Yes, its second all-electric car in production might look fairly fresh, but the one you are looking at here is in fact a refreshed version of the iX3. In other words, the iX3 looks extremely effective, aiming for how people really use their cars, not features that are going to win you a war on YouTube or Twitter. Its second fully electric car on sale is a worthwhile price cut from its zippy, four-wheel-drive competitors (think Jaguar I-Pace, Mercedes-Benz EQC 400, and Audi E-tron 50). That means its medium-sized luxury EV is short on power in comparison with its primary competitors, all of which have two-motor powertrains as standard: Audis e-tron 50 Quattro (230kW/540Nm), the Jaguar I-Pace (294kW/696Nm) and Mercedes-Benzs EQC 400 (300kW/760Nm).
While its mid-size luxury electric car does not have quite the same amount of grunt on paper as its major rivals, its single-motor set-up is lighter, and so BMW does not feel as badly beaten. However, the BMW iX3 does marry this nimbleness with a fair amount of comfort and refinement, and this is owed in part only to the motor. The BMW iX3 feels more ordinary than almost every other EV we have driven to date, and this makes the BMW iX3 a joy to drive. Overall, the iX3 is just that good (well, it should be, for this price), that it makes you wonder just how far BMW might go if it decided to make smaller, more electrically assisted models.
This newer iX3 falls squarely into the territory of the compact SUV, a popular category among people looking to go electric, and at the same time gives BMW customers a model that looks almost exactly like an X3 SUV. That this more recent iX3 launched in China first may be an indication of where BMW believes the model will find its greatest attraction — though it is available widely now. The BMW iX3 is not the most exciting thing to look at, but the iX3 is a highly capable, spacious, and well-equipped premium SUV, which is great to drive too, and has strong actual real-world range. Because of this, the iX3 is first in line for customers to be impressed by its flat floor, sense of space, and the enhanced handling its new EV-only models have to offer.
In this respect, the iX3 is similar to what other automakers are offering in the form of EV versions of existing models — think the Hyundai Kona, early Ioniqs, the Volvo XC 40, the MG ZS, and an untold number of others. Its luxury, midsize EV is among the more compelling EVs to build upon existing, combustible models.
Performance is smooth, muscular, and refined, and the iX3 is capable of playing synthetic noises through its speakers, part of BMWs signature Sounds Electric programme. Of course, the motor is not present, so BMWs iX3 also saw the debut of BMWs Iconic-Sounds Electric, a simulated audio experience that makes the driving feel more like real, combustible motors.
BMW has managed to retain some BMWs ultimate driver car characteristics in there, thanks to its rear-drive configuration, and its mid-size luxury EV really does feel like an ordinary x3 A merely without any gas or diesel engine noises to get it going. There is a 210kW (286hp) motor, offering a 6.8-second zero-62mph time, so itas slightly quicker than some competitors, and it helps to make this latest iX3 an absolute blast to drive, while also sticking close to the sense that itas a BMW, not like some sort of wafted-out eco-warrior. The BMW iX3 is a bigger, heavier vehicle, but you still get 100kph from a standing start in a very neat 6.8 seconds, which is right up there with the X3, and the top speed is electronically limited at 180kph.
BMW reckons the iX3 is roughly equal to either the plug-in hybrid version ($107,000) or the Performance M40 (121,000) versions, though the petrol-powered Performance vehicle does do the zero-to-100kph thing in 4.8 seconds. At a starting price around PS60,000, BMWs iX3 costs about as much as entry-level versions of Audis Q4 e-tron.
BMW says that BMWs iX3 was designed from the start to accommodate the electric motor and battery pack, but other than a few Blue accents, the fair-in-front grille, and a few aerodynamic wheel designs, the iX3 looks identical to its fossil-fuel-powered cousin. As for its green credentials, BMW claims the iX3 is 30% more environmentally friendly than the X3 4×4 iDrive 2.0 diesel when using electricity generated by fossil fuels, and 60% more so when using all its electricity from renewable sources (though a caveat is that is just the drivers usage phase, and not even the production process). One contributing factor may be that its luxury medium-sized EV is built in Shenyang, China, in the joint-venture BMW Brilliance Automotive plant. The more Australian-delivered X3 models are assembled in South Africa, and the xDrive30e PHEV comes from the US.
BMW has just admitted that it could do a lot better with the iX3 updating it for the 2022 model year. BMW gave the 2022 iX3 a mid-cycle update in 2022, only a year or so into its sales. Conventionality is the payoff you get with this newer iX3, sitting next to a somewhat more radical BMW iX — it is been designed from the ground up to be the next-generation EV SUV, and it is a lot different in a lot of ways (not to mention pricier).