In-depth reviews

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

BMW iX3
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
Electric282 miles11hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)27mins (10-80%, 150kW)

BMW was one of the first mainstream car manufacturers to embrace electrification, with its i3 and i8 models offering buyers alternative-fuelled vehicles long before most other brands had hopped on the bandwagon. However, while those cars were designed to capture the imagination of customers with futuristic styling to match their novel powertrains, BMW has since adopted a more conservative approach as more of its models turn electric.

The BMW iX3 is the latest, and serves as an example of how the company thinks customer tastes have changed. Lots of buyers want their electric car to resemble something they're used to – and that's exactly what BMW has done here. The iX3 is an X3 with electric power, built on the same platform and with broadly similar looks – save for some aerodynamic wheels and subtle detailing. In a similar vein, the forthcoming BMW i4 will effectively be an electric version of the next-generation 4 Series Gran Coupe.

Power for the iX3 comes from a 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 282 miles is competitive with rivals from Audi, Mercedes and Jaguar, although the 6.8-second 0-62mph time means it trails them slightly in the on-paper performance stakes.

And yet the iX3 feels very nearly as fast, with instant acceleration and plenty of grip – even in poor weather. It’s actually pretty decent to drive, and if you can live with the slightly firm ride, it’ll make a fantastic family car that also has the ability to put a smile on your face when the mood allows.

Speaking of its favourable attributes as a family car, 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.

All in all, the BMW iX3 is a really impressive all-rounder. Available only in Premier and Premier Pro launch specs for the time being, it does look expensive. But cheaper, more affordable models will surely represent better value for money in time. Still, if you can justify the high price you’ll get an SUV with plenty of toys, a decent real-world 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...

Most Popular

Top 7 best hybrid and electric sports cars 2021
Taycan
Best cars

Top 7 best hybrid and electric sports cars 2021

Bringing thrills and performance with their powerful electric motors, these are the best electric and hybrid performance cars to buy in the UK in 2021
22 Jul 2021
Are electric cars expensive to insure?
Pros and cons of electric company cars - illustration
Your questions answered

Are electric cars expensive to insure?

Everything you need to know about insuring an electric car, including how expensive it is and why
19 Jul 2021
2021 Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback: specs and prices
Audi Q4 e-tron
Audi Q4 e-tron

2021 Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback: specs and prices

The pure-electric Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback are on sale now, with prices starting from £40,750 for the regular SUV and £42,250 for the Sp…
5 Jul 2021

More on iX3

New BMW iX3: specs, prices and on-sale date
BMW iX3 front tracking
BMW iX3

New BMW iX3: specs, prices and on-sale date

The new BMW iX3 is on sale now, with prices starting from £61,900 for the high-spec Premier Edition
31 Mar 2021