BMW iX3 review
Refined, spacious and good to drive, the BMW iX3 makes sense as an electric family SUV – but some rivals feel more special
- Well built
- Clever regenerative braking
- Rivals have stronger performance
- Not the most exciting to drive
- Fidgety ride quality
|Car type||Range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|Electric||286 miles||11hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||27mins (10-80%, 150kW)|
You can always tell BMW's bespoke EVs apart from the rest of its line-up from their futuristic styling, unconventional proportions or unique cabin designs. However, lots of buyers want their electric car to resemble something they're used to – and that's exactly what BMW has done with the iX3.
It's essentially an X3 with electric power, built on the same platform and with broadly similar looks – save for some aerodynamic wheels and subtle detailing. The same way the BMW i4 is effectively a zero-emissions version of the 4 Series Gran Coupe, or the new X1 SUV is available with electric power as the iX1.
The iX3 comes with a single 282bhp electric motor fed by an 80kWh battery (74kWh of which is useable), with power sent to the rear wheels only – there's no four-wheel-drive version. A claimed range of up to 286 miles is competitive with rivals from Audi, Jaguar and Volvo, although a 6.8-second 0-62mph time means the iX3 trails them slightly when it comes to on-paper performance.
Yet the iX3 feels very nearly as fast, with instant acceleration and plenty of grip – even on a slippery road. It’s actually pretty decent to drive, and if you can live with the slightly firm ride quality, it makes for a fantastic family car that also has the ability to put a smile on your face when you want it to.
On the practicality front, the iX3 loses only a small amount of boot space in its transition from petrol or diesel to electric. There’s still loads of space inside, too – making it a very practical take on the electric car formula. As you'd expect, the iX3's cabin feels incredibly solid and the materials are a cut above its rivals, plus BMW’s familiar iDrive infotainment system is still top-notch.
All in all, the BMW iX3 is a really impressive electric all-rounder. If you can justify the £60,000-plus asking price, you get an SUV with plenty of toys, a decent real-world driving range and a pleasant – engaging, even – driving experience. For a more detailed look at the BMW iX3, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...
In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingRefined, spacious and good to drive, the BMW iX3 makes sense as an electric family SUV – but some rivals feel more special
- 2Range, battery & chargingDespite looking like a regular BMW, the iX3 uses cutting-edge battery and charging technology
- 3Running costs & insuranceAn efficient drivetrain and the same ultra-low company-car tax rate as any electric car make the iX3 very cheap to run for a big SUV
- 4Performance, engine & driveDespite being down on power compared to its rivals, the BMW iX3 feels fast and quite good fun; the ride is a little firm, though
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortThe inside of the BMW iX3 is logically laid-out and well built, but rival models' cabins feel more modern and more luxurious
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityWhile the BMW iX3 is less practical than the petrol model, it’s still a spacious and versatile family SUV – with a decent range to boot
- 7Reliability & safety ratingBMW has only an average reputation for reliability, but with fewer moving parts than its petrol models, the iX3 should be a dependable family SUV