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 brake regen

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 manufacturers to embrace electrification in the modern era, with its i3 and i8 models offering buyers alternative-fuelled vehicles long before most other premium brands had hopped on the bandwagon. However, while those models 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 to electrification.

The BMW iX3 is the latest pure-electric offering from the German brand and is an example of how it 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 BMW iX3 is an X3 with electric power, built on the same platform and with broadly similar aesthetics – save for some aerodynamic wheels and some 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 of the iX3. 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...

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