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

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Pros

  • Practical
  • Well built
  • Clever regenerative braking

Cons

  • Rivals have stronger performance
  • Not the most exciting to drive
  • Fidgety ride quality
Car typeRangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
Electric286 miles11hrs 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...

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