The BMW iX3 M Sport looks like any typical BMW SUV – the key difference is it’s all electric. The five-seat EV is a very easy entry point to the world of premium electric SUVs. It doesn’t look radical or scream “I’m and electric car”, plus it is incredibly easy to use and live with. The iX3 has very impressive build quality too and this may come as a surprise as the iX3 is built in China and not in Spartanburg, USA alongside BMW’s other X cars.
Styling is conventional and BMW X3-like. The large and solid kidney grille is a tell tale sign that there is no engine under the bonnet to cool down. The iX3 is blocky and chunky on the outside with a few nods to aerodynamics and weight reduction. Inside the cabin there is plenty of room for five and a good boot too. T he visual experience is the final evolution of the outgoing BMW design language. Next to the new and next generation electric cars from the Munich based firm the iX and i4. the interior looks subdued. The iX and i4 get the latest BMW operating system ‘8’ and its big ultra widescreen curved display. Oddly the iX3 still manages to feel impressive.
The iX3 gets a big 80kWh (74kWh net) rechargeable battery that delivers a very acceptable driving range of up to 450km. the electric motor pushes out 286hp to the rear wheels and 400nm of torque. the sprint from 0-100km takes a swift 6.2 seconds. The car’s weight distribution is near perfect too and this is something you can really feel. The rear wheel drive set up is quite common in single motor EVs and in the iX3 delivers a pleasantly sporty sensation.
Power is impressive and of course instant in delivery. The iX3 has a surprisingly dynamic ability that makes the five door car entertaining and interesting. Brake energy recouperation can be set to deliver and almost single pedal driving experience and this works well both in the city and when taking a more dynamic route.
Charging can be done at rapid chargers at speeds up to 150kW. The iX3 has an 11kW onboard AC charging ability. A 0-80% charge can happen in as little as 34 minutes using a rapid charger. You can add 100km of range in 10 minutes at max charging power. Power consumption can be as low as 18.9kWh/100kms with a light right foot and load.
Pricing starts at €74,815 for the iX3 M Sport, and €78,515 for the M Sport Pro model. Pro adds more toys like HUD, an upgraded sound system, Gesture Control, Parking Assistant Plus, darkened headlights, Automatic high beam assistant, Comfort access and Lumbar support. BMW is rolling out its solution to private and public charging issues with a dedicated network, home charger options and its own charge cards etc. that can give added value through monthly subscription services etc. Rivals for the iX3 (apart from the new BMW iX and i4) include Audi’s Q4, Tesla Model Y and Mercedes-Benz EQC. The BMW iX3 is subtle as electric SUVs go and this level of understatement will appeal to many.