BMW X3 hybrid interior & 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 hasn't quite caught up with that of the brand's latest saloon cars, 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 modern 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 cars come with 18-inch alloys, adaptive LED headlights, a powered tailgate and power-folding mirrors on the outside, while inside there's heated front seats, three-zone climate control and an 8.8-inch infotainment system (as detailed below). X Line cars add larger wheels, more rugged exterior styling, plus 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. M Sport cars get the more desirable combination of a 10.25-inch central screen and 12.3-inch digital dials set-up as standard, however.
Options are mainly organised into packages that add a group of features at once. Highlights include the Premium Package, which adds a panoramic sunroof and additional seat adjustment, and the Technology Package for M Sport models, which adds a head-up display, gesture control and a Harman Kardon sound system, among other features.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
BMW Live Cockpit Plus is the standard system on SE and X-Line cars, comprising a 5.7-inch digital instrument display, an 8.8-inch central touchscreen and running BMW's iDrive 6 infotainment system. Bluetooth, DAB and wireless Apple CarPlay all feature, along with sat nav and online services like real-time traffic updates.
M Sport cars get an uprated system with a 12.3-inch touchscreen and a 10.25-inch display behind the wheel, running a newer BMW Operating System 7.0, complete with phone-like widgets for the display of information. 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 costsAs ever with plug-in hybrids, the BMW X3 makes the most sense for company-car owners, but runs its diesel counterpart close
- 4Engines, drive & performanceThe plug-in X3 is good to drive and has plenty of power, but the petrol engine can feel thrashy
- 5Interior & comfort - currently readingThe plug-in hybrid BMW X3 is just as comfortable and sensibly laid-out inside as other versions
- 6Practicality & boot spaceYou lose some storage space to the X3 hybrid's batteries, but this is still a practical family SUV
- 7Reliability & safetySome patchy ownership survey results for BMW are countered by strong safety options for the X3 plug-in