Car review – BMW iX3

Familiar electric driving

It took some time, but finally the first new electric BMW makes its debut, seven years after the groundbreaking i3.


Power of Choice

Under the title Power of Choice BMW offers the X3 with petrol and diesel engines, as a plug-in hybrid and now also as a fully electric model called iX3. It is powered by a fifth-generation eDrive electric motor that delivers 286hp and 400Nm to the rear wheels. The high-voltage battery placed under the floor has a gross capacity of 80kWh, of which 74kW can be used.


Range and performance

BMW announces a range of 460 kilometres according to the WLTP cycle. That seems a bit too optimistic: we didn't get more than 330 kilometres during our test at cold temperatures. Topping up at fast chargers with direct current is possible at speeds of up to 150kW. Charging from 0 to 80% takes 34 minutes and 10 minutes of charge adds 100 kilometres of driving range.

Using alternating current, charging the battery at a one-phase charger delivers up to 7.4kW and at a three-phase charger up to 11kW. It takes 7.5 hours to fill the battery with an 11-kW charger. The charging port is located at the rear right, behind the flap that covers the fuel filler neck on traditional X3s.


Recognisable and familiar

Externally, this iX3 hardly differs from its brothers with a combustion engine. At the front you can recognise it by the different (closed) BMW kidneys and there are some aerodynamic details and blue accents around the vehicle that hint at its electric drivetrain. Inside it is even harder to tell it apart from a regular X3. Only some blue accents, a blue start button and the iX3 logo give its electric character away. With a 510-liter capacity, the boot is barely smaller than that of the regular X3.


Accelerating from 0 to 100km/h takes 6.8 seconds and it has a top speed limited to 180km/h. The performance is smooth and you can have it take off at traffic lights very fast. It doesn't give you the sensations of certain Teslas, but that was never BMW's intention.

With a test consumption of about 23kWh/100 kilometres, the iX3 is not too “thirst-e”. The weight of almost 2.2 tonnes is handled very well by the adaptive suspension which offers a good balance between sportiness and comfort. Tranquillity on board is only interrupted by the rolling noise of the tyres on bad surfaces.

The lack of engine noise is the only way to tell apart an iX3 from an ordinary X3. It drives almost exactly like the other X3s and that is perhaps one of its major assets to convince sceptic.

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    + Drives like any other X3

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    + Just as spacious as other X3s

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    + Solid performance

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    - No four-wheel drive