BMW iX3 – The Reviews
When it comes to quality SUV’s BMW have been stepping upto the mark for the best part of two decades. But with the iX3 – an all-electric equivalent of their legendary X3 – have BMW hit on a winning formula for the electric SUV market? We here at The Fleet Adviser think so – and looking around the web, it seems those in the know agree as well.
About the iX3
Ok so before we look at what others are saying, a little bit about this car first.
As I’ve already mentioned, the iX3 is the X3’s all-electric twin. It pretty much looks the same as the X3, bar a couple of barely noticeable tweaks and touches here and there.
Perhaps most interestingly, the iX3 comes with a long range and rapid charge-up times – and the price is very competitive against it’s main competitors, chiefly being the Audi E-tron, Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes EQC. When talking about all-electrics it’s also mandatory to throw the Tesla 3 into the mix as well.
Charging and Range of the iX3
With the iX3 it is clear that BMW are focussed on getting more efficiency out of the battery. It comes with an impressive WLTP-range of 285 miles – (and as always – this will vary based on driving style, weather conditions etc…) – giving it more range than the E-tron and EQC.
BMW say that the WLTP range is much more achievable with the iX3 than some competitors. This is mainly because the battery fitted is slimmer, more compact and therefore lighter than in it’s rivals. BMW says this will be particularly noticeable on motorway journeys.
Equally impressively, there are a number of ways it can be charged. With a 150kW DC rapid charging it can be charged to 80% in 34 minutes. The more common 50kW chargers will see it charged to 80% in just over an hour.
You will need to set aside some budget for a garage charging system. BMW have this covered though. They have partnered with Smart Solutions to produce a “Personal Wallbox”. This allows users to monitor charge usage and cost and record home-usage charge expenditure – making it convenient for use as a company car.
Inside the Car
If you know the X3, then the iX3 will be very familiar to you – to the point where you’d think you were in an X3.
The interior has a feel of luxury and space. It has the right amount of buttons and knobs for the things you want buttons and knobs for (like the air con).
The driving position is spot on and the controls are not too distracting, coming with BMW’s superb iDrive infotainment system with a 10.3 inch touchscreen which can also be worked remotely. It also comes with connectivity to Apple CarPlay / Android Auto.
Of course it comes with all the driving aids and executive car features that you would expect in such a well-crafted car.
It’s an SUV, it’s a family car.
There is plenty of head room and leg room throughout.
It can fit 3 people in the back comfortably enough without leaving them squirming around for space. The outer rear seats will also recline to give a more relaxing experience – something it’s competitors won’t do and great for getting the kids to sleep on long journeys!
The boot is huge and essentially the same as the X3 – which can fit in 8 carry-on suitcases with the rear seats up and parcel shelf in place. It can accommodate more than the average family would need.
Drive and Performance
Unlike it’s 4×4 rivals, the iX3 is only available with rear-wheel drive. However, due to the fantastic way it has been set-up with copious amounts of traction in both the dry and wet, it shouldn’t be a problem – unless you live somewhere with regularly heavy snow or down a particularly muddy track.
The iX3 is limited to 112 mph to help protect the range and it’s ride can be adjusted to help keep it smooth both on urban and country roads – arguably more so than it’s rivals who use more complex air suspension systems.
The iX3’s engine is quiet and there is strong acceleration, without being face-meltingly fast. There’s also BMW’s “IconicSounds Electric” package as standard where a series of synthesised sounds are pumped into the interior to match the cars accelerating and braking.
If anything, the iX3 is arguably the most fun to drive of those in this class.
What are the others saying?
So that’s the car – and for us it certainly stacks up as a great all-electric SUV. So what are other websites out there saying?
WhatCar give the iX3 the 5-star treatment citing it’s range, infotainment system and competitive pricing being the main plus points. They say – “The BMW iX3 is practical, good to drive and has a longer range than its closest rivals, namely the Audi E-tron and Mercedes EQC. It also has a fab infotainment system and a smart interior, so it’s a fine buy if you’re looking for a big SUV that runs solely on electricity.”
Score – 5/5
AutoExpress also rate the iX3 saying that the car… “does a convincing job of pitching itself as a fantastic family car. It’s perhaps a little stiff – likely to compensate for the added weight – but it drives well, charges quickly, comes loaded with kit, and even undercuts the competition on price. We’d like a bit more flair for the cabin, but for those wanting their EV to keep its credentials quiet, the BMW nails its brief.”
Score – 4/5
Whilst Car Magazine feels the iX3 is a little on the pricey side for it’s liking, it does concede “the iX3 is remarkably efficient and dynamically up to scratch. So what exactly it is that enables the German car with the Chinese birth certificate to challenge – or perhaps even eclipse – its premium rivals?At the end of a long day, three assets stood out proud: superb handling aka plenty of old-school emotions, long range aka enhanced peace of mind and low cost of ownership at 0.33 Euro per kWh aka no hefty penalty for saving the world.”
Score – 4/5
Parker’s Guide are similarly praising of the performance and looks of the iX3 – citing it’s main plus points as being “Drives like a BMW should. Looks won’t alienate EV newbies. Impressive range and performance.” Whilst it also states that “the iX3 looks like you’re getting a lot for the money”.
Score – 4/5
The Honest John website is also extremely positive about the iX3 – “The BMW iX3’s brilliance is its simplicity. It takes a gimmick-free approach, providing a decent range and enough space for all the family. The interior really is superb, with fine materials and BMW’s excellent latest media system.”
Score – 4/5
The iX3 is one of the best all-electric SUV’s on the market for range, performance, interior quality, drive quality and space. It is the perfect family vehicle. It is low-cost to run.
The iX3 is not only great for anyone looking for a family SUV, it is perfect for a company car and for X3 drivers looking to switch seamlessly into an electric car.
The great news as well is that there are plenty of great deals out there, so if you are interested in the iX3, then now could be the time to take a look.
If you would like a quote on some of the latest deals available on the iX3, then please fill in your details below and one of our panel will contact you with the best iX3 deals for your circumstances.