BMW has based its luxury mid-sized EV, the BMW iX3, on its top-selling combustion car, the X3, with the familiar look and feel making it quite appealing to new EV buyers. So, is this the right EV for you? Let’s take a look and see!
Power: 210 kW
Efficiency (Vehicle consumption): 185 Wh/km
Acceleration: 0-100km/h in 6.8s
Top Speed: 180km/h
Torque: 400 Nm
Drive Type: Rear Wheel Drive
Dimensions: L 4734mm, W 1891mm, H 1668mm
Design & look
The BMW iX3 is based on BMW’s hugely popular medium SUV, the X3, with the EV version looking very similar to the combustion version. However, some subtle changes set the iX3 apart from the X3, including some blue highlights, which BMW has included since the i3 was released a decade ago. The car still has the BMW signature kidney grille, which features unnecessary air vents as a decoration.
You get adaptive LED headlights, adaptive suspension, 20-inch aero alloy wheels, an auto tailgate, heated and folding exterior mirrors and metallic paint.
The BMW iX3 offers 510 litres of storage in the boot and plenty of space for a pram, if you have one! It’s also a nice low loading height, with no lip, to make loading things in and out nice and easy. And with the rear seats down, you can get 1560 litres of storage. Also, if you’ve got the key on you, you can use the hands-free tailgate feature to open and close it.
Charging cables can be kept under the boot floor along with the tyre inflator canister. Sadly, there is no ‘frunk’ or ‘froot’ under the bonnet.
The BMW iX3 is a powerful car, and you’ll really be able to feel it if you plant your foot down. You get three different driving modes to play with: Comfort, Sport and Eco Pro. However, even in Comfort mode, you’ll find the drive a little firm, but overall, it’s not too bad at all. Driving the car, you’ll probably find that you rarely even use the brake because as you ease off the acceleration, it’ll automatically begin to slow down.
Parking the car is especially easy thanks to the overhead view and reversing camera, and the front and rear parking sensors will only make a sound if it’s absolutely necessary.
Fun fact: the simulated start and stop sound for this car was composed by Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer and every driving state has a different acoustic pattern.
Features and interior
The inside of the car looks exactly like the BMW X3, with a few blue highlights to signify it’s part of the electric family. Having said that, being the same as the X3 is not a bad thing. In fact, the car feels luxurious and will wow you with the design and execution.
The leather trim sports seats are incredibly comfortable, look great and are available in three different colours.
The multimedia screen is big and easy to use and can be operated using either the touchscreen, the rotary dial or the touchpad on top of the dial, gesture control or voice control. It also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and you can listen to your music on the 16-speaker Harmon Kardon system.
There’s plenty of storage in the front with two cup-holders, big door bins, and storage under the armrest. You also get a wireless smartphone charger and USB ports.
Tall adults will still have plenty of leg space and head space in the back seat, and you get separate climate control in the back and two USB ports to keep devices charged.
The BMW iX3 is a powerful car with a rear-wheel motor that’s able to propel the vehicle from 0-100km/h in just 6.8 seconds.
Charging time can be quick, depending on where you’re charging. For example, you could take the car from 10-80% in just 32 minutes with a 150kW charger, or if using an 11kW charger at home, you could go from 0-100% in 7.5 hours. You also get a Type 2 charger for AC and a Type 2 CSS Combo for higher-powered DC charging.
The car’s energy consumption is 18.9kWh/100km, which is pretty decent and better than Volvo’s XC40’s at 25.5kWh/100km, for example.
The BMW iX3 has a range of 460km, and the car also has a regenerative braking system, which feeds energy back into the system, so if you’re driving around town, you could possibly get more out of the car.
Safety and warranty
The BMW iX series of cars all get a five-star ANCAP safety rating, with the iX3 offering a long list of safety features like dynamic brake lights, active cruise control, lane-keeping assist, active side collision prevention, steering and lane control assistant, lane change warning, lane departure warning, front and rear cross-traffic alert, rear collision prevention, evasion assistant and more.
One of the coolest safety features is the ‘acoustic protection for pedestrians’ that releases a futuristic whirring sound from the car to warn pedestrians you’re there.
You also have airbags on the front and side for the driver and front passenger, curtain airbags on both rows and a driver’s knee bag. In addition, there are two ISOFIX points and three top tether points for car seats.
If the car is involved in a crash, the vehicle has an ‘intelligent emergency call’ function that calls for emergency services. You also have a first-aid kit on board.
The BMW iX3 is covered by a three-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty and 12-year/unlimited km anti-corrosion cover. The battery is covered for eight years or 160,000km, whichever comes first. The three-year warranty is slightly behind other brands, including Mercedes, Volvo and Polestar, which have five-year warranties, and well behind companies such as MG and Kia, which offer seven-year warranties.
The car will also tell you when it needs to be serviced with a range of service packages available to purchase.
The BMW iX3 may have a higher starting price, but it does offer good value for money. It’s a joy to drive, comfortable, powerful, and, importantly, given the price, it’s luxurious and perfect for families given its size.
But if this isn’t the right BMW EV for you, never fear because there will be around 12 fully electric models available worldwide by 2023, so if you are a BMW fan, your needs are sure to be covered.
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