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BMW iX3 Review

Written by Allan Noble · 20/07/21

The BMW iX3 is BMW's second foray into the all-electric market, following on from the rather unconventional i3. Its appealing SUV styling, it's environmentally friendly electric motor and BMW's iconic roundel on its bonnet make a tantalising combination, making this car big news. The iX3 is a very important car for BMW which signals their direction of travel for the future and is already proving to be very popular.

Summary

As governments signal a move away from fossil fuels and the internal combustion engine (ICE) towards cleaner and greener solutions, carmakers are scurrying to develop and launch new plug-in hybrid and electric cars. Thankfully, BMW's ahead of the pack having learnt from the development of the existing i3 and the MINI Electric from within the BMW group. So the BMW iX3 electric SUV is a natural evolution, and it feels like an accomplished car as a result.

Although it exploits some of the newest electric technology, the BMW iX3 feels like a surprisingly conventional, almost conformist car when compared to outlandish competitors such as Tesla or the Jaguar I-Pace. This will appeal to people who want a "normal" car that brings the benefits of an electric SUV, without feeling the need to shout about it.

The BMW iX3 offers a reasonable official WLTP range of 285 miles from its 80kWh battery, making it a suitable family companion for longer journeys without needing to stop constantly recharging. The battery is smaller than in some rivals giving the BMW iX3 less power than other comparable models, but in return, this saves weight, lessens body roll and reduces any loss of space in the cabin, so in reality, it feels like BMW has got the balance right with the iX3.

There is a lot to love about the BMW iX3. It is well equipped and drives beautifully, the range is useable with over 200 miles of real-world driving, and it has several practical charging options. There is plenty of front and rear cabin and boot space for families. It is also good value when you pitch it against rival cars such as the Audi e-Tron and Mercedes EQC - have a look at their car reviews to see for yourself. If you're looking to make a statement about its electric prowess then you may find it a little conservative, but if you're not interested in driving an electric car resembling a spaceship then the BMW iX3 will be perfect.

Range, Charging, & Emissions

BMW offers a choice of charging options for the iX3, with the battery accepting up to 150kW DC rapid charging capability, returning it to 80% capacity in around 34 minutes if you can find a rare rapid charger, reducing the potential time hanging around at motorway services. A 50kW motorway charger will get you to 80% in around an hour. If you're charging at home, a standard 7kW wall box charger will take around 12 hours to recharge the iX3 from empty, or about 8 hours if you have an 11kW capability.

BMW says that the iX3's official range is 282 miles, quoting up to 3.2 miles per kWh, but this is obviously dependant on several factors including weather conditions, driving style and the amount of power you're using in the cabin. Even on the coldest, most miserable day, you should expect to get at least 200 miles. You can also top up during your journey using the clever regenerative braking system. You can drive using just one pedal, with the iX3 automatically applying the brakes when you lift off, to store the braking energy for later. It uses the sat nav to judge the braking rate when approaching junctions too, which is a nice touch. You can select how much braking force you want, or you can just coast if you prefer. The iX3 will even slow down at the correct rate to keep it a safe distance from the car ahead.

Next: Running costs