The Electrifying BMW iX3 Electric SUV - Rivervale Review
Following on from BMW’s first electric model, the i3, the iX3 marks a decisive change of direction for the manufacturer.
The i3’s look was certainly a great deal different from what we might have come to expect from BMW, with its lightweight carbon fibre body and rear-hinged, unusual-looking back doors. The all-electric BMW i3 hatchback was introduced to the BMW range in 2013 and received a major update in 2019. Find out more about the BMW i3.
It hit the market with a futuristic feel that perhaps some weren’t ready for. The iX3 instead mimics more closely the petrol and diesel BMW X3 (as you might’ve guessed from the similarities in the models’ names). It delivers all of the BMW goodness alongside the eco-conscience of a fully electric drive.
It also offers up a comparatively good value alternative to its closest rivals, the Tesla Model 3, the Mercedes EQC and the Audi E-Tron, as well as offering up both an impressively long-range and a brilliant infotainment system.
Jack the Lad Takes the BMW iX3 Around the Sunny South Downs!
The iX3 can charge up quickly. That’s super handy - but even more convenient than this is its superb range, to begin with. Its official range comes in at a motorway-busting 285 miles, beating rivals the E-Tron (249 miles) and the Mercedes EQC (252 miles).
Even in ‘real world' conditions, you’re looking at 220 miles of road laid out at your feet before you need to be worrying about a recharge. The maximum charge rate offers a recharge from 10-80% in around 30 minutes on a 150kW charger. That’s comparable to the E-Tron, too.
Looking for the top-of-the-range? Check out our list of electric cars with the longest range, some capable of taking you two thirds of the way across the UK!
You’re likely to be slightly limited in this option, though, as there aren’t so many CCS charging points available across the nation. On a much more accessible 50kW charger, though, you’ll still manage a 10-80% recharge in around an hour. Meanwhile, an at-home recharge on a regular 7kW wall box charger will take 11.5 hours to transition from 0-100% - perfect for an overnight top-up.
The iX3 doesn’t offer that thrilling Tesla-style zip of acceleration from a standstill. However, it certainly gets out of the blocks quickly enough, as 0-62mph takes 6.8 seconds. Remember that electric motors always have more ‘get up and go’ when your foot hits the accelerator than their ICE (internal combustion engine - petrol or diesel) counterparts. Nicely weighted steering and the floor-mounted engine ensure body confidence on the road, and a stern but nicely dampened suspension ensure ride comfort.
Opt for the higher trim M Sport Pro model, and you’ll find that your drive can be augmented by a strange and captivating electronic soundtrack scored by renowned composer Hans Zimmer himself! The sound responds to your driving, so hit the ‘gas’, and you’ll find the pitch rise as your speed increases. A really interesting alternative to the fuel ‘roar’ for committed petrol-heads out there.
Wondering how much it'll cost to get a BMW iX3 on the road? We cover the road tax on electric vehicles in our handy guide to help answer that question!
Choose between the two trim options of M Sport or M Sport Pro, and you’ll be well served either way. The M Sport is imbued with plenty of luxury (think leather seats - the front pair are heated - and a panoramic sunroof). However, the range-topping M Sport Pro adds bonuses such as the heads-up display (projecting the speed limit and any sat-nav directions etc., onto the windscreen in front of you). It also has auto-dipping headlights, keyless entry and those aforementioned electronic engine Zimmer sound effects. Plus, there’s an upgraded Harman Kardon sound system.
Aesthetics, Design & Interior
The slim differences between the iX3 and ICE engine X3 are even more subtle when you’re sitting inside the vehicle. If it wasn’t for the blue ‘go’ button and a few more touches of blue scattered about the interior, you’d be hard pushed to see any differences at all between the electric and ICE models. This is no bad thing; on the contrary, this is great news, considering that the X3 is a brilliant SUV. Utility and usability are there in spades, with a logical and efficient dash and quality materials aplenty.
- Range: 285 Miles
- 0-62 MPH: 6.8 Seconds
- Top Speed: 112mph
- CO2: 0 g/km
- Luggage Capacity: 510 Litres (Seats up), 1560 Litres (Seats down)
In terms of space, two tall passengers can comfortably be accommodated in the rear - with plenty of leg and headroom. Space is much of a muchness with the X3 overall, with an identical boot size that comes in bigger than the EQC’s. For both trim levels, 40/20/40 split-folding seats come as standard. If spaciousness is a deal-breaker for you, why not find out the most spacious family cars of 2021?
The iX3 benefits from BMW’s renowned iDrive infotainment system - a user-friendly, high tech console that many rave about. With a 12.3 inch display set in the middle of the dash, you can operate this via both a secondary rotary control between the front seats and as a touchscreen on the main central dashboard console itself. The secondary rotary control is particularly easy to use, and the voice control is efficient and useful for voice commands. “Real” knobs make for easy control of factors like air-con, rather than having to tap through a nav in the console for such simple commands.
The iX3 is only available in a rear-wheel-drive option, which sets it apart from those primary competitors, the E-Tron, Mercedes EQC, and Jaguar I-Pace, which all feature four-wheel drive. You’ll still benefit from plenty of road-hugging traction and control here, though. The only time you might feel short-sold by not having the four-wheel drive functionality is if you regularly experience heavy snow or have to regularly use a muddy track to get to where you need to be. In fact, the model’s sturdiness and agility make it one of the most exciting electric SUVs on the market when it comes to driveability. Speaking of the Jaguar I-Pace, why not find out why it won 2019 world car of the year?
This is an agile and practical family SUV that delivers on its long-range promise, its quality and its comfort. Thanks to the regenerative braking system, you’ll likely be able to do most of your driving with one pedal. This makes a real difference to the iX3’s battery life (especially in those stop-start conditions you’ll run into in day-to-day urban driving, rather than on empty motorways).
The BMW iX3 is an all-electric model with plenty to tempt. Get in touch with Rivervale today on 01273 433 480 to discuss electric car leasing, and see if we can match you with your ideal model. Alternatively, you can request a callback for a time that is convenient for you!
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