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Makeover for premium German 4x4

  • New looks, more kit and cheaper price for BMW's small 4x4
  • X3 gets stop-start tech to reduce emissions to 147g/km
  • On sale later this year, priced from £30,490 on the road

BMW will be hoping to re-ignite demand for its X3 small 4x4 model with the launch of a greener, better equipped and cheaper version.

The new X3 is due to go on sale in the UK later this year and at £30,490 it will cost £115 less than the outgoing model.

This is despite the new model gaining extra equipment - leather seats, two-zone air-conditioning, iDrive and a colour screen are now standard equipment.

But it is under the bonnet where BMW has made big strides, with the X3 coming with stop-start technology on both manual and automatic gearbox models for the first time.

When it goes on sale, BMW will initially offer the X3 with just one engine - the familiar 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel offering 184bhp. Thanks to the adoption of stop-start, BMW claims the new X3 has the lowest emissions of any four-wheel drive car in the segment.

The X3 xDrive 20d returns a claimed 50mpg while CO2 emissions of 149g/km put the car in the 21% company car tax band. An eight-speed automatic version with stop-start is also offered, returning identical economy but slightly improved emissions of 147g/km.

BMW will launch further engine options at a later date.