BMW iX3 interior, dashboard & comfort
The inside of the BMW iX3 is logically laid-out and well built, but rival models' cabins feel more modern and more luxurious
Inside, the iX3 feels much like any other BMW X3 save for some blue-coloured trim – not a bad thing, but not especially exciting, either. Build quality is excellent and the infotainment system is among the best available anywhere, but some buyers may prefer the more fashion-forward Jaguar I-Pace or Audi e-tron. Those looking for a more minimalist approach will be better suited to a Tesla or Polestar product instead.
BMW iX3 dashboard
BMW’s dashboard design hasn’t really changed in the last decade; the conventional dials, central screen and climate control setup has graced almost every model in the range in recent years. But there’s a reason for this – it’s logical, easy to use, and every version – from the entry-level 1 Series right up to the 7 Series range-topper – is built to a very high standard.
So while it’s a shame BMW hasn’t tried something new for its first electric SUV, there seems to be some method in the madness. Sure, it doesn’t have the wow factor of a Tesla or even a Mercedes EQC, but there’s loads of functionality and plenty of technology.
Equipment, options & accessories
As of August 2021, the iX3 is available in M Sport and M Sport Pro trim levels, replacing the earlier Premier Edition and Premier Edition Pro that customers were initially offered. You get a choice of four colours, as well as either black, dark grey or brushed-aluminium trim, and three leather interior options.
The iX3 in M Sport trim (£59,730) comes with 19-inch aerodynamic wheels, heated front sports seats and steering wheel, and a panoramic sunroof. M Sport Pro models (£62,730) get a 20-inch alloy wheels, head-up display, a Harman Kardon stereo, gesture control for the infotainment, plus safety and convenience features like self-parking, automatic high-beam headlights and BMW’s Driving Assistant Professional.
The manufacturer has also added an interesting system that lets iPhone users install a 'digital key' on their device in place of an actual key. These digital keys can be shared with friends and even loaded with restrictions on the car's speed, power or maximum music volume level – perfect for a parent lending their car to a young driver in the family.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
Every new iX3 comes with BMW Live Cockpit Professional, featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You can either use the touchscreen interface or the iDrive click wheel on the centre console, but either way the menus are easy to navigate and the graphics are crystal-clear.
The car’s fully digital dials are also clear and easy to read, if not quite as customisable as the setup in an Audi e-tron. We wouldn’t consider this a deal-breaker, however. Of course, as with many electric cars, there's an app you can download to your smartphone allowing you to monitor the car’s state of charge, plus pre-heat or cool the cabin before setting off on your journey. You can also send destinations from your phone straight to the car’s nav system.
In This Review
- 1VerdictRefined, 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 & insuranceAs the BMW iX3 is so new, it’s hard to nail down exactly how much it'll cost to run; servicing costs and insurance groups will be revealed later
- 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 & comfort - currently readingThe 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