In-depth reviews

BMW iX3 SUV - Electric motor, drive & performance

In its pursuit of handling, BMW has made the iX3 rather stiff for a family SUV

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Electric motor, drive & performance Rating

3.0 out of 5

Unlike its rivals, the iX3 gets a single electric motor powering the rear wheels. This means it isn't as quick as the dual-motor Jaguar I-Pace in a straight line, but it still feels fast and gets a sporty setup in typical BMW fashion.

In fact, it would have been better if BMW had made the suspension softer because in its pursuit of agile, fun handling, ride comfort has been compromised. Even in the softest Comfort mode, the iX3 fidgets and seems to find bumps in the road that look inconsequential from behind the wheel. This is more of an issue around town, because the suspension works better at higher speeds, like when on the motorway. It's likely BMW has stiffened the iX3's suspension to cope with the extra weight of the battery.

The firm chassis setup and the low-slung battery does at least mean the iX3 corners with little body lean and plenty of grip, while the steering is fast to respond, if lacking in feel. Even in poor weather, we found the iX3 had no trouble getting its 282bhp to the tarmac, including from a standing start. Sport mode makes the steering heavier but also renders the suspension too bouncy, so we quickly turned it off.

BMW iX3 electric motor

The iX3 is powered by a single 282bhp electric motor at the rear axle, giving it a 0-62mph acceleration time of 6.8 seconds. This should be plenty quick enough for most SUV (and EV) buyers, but it's some way off rivals. The Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes EQC all feature front and rear motors, providing more power and four-wheel drive. 

The iX3 accelerates very quietly, with just a distant whine from its electric motor. If you prefer, you can also choose a louder sound thanks to 'balanced' and 'sporty' settings. The iX3 glides away from a standstill smoothly, with instant pulling power doing a good job of disguising its 2,185kg weight. Despite being down on power compared with its rivals, the iX3 accelerates from a standstill quicker than almost any other traffic.

Recommended

BMW iX3 SUV review
BMW iX3 SUV
BMW iX3
7 Dec 2021

BMW iX3 SUV review

Have You Considered

Peugeot 3008 SUV review
Peugeot 3008 SUV front cornering
Peugeot 3008
12 May 2022

Peugeot 3008 SUV review

Skoda Karoq SUV review
2022 Skoda Karoq cornering
Skoda Karoq
12 May 2022

Skoda Karoq SUV review

Most Popular

Speed awareness course: how much does it cost, how long does it take and how do you do one online?
Police car - open boot
Tips and advice
19 May 2022

Speed awareness course: how much does it cost, how long does it take and how do you do one online?

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
Fiat 500 deals
Deals
20 May 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

New car delivery times: how long will you have to wait?
Mazda3s at Bristol port
Car buying
17 May 2022

New car delivery times: how long will you have to wait?

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
25 Apr 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
3 May 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
3 Feb 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022