Reviews

BMW iX3 reliability & safety

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

BMW iX3
Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Reliability & safety rating

4.0 out of 5

It may come as some 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 new car, with loads of new technology, so it seems unfair to tar it with the same brush. Electric cars, dispute their relative infancy, are often far more reliable than their petrol or diesel equivalents – largely due to their lack of complexity and moving parts. The battery and powertrain technology is already used on a large scale and will be implemented far and wide in the future, too.

Safety is another question mark when it comes to the iX3. Despite sharing a platform and various parts with the petrol and diesel X3s, its structure and packaging are different, so existing crash-test scores can't be applied to this electric variant. However, with all the latest technology and driver aids, it’s likely the iX3 will be up there with the safest cars in this class.

BMW iX3 reliability & problems

As the first UK cars won’t arrive in showrooms until 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 an average reputation 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

Due to the increased weight and altered packaging of the iX3 versus the X3 on which it is based, the standard car’s Euro NCAP crash-test scores aren’t applicable to the electric SUV. However, BMW has long been a leader in safety, so it’s fair to assume the iX3 has undergone all the necessary tests and tweaks to ensure it’s as safe – if not safer – than its petrol siblings.

In addition, every iX3 comes with the “very latest driver assistance technology” including the 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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