Classic looks with a long range
BMW has a host of new EVs on offer, and while the more radical-looking i4 and iX are grabbing the headlines, it’s perhaps the BMW iX3 that will appeal most widely to your average buyer.
That’s because it has a more classic and conventional look and feel than its counterparts, by sharing its styling with the familiar good looks of the best selling BMW, the X3. Along with a closed-off grille, aerodynamic wheels, and very subtle blue badging.
There’s no divisive design, or slightly space-age stylings, just a very efficient and practical electric SUV, with looks you can rely on.
While the standard X3 is available in a range of other powertrains, the BMW iX3 comes in one standard setup.
Featuring an electric motor that serves up a very respectable 282bhp and 400Nm of torque to the rear wheels, the BMW iX3 can do 0-60mph in a pleasantly nifty 6.6 seconds, and hits a top speed limited to 112mph.
The BMW iX3 employs a 80kWh battery (of which 74kWh is usable), which creates that electric range of 285 miles (WLTP official figures, while real-world range is estimated at 240 miles by EV database).
The BMW iX3 is more efficient than the Audi e-tron 55, which packs a larger 95kWh battery, but can only manage 261 miles in comparison.
The BMW iX3 can also charge at speeds up to 150kW, meaning that an 80% charge can take as little as 34 minutes, which really adds practicality appeal to this premium electric SUV.
A relaxing and refined ride
For those that don’t want an electric car to feel too alien to what they’re used to, the BMW iX3 is a great option. It retains a familiar driving position from the standard BMW X3, a conventional gear selector, and straight dials. It’s pleasingly fuss-free as an EV.
On the road the BMW iX3 is impressively calming and relaxing to drive, and it actually feels preferable to the petrol, diesel and hybrid versions of the X3. The pace on offer is excellent too, and makes it feel quicker than the figures on paper suggest, while as mentioned, the speedy charging means that if you’re on a long journey and find a rapid charger, you won’t need to be parked up for long at all.
The BMW iX3 doesn’t use BMW’s latest switchgear inside, but the interior is nonetheless excellent, with impressive attention-to-detail and superb material quality. The clear digital dials system and widescreen touchscreen are both very easy to use too, while a number of subtle blue accents (around the badge, gear selector and start button) make the BMW iX3 cabin just different enough from the standard X3.
Unlike some rivals, the BMW iX3 uses a conventional platform, and as such, it’s still sufficiently roomy as an SUV, which will appeal to families. The cabin offers plenty of space for passengers, while the 510-litre boot is a very practical and useful size, that increases to 1,560 litres when the rear seats are folded.
Two trim levels are available on the BMW iX3: M Sport and M Sport Pro. Standard equipment includes leather upholstery, electric and heated seats, wireless smartphone charging, and large digital dials and touchscreen as standard.
If you upgrade to the ‘Pro’ model you’ll get a heads-up display, Harman Kardon sound system, self-parking functionality, and keyless entry. You’ll also get BMW’s ‘IconicSounds Electric’, which is a special sporty driving noise created by German composer Hans Zimmer, to enhance the driving experience of the BMW iX3.
Costs less than the competition
As with any electric SUV, the BMW iX3 costs a significant amount more than standard petrol and diesel cars, with the choices starting from £59,730, or up to £62,730 if you want the higher-spec Pro model. However, with all-electric vehicles, keep in mind how much you will save on fuel, typically a quarter of your usual spend, or more, which really adds up if you drive above an average of £10,000 miles a year.
Given the typical premium price of the car, we’d recommend upgrading to the range-topping model, which is predicted to be the most popular.
The BMW iX3 is also priced favourably next to rivals, with starting prices of both the Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes EQC around £5,000 more expensive, while the Audi e-tron, with a similar price, has a considerably shorter range than the iX3. So if you’re looking for a premium electric SUV, and want the savvy choice out of the pack, this may well be it.
A smart choice
The BMW iX3 is a really polished product, that doesn’t come with any design doubts. Perfect for family buyers that want to look good, and enjoy excellent electric efficiency, but without wanting to stand out, or feel like they’re changing to a different type of car.
The flexibility, fast charging, and more than adequate long-range offered by the BMW iX3 powertrain makes this model very appealing, as does the spacious interior and the impressive build quality.
The BMW iX3 is smooth to drive, very practical, has a better range than rivals, a deluxe infotainment system, and a smart interior. So if you’re looking for a large family all-electric SUV, then this represents a smart choice.