BMW iX3 (2021) Review
Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert.
This one certainly caught us by surprise! In fact we haven’t even tested the new X3 and already a face lifted version has come along with a more visually striking appearance. This new BMW iX3 has undergone an exterior design refresh and introduced the M Sport Package as standard here in Ireland, which naturally makes it that, bit more desirable.
The BMW kidney grille like on other BMW’s has now grown and has a single-piece frame, which comes in Pearl-effect Chrome with a blue accent. This hint of blue usually found on the battery powered BMW’s does indeed denote the iX3’s electric powertrain making it the first fully electric SUV for the brand. The headlight contours are now ten millimetres slimmer, helping to give the new BMW iX3 a sharper look and lending the front end a distinct similarity to that of the now available BMW iX and BMW i4.
The lower air intake, which comes with ten-stage active air flap control to cool the drive system components and brakes is now larger. All of these small upgrades have been carried out to make the iX3 a stand out and super efficient vehicle in this class.
If you are lucky enough to be in the position where you are choosing between the BMW iX3 M Sport or BMW iX3 M Sport Pro you will have the choice of four exterior metallic body paint colours including Mineral White, Carbon Black, Phytonic Blue and Sophisto Grey. Black High Gloss exterior trim will be offered as standard alongside 19-inch Black aerodynamic wheels, automatic tailgate, adaptive suspension, heated steering wheel and a panoramic sunroof completing the exterior look of the BMW iX3 M Sport.
There isn’t much not to like about this package but we feel the dark wheels work best on the Carbon Black or Mineral White. Inside the choices continue with Vernasca leather that comes in four colours. BMW’s Sensatec dashboard, sun protection glazing, ambient lighting and electric seats are all offered as standard. You wont be left looking for more boxes to tick when you see this interior!
Additional standard features include M Sport Package, wireless phone charging, heated front seats and BMW’s very latest driver assistance technology, including Driving Assistant Professional, Parking Assistant and BMW Live Cockpit Professional. This offering is more than enough in our opinion but stretch to the BMW iX3 M Sport Pro you can expect additional standard features that include BMW Head-up Display, Harman Kardon surround sound, Gesture Control, Parking Assistant Plus, darkened headlights, Automatic high beam assistant, Comfort access and Lumbar support. This version even has BMW IconicSounds Electric, developed in collaboration with Hans Zimmer, which really has to be experienced, to be understood.
Battery, charging and range
Ok, getting down to the business end BMW has deployed it’s fifth-generation eDrive technology including an innovative charging unit, which sends power to both the 400V battery and the 12V on-board power supply. When charging using alternating current, it enables both single-phase and three-phase charging at up to 11 kW.
Plugging the vehicle into a direct current rapid-charging station allows charging outputs of up to 150 kW, meaning the high-voltage battery can be charged from 0 to 80% of its full capacity in approximately 34 minutes. Drivers can inject the power required to add 100 kilometres to the car’s driving range in just 10 minutes.
All this results in 286hp with 400Nm of torque and a 0-100km/h time of just 6.8 seconds. The WLTP range is up to 460 kilometres.
Although the BMW iX3 has yet to face the Euro NCAP test it is worth noting that the regular X3 did score 5 stars. Standard safety equipment includes BMW's Driving Assistant Professional, with a plethora of features designed to help avoid collisions, particularly on the motorway. There is a Parking Assistant feature to help take the stress out of manoeuvring and a clear Live Cockpit Professional instrument cluster that flags up vital safety information as you drive. Add to this a gaggle of airbags and you are in pretty safe hands.
BMW iX3 Prices
The new iX3 is available to order now for 2022 from €560 per month & 4.9% APR. Outright purchases start from €74,815 but if you want a Premier Edition variant you can expect to pay €80,205 with the top of the range PRO coming in at €84,105.
The BMW X3 has grown up a great deal in this latest iteration. It’s a wonderful platform that BMW have cleverly developed always with the intention of having an electric powertrain. There is no cabin intrusion from battery positioning and nothing makes this vehicle feel different to a regular X3 apart from the silence.
Our week long test drive didn’t quiet see us get the full 460 kilomteres of range from the battery but 380 kilomteres isn’t all that bad either considering we took in some mountainous routes for YouTube filming. Given the fact that the X3 is BMW’s largest selling vehicle it was a clever move to give customers a full electric option. This is a vehicle that offers that high up driving position and plenty of space but don’t be fooled by the off road looks. The iX3 is only available in rear wheel drive but then again how many actually use this particular class of vehicle in the muck! Not many, we should think. We enjoyed our time immensely with the new BMW iX3. There is just one big question we have!
What will the new BMW iX xDrive40 be like and will it tempt possible X3 owners? Only time will tell but if you are in the market for a premium electric SUV, be sure to take a test drive in the new iX3.
BMW iX3 Pros
BMW iX3 Cons
Rear wheel drive only
To see our full video review of the new BMW iX3, please click here.
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