In-depth reviews

BMW iX3 SUV review

The BMW iX3 is an electric variant of the popular X3 SUV, with a 279-mile range

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Pros

  • Range
  • Refinement
  • Practicality

Cons

  • Firm ride
  • Faster rivals
  • Unadventurous design

While BMW wowed the automotive world with its i3 electric hatchback and i8 plug-in hybrid coupe almost a decade ago, the all-electric BMW iX3 SUV is altogether a more staid proposition. This time round BMW is taking a similar approach to Peugeot and Hyundai by serving up an electric version of a car it already sells – in this case, the BMW X3.

There's been a deliberate decision not to go radical with the design, with BMW instead opting to add aerodynamic wheels, blue trim accents and a smoothed-off grille to a familiar package. There are also a new set of bumpers and side skirts, all tested in the wind tunnel to ensure they are slippery enough to help maximise the driving range. This is really just an X3 for buyers who want an electric powertrain, for EV buyers who don't want to shout about it.

Under the car's floor is an 80kWh battery that sends its power to a rear-mounted 282bhp electric motor and only the rear wheels. This is a departure from rivals like the Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes EQC, which all have two motors, four-wheel-drive and quite a bit more power. While it isn't as fast as those cars, the iX3's 279-mile range is competitive, beating both its German rivals and just slightly behind the I-Pace. The Jaguar struggles to hit its official figure in real-world driving anyway.

It can also be charged quickly, obtaining speeds of up to 150kW at the latest rapid-charging stations. Of its closest rivals, only the e-tron can match this, with the others topping out at around 100kW, and it means the iX3 battery can be replenished to 80% in a speedy 34 minutes. Thanks to this capability, making one stop on a long journey should be ample to get drivers to their destination with range to spare.

Like the exterior, the inside of the iX3 is very much a mild variation on the X3, with some flashes of blue trim to show this is the electric version. It shares the same 10.25-inch iDrive infotainment display perched above the dashboard and a 12.3-inch digital instrument screen. Premier Edition and Premier Edition Pro trims serve up plenty of equipment, with features like a head-up display, a Harman Kardon stereo and wireless phone charging in the top trim.

The BMW iX3 is spacious, quiet and has a good range, but it's a shame it doesn't feel anywhere near as special as the i3 and i8. Instead, it ushers in an era when electric BMWs will be a more mass-market part of the line-up.

Have You Considered

Vauxhall Mokka-e SUV review
Vauxhall Mokka-e driving - front
Vauxhall Mokka-e SUV
4 Feb 2021

Vauxhall Mokka-e SUV review

BMW X3 SUV review
BMW X3 SUV review gallery
BMW X3
11 Jan 2021

BMW X3 SUV review

Most Popular

Engine size explained
Aston Martin engine
Tips and advice
16 Feb 2021

Engine size explained

Best new car deals 2021
Mazda3
Deals
19 Feb 2021

Best new car deals 2021

Should I buy an insurance write-off? Cat C, Cat D, Cat S and Cat N car explained
Cat D cars, Cat C & insurance write-offs: complete guide
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Should I buy an insurance write-off? Cat C, Cat D, Cat S and Cat N car explained

Tips & advice

View All
Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Car ownership
25 Feb 2021

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light

PCP on used cars
PCP on used cars
Tips and advice
25 Feb 2021

PCP on used cars

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

What is a V5C? everything you need to know about the logbook
V5C close up
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

What is a V5C? everything you need to know about the logbook

Best cars

View All
Best electric SUVs
Kia e-Niro
Electric cars
25 Feb 2021

Best electric SUVs

Best tow cars
Skoda Kodiaq SUV driving
Best cars
18 Feb 2021

Best tow cars

Best luxury cars
Mercedes S-Class saloon driving
Luxury cars
17 Feb 2021

Best luxury cars

London Congestion Charge exempt cars
Volvo XC60
Best cars
12 Feb 2021

London Congestion Charge exempt cars