BMW X3 hybrid interior, dashboard & comfort
The plug-in hybrid BMW X3 is just as comfortable and sensibly laid-out inside as other versions
While it may look a generation behind some of the latest BMW models (such as the BMW iX1 and BMW iX), the X3 is much easier to live with day-to-day because it retains physical controls for the air-con and infotainment system. All the buttons are logically laid out and, therefore, easier to use on the move than having to paw away at a touchscreen with small icons.
BMW X3 hybrid dashboard
Like most cars, the X3's dashboard has a large 12.3in touchscreen infotainment system mounted in a central position. The system works well ergonomically thanks to a rotary dial placed within easy reach of your left hand. Controls for the climate control, radio and other similar features are on the dashboard itself rather than being hidden in a submenu on the screen – a good thing, in our opinion.
The dashboard doesn’t look particularly exciting, but it is very well-finished, with plush materials used throughout, and feels worthy of the car's asking price. Storage is taken care of by a broad centre console that offers plenty of places to lose odds and ends, and the door bins are a generous size for water bottles.
Equipment, options & accessories
Standard equipment is good but not overly generous. Entry-level xLine has 19-inch alloys, a powered tailgate, power-folding door mirrors, heated front seats, three-zone climate control, and a 12.3-inch infotainment system. Adaptive LED headlights that alter the high beam pattern at night to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers are technically standard. However, they will only work with High Beam Assistant, a feature you must pay for, starting from £10 per month.
M Sport is a popular choice for most BMW models, thanks to its more aggressive exterior and interior design treatment. Interestingly, while other X3 M Sport cars get sports suspension, the xDrive30e does without.
While there are some individual options, you’ll be encouraged to go for the pricier packages that bundle a group of features together. Highlights include the Comfort Pack, which adds a keyless entry, a heated steering wheel, rear seat backrest adjustment and storage nets, along with the Technology Plus Pack, which adds a head-up display, gesture control and a way of recording footage from the car's cameras in the event of a collision.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
BMW Live Cockpit Professional is the standard system on xLine cars, comprising a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and a central touchscreen of the same size. It runs BMW's iDrive 7.0 software and includes Bluetooth, DAB and sat-nav with online services (free for three years) such as real-time traffic updates and – crucially – charging point locations.
The car’s infotainment software is easy to navigate, mainly thanks to the physical rotary controller and handy shortcut buttons that are within easy reach. You can also project your phone to the system through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe BMW X3 xDrive30e continues BMW's trend of offering impressive plug-in hybrid versions of some of its most popular models
- 2Range, MPG, CO2 & chargingDecent electric range, strong fuel economy and low CO2 make a compelling case for the X3 plug-in hybrid
- 3Running costs & insuranceAs ever with plug-in hybrids, the BMW X3 makes the most sense for company-car owners, but runs its diesel counterpart close
- 4Performance, engine & driveThe plug-in X3 is good to drive and has plenty of power, but the petrol engine can feel thrashy
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfort - currently readingThe plug-in hybrid BMW X3 is just as comfortable and sensibly laid-out inside as other versions
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityYou lose some storage space to the X3 hybrid's batteries, but this is still a practical family SUV
- 7Reliability & safety ratingSome patchy ownership survey results for BMW are countered by strong safety options for the X3 plug-in