sizes available as options.

There are three petrol engines and three diesel engines available as standard with an 8-speed automatic, a 48-volt mild hybrid system and xDrive. The xDrive20i and xDrive30i produce 181 hp (135 kW) and 241 hp (180 kW) respectively from a 2.0-litre turbopetrol 4-cylinder. The high-powered M40i retains the 3.0-litre straight-six turbo B58 engine with 355 hp (265 kW), capable of a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 4.9 seconds.

The diesel forms comprise of the xDrive20d: 188 hp (140 kW), xDrive30d: 282 hp (210 kW) and an M40d with 335 hp (250 kW). The xDrive30e is only available on the X3 and it has a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine mated to an electric motor and jointly they produce 288 hp (215 kW), with a range of 50 kilometers on electric power alone.

Moving on to the truculent fascia of these models are the X3 M and X4 M competition flaunting a redesigned front look inspired by the G8x models. The kidney grille is larger and designed in a one-piece frame and carrying X3 M & X4 M logos. The slimmer headlight design has LED lights with Matrix function as standard, with laserlights being an optional extra. The major difference departing from the predecessor is the front apron with vertically arranged side air intakes angled towards the spoiler lip.

The taillights are newly designed and surrounded in black tint and shifting towards the lower rear apron is a bumper part finished in high gloss black in M specific design. Occupying that area is a larger diffuser flanked on the right and left by the tailpipes of the M Sport exhaust system finished in black chrome. The M Compound Brakes are visible, bearing the M logo and surrounded by the 21-inch M forged alloy wheels finished in Jet Black. The notable V-spoke alloys in the same size and finish are still available. New colours include Sao Paulo Yellow as seen on the X4 M Competition and M Marina Bay Blue metallic on the X3 M Competition.

Still in the engine bay is the S58 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six with the same power output of 510 hp (375 kW) but an increase in torque by 50 Nm, totalling it to 650 Nm. This improves the acceleration to 100 km/h by 0.3 seconds as it now sits at 3.8 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h but can be increased to 285 km/h with the M driver’s package. BMW promises that these cars will be more agile, responsive and handle better thanks to the centrally controlled M xDrive system with Active M Differential that ensures loss-free transmission of engine power.

The major interior changes only comprise of the modern BMW screens such as the Central Display in 10.25 inches as standard and the 10.25-inch digital instrument screen with BMW Live Cockpit Plus as standard. Both screens can be optionally increased to 12.3 inches and feature updated software with over-the-air updates. The other part offered is extra ambient lighting, electroplated trim elements on the air vents and 3-zone climate control. Most of the cabin changes are similar between the normal X3 & X4 and the M models but the X3 M & X4 M Competition get M sport seats with electronically adjustable headrests and illuminated M logos as standard. The seats are covered in Merino leather in four colour combinations and this material extends to the steering wheel with M tri-colour stitching.

The facelift X3 and X4 are expected to be launched in August 2021 with the South African introduction probably happening in September 2021.

Source: BMW X3 & X4 LCI Press Release; BMW X3 M & BMW X4 M Competition LCI Press Release