The BMW X3 xDrive28i sport utility vehicle is getting a new engine for the 2013 model year that BMW says will increase the model’s fuel economy. The new power plant is the same turbocharged four-cylinder engine found in the BMW 328i and 528i, replacing the 3.0-liter six-cylinder as the base engine.

“The new 4-cylinder engine, which provides noticeably livelier power for more driving enjoyment, also comes with lower fuel consumption (preliminary) than its predecessor,” BMW says in a statement. The automaker says the new engine will deliver 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, and will accelerate the X3 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. The more powerful X3, the xDrive35i, will carry over with the same powertrain components found on the 2012 model.

While the EPA has yet to announce official fuel economy estimates for the 2013 X3 xDrive28i, we recently reported that the same engine in the BMW 328i yielded a significant improvement in fuel economy over its predecessor. According to the EPA, the annual fuel cost savings of the 2012 BMW 3-Series over the 2011 model are more than $500. The new base X3 probably won’t see savings quite this large. The 2012 528i, which debuted with the new engine, has annual savings just under $200, which seems more likely for the X3, since it is a larger vehicle.

All trims in the X3 lineup will add other convenience and fuel-saving features as well. “Both four- and six-cylinder X3 models gain a power-operated tailgate and engine stop/start technology as standard equipment,” writes Car and Driver. “The start/stop system (Auto Start Stop in BMW-speak) helps save fuel by shutting the engine down when the vehicle comes to a stop; the system can be turned off.” In addition, BMW will add an ECO PRO mode to the X3’s adjustable driving settings. According to BMW, this mode will help to further increase fuel economy by optimizing climate and electrical functions and displaying driving tips for getting better mileage on the dashboard-mounted computer (iDrive) screen.

The 2013 BMW X3 starts at $39,395 and will go on sale in May.

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