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The BMW X3 now sports a big mustache

And an angry-looking one at that

The next-generation X3 is called the G45. PHOTO FROM BMW

In the few times we’ve experienced the BMW X3, our feedback on the car has been generally positive. This makes it easy to forget that the G01 generation dates back to 2017. But while the platform really doesn’t feel old behind the wheel, it can only keep up with as much automotive tech as its hardware will allow. That’s why the German firm has decided to ditch the G01 in favor of something more modern.

This is a face that will probably give children nightmares. PHOTOS FROM BMW

The new X3 is called the G45 in company-speak. And what’s noticeable from the get-go is the large “mustache” that is more attention-grabbing than the already enlarged kidney grilles. The gaping chasms of the bumper are even more obvious with lighter paint jobs. Combined with the menacing headlights, let’s just say the front fascia is anything but adorable.

Thankfully, the rest of the X3 gets a friendlier treatment. The proportions are generally the same as the G01, and the changes are more evolutionary than revolutionary. The back end gets an updated version of the T-shaped taillights of the outgoing model. Wheel sizes range from 18 to 21 inches, and an aggressive M-Sport appearance package is also available.

Thankfully, the rest of the car has a friendly, welcoming vibe. PHOTOS FROM BMW

On the other hand, minimalism seems to be the theme of the G45’s cabin. The two-spoke steering wheel has a flat bottom, and it sits in front of a curved display screen which declutters the dashboard. The gear selector has also been redesigned to give the center console more space. In the spirit of simplifying the user experience, BMW says that the iDrive system is now more focused toward touch and voice inputs.

The colored trim pieces add zing to the simplistic cockpit. PHOTOS FROM BMW

All-wheel drive is standard across the range, and all X3 powertrains will come with some form of electrification. The 2.0-liter gasoline and diesel engines both come with mild-hybrid technology. Even the powerful turbocharged motor in the M50 xDrive variant has the same 48V system. There is also a plug-in hybrid version that can run on battery power for up to a claimed 90km.

Even the most powerful engine option is a mild hybrid. PHOTO FROM BMW

Aside from the usual slew of driver aids like adaptive cruise control, forward collision detection, and lane-departure warning, the X3 can be equipped with a variety of additional convenience features. Customers can get a phone-based parking assistant, heads-up display, video-streaming services, and a Harman Kardon sound system as optional extras.

The G45 X3 will be built in South Africa and the United States. The latter, along with Europe, will be getting first dibs on the model later this year. Other markets will have to wait for BMW’s newest crossover in 2025.

Miggi Solidum

Professionally speaking, Miggi is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads. He pens the column ‘G-Force’.