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 uses a general design that's now a generation behind the fully electric iX, the X3's interior is well made, logically laid-out and comfortable. The broad centre console offers plenty of storage and there's the trademark BMW driving position with lots of scope for adjustment to get comfortable behind the wheel. It's not particularly exciting to look at – you have to turn to the likes of Volvo and Peugeot for that – but the X3's interior is a solid, fuss-free environment that feels worthy of the car's asking price.
BMW X3 hybrid dashboard
As with the majority of cars, the X3's dashboard is centred around a large touchscreen infotainment system that's mounted in a high and central position. It 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 mounted on the dashboard itself rather than being hidden in a submenu on the screen – a good thing in our opinion.
Equipment, options & accessories
Standard equipment is good, but not overly generous, as tends to be the case with some premium manufacturers. SE used to be the entry-level trim, with 18-inch alloys, adaptive LED headlights, a powered tailgate and power-folding mirrors on the outside, along with heated front seats, three-zone climate control and an 8.8-inch infotainment system (as detailed below) inside. Now, the range starts with X-Line, which adds larger wheels, more rugged exterior styling and front sports seats.
M Sport is a popular choice for most BMW models, thanks in part to its more aggressive exterior treatment. 19-inch wheels and a bodykit achieve this here, while sports seats and an M Sport steering wheel feature inside. Interestingly, while other X3 M Sport cars get sports suspension, the xDrive30e does without.
Options are mainly organised into packages that add a group of features at once. Highlights include the Comfort Pack, which adds a keyless entry, a heated steering wheel, rear seat backrest adjustment and storage nets, along with a 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 X-Line cars, comprising a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, and a central touchscreen if the same size, running BMW's iDrive 7.0 infotainment system. Bluetooth, DAB and wireless Apple CarPlay all feature, along with sat nav and online services like real-time traffic updates.
This system supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while also offering Spotify streaming, multi-storey car-park information and – crucially – a charging-point search function. It's worth the step up, but the standard system still works well.
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