In-depth reviews

BMW iX3 reliability & safety rating

BMW has only an average reputation for reliability, but with fewer moving parts than its petrol models, the iX3 should be a dependable family SUV

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Reliability & safety rating rating

4.0 out of 5

Euro NCAPAdult protectionChild protectionSafety assist
5 stars (2017)93%84%58%

It may come as a surprise that BMW doesn’t actually have the strongest reputation for owner satisfaction. It appears that those paying a premium for the privilege expect more from the so-called luxury brand – and often these expectations fall short. But the iX3 is a relatively new car, with new technology, so it seems unfair to tar it with the same brush.

Electric cars, despite their relative infancy, are often far more reliable than their petrol or diesel equivalents – largely due to their lack of complexity and moving parts. BMW's battery and powertrain technology is already used on a large scale and will be implemented far and wide in the future.

BMW iX3 reliability & problems

As the first UK cars only arrived in showrooms in summer 2021, it’s a little early to understand how reliable – or not – BMW’s first electric SUV might be. Historically, however, the brand has only recorded average performances in the annual Driver Power survey – and in more recent years it has finished nearer the bottom of the pack for owner satisfaction.

In 2020, BMW placed 27th out of 30 manufacturers, with owners suggesting their cars could be more reliable, as well as cheaper to maintain. However, as the iX3 is fully electric, with fewer moving parts and no traditional combustion engine, it is less likely to go wrong, and if it does, shouldn’t be as complicated or pricey to fix. Furthermore, the iX3’s powertrain and battery technology will feature in forthcoming models like the i4 saloon and iX SUV – so BMW will be keen to ensure its validity for the future.

Safety

In May 2021, independent crash-testing body Euro NCAP confirmed that the five-star rating recorded by the combustion-engined X3 back in 2017 could also be applied to the iX3. This rating includes a strong adult occupant protection score of 93%, as well as 84% for child protection, but just 58% for safety assistance. 

While that last score would have applied to the entry-level petrol X3, every iX3 comes with the BMW's 'Driving Assistant Professional' package, which builds in a variety of semi-autonomous driving features like adaptive cruise control, traffic-jam assistance, and an active lane-keeping aid.

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