The BMW iX3 is without a doubt a great electric SUV. But Munich’s advantage in electrification may come as a surprise with a very traditional approach. It has its pros and cons.
BMW iX3 – 2021 test The BMW iX3 is simply an electric version of the regular BMW X3. Without blind kidneys, blue accents, and aerodynamically-enhanced wheels, you wouldn’t even notice the difference.
BMW entered the era of electric cars in 2013 with its revolutionary i3 hatchback. It even developed a technology for mass-producing bodies from composite materials. This is to make it as easy as possible. He did not have a single screw in common with ordinary Munich production. What’s even more surprising is that we had to wait endless seven years for our second electric BMW, and that’s the exact opposite of the i3. The iX3 electric utility vehicle is nothing more than an electric conversion of the current third generation. So the revolution does not happen. But this does not mean that they failed in Munich. After all, the innovative iX and i4 Coupe are already on their way, and were born from the very beginning exclusively for electric drive. So the automaker gives you a choice. It even attracts price, as standardization with the X3 and production in China have made it possible to cut costs.
Almost a popular SUV
The iX3’s competitors are mainly the Mercedes-Benz EQC and the slightly larger Audi e-tron, as well as cars built primarily on traditional platforms. And BMW has a lot to offer in this duel. The modernity of the X3 is manifested not only in the wheelbase of 2864 mm, but also in the dimensions and design. Its length is 4,734 mm. It draws attention to the ecological nature only with a blind visor and improved aerodynamics for the fenders or wheels. And of course the exhausts are missing. Alternatively, we have a glimpse of a diffuser in a metallic turquoise color. It also appears on other decorative elements, such as kidneys, emblems, lights, and fairings. The iX3 usually wears 19-inch discs, but as is typical with “pressure” cars, they show maximum width. So our iX3 has 20-inch bi-color discs from the great package, for which you pay an additional 5,116 euros and which also contains other additional items.
BMW iX3 – 2021 test At the rear, the electric version replaces the exhaust with blue bumper inserts. The aerodynamic wheels have a diameter of 19 or 20 inches. We had bigger.
Otherwise, the iX3 is basically a regular x-three, which is similar in cab. If you are a fan of the blue fan, you will immediately feel at home here. Nothing futuristic awaits you on board. The design of the elements is compatible with BMW gasoline and diesel. Even infotainment doesn’t push the iX3 off the line. There is a virtual “cockpit”, but you will find it in every new BMW, and in addition, the iDrive interface with a stand-alone display in the center of the dashboard has a relatively small diagonal today. There is also no over-integration of controls. And that’s fine, because the iX3 has a separate air conditioning panel and classic hardware for volume control or radio station selection. It also helps that there is a circular “console” in the middle tunnel, which makes working with infotainment even easier.
Familiar inner, weaker bag
At the expense of the “dashboard” we can not fail to mention once again the unsuccessful graphics, which lack the style of the classic “alarm clocks”. The scales along the edges are hard to read. It’s a shame, because the screen can display practically anything, but BMW doesn’t give you a choice in that regard. And if you choose the navigation mode, for example, the instrument panel becomes even more confusing. We appreciated the presence of the top display, which shows just the basics. But you won’t complain about space. The BMW iX3 is generous in this regard, which can also be felt in the back. In addition, the cabin has an excellent atmosphere, which can be seen from the materials used, much higher quality, for example, in the Skoda Enyaq IV, which is not too far from the iX3. You will appreciate the steering wheel and sport seats. The work environment has no weaknesses. There is also an adjustable armrest and a classic “gearbox” selector. And it all completes the smooth presentation.
BMW iX3 – 2021 test The cabin remains faithful to the classic Munich ergonomics. No revolution takes place. This is good. There is a separate AC panel, a conventional limiter and several devices.
But it’s not such great glory in the bag. Electric motor with gearbox hidden under the floor. So it will not offend the resulting 510 liters, but it will not spoil you either. However, it is good that, having folded the backrests split in a ratio of 40: 20: 40, straight from the trunk, the iX3 evokes a completely horizontal loading space and a total usable volume of 1,560 liters. There is still a small box for the charging cable underground. The reserve was represented by an adhesive group. The access road will not work here. The biggest caveat is the waste of space under the massive front hood. It looks as if a row of 6 cylinders is hiding here, but the space under it is completely unused. You won’t find a liter of more baggage here. This is where the limits of traditional iX3 design compared to pure electric vehicles can be seen. To be honest, even the Skoda Enyaq iV does not have two bags.
BMW iX3 – 2021 test The bag holds 510 liters, and it does not bother you and does not fascinate. However, it is the same and there is still room for charging cables under the floor. The rest was taken up by an electric motor combined with power electronics and a gearbox.
Fast but without quad
Even though the iX3 is an SUV, you can’t afford it with both axles. There is only one engine shown. It is equipped with a synchronous rear electric motor without the use of magnets. It gives 210 kW and 400 Nm of torque. That doesn’t sound promising, although the iX3 certainly isn’t lightweight. The empty car weight starts from 2185 kg. However, the iX3 can act almost like emojis. Rocket power start. A quick run from the place brings a smile to your face. Especially if you choose Sport mode, where the sharp emotions are a virtual sound stage, evoking 6-cylinder petrol with a kind of space touch. Although the sound does not mimic the shift, it does provide good feedback while driving.
BMW iX3 – 2021 test It is a pity that BMW did not use the space under the front hood to create a second trunk. The space is covered with plastic.
The iX3 also surprises with its sovereign ability to transfer power to the road. They were able to manage traction for each unit in Munich. It gives a hundred in an attractive 6.8 seconds and lasts up to a limited 180 km / h. A nice surprise was the power consumption and the range associated with it. It can be seen that although BMW has experienced endless interruptions in electrification, with the exception of plug-in hybrids, it has been constantly evolving in driving technology. The eco-friendly SUV “pulled” an average of 17.1 kWh per 100 km of batteries, which is less than what the manufacturer says and is similar to the consumption of a noticeably weaker Skoda Enig. In the city it was sometimes less than 15 kWh. Of course, the highway is more energy intensive. But even there, the iX3 tried to save. Thirty percent, inquires about 22 kWh. Also thanks to the heat pump and efficient but unobtrusive recovery.
Shipping without problems
When the feet are off the gas, the iX3 slows slightly and depending on the situation, it takes into account navigation data or cameras, so it can use inertia. The rate of recovery does not increase until the foot touches the brake pedal. If that’s not enough, it also offers an increased B recovery mode, in which the iX3 can be controlled by “gas” only. With a battery capacity of 74 kWh, that’s enough for a trouble-free range of 350 to 400 km, which isn’t really a bad thing. However, the pleasant weather in September helped the tested car. However, even if at least 20% of mobility is reduced in winter, the iX3 has an effective remedy. It can be shipped quickly. It handles 150 kW charging power, at least from the start. If the batteries are 50% charged, it drops to 70 kW and can hold 50 kW up to 80%.
BMW iX3 – 2021 The BMW iX3 is powered by a 200 kW rear electric motor, powered by ground-based batteries. The toe has a usable capacity of 74 kWh.
The charging curve varies, of course, depending on the temperature outside and the temperature of the battery, but in general, a pause of 40 minutes for a fast charger (150 kW) is enough to extend the range by at least 250 to 300 km . You certainly won’t be stressed out about “refueling”, especially if you connect to a charger with a properly heated battery. This is the basic rule for long distances. Driving the iX3 is a lot of fun. Not only because of the mentioned dynamics. The heavier weight combined with the premium suspension makes the luxury original of BMW clear. In the relaxed position, she literally pampers the crew. But even in other modes, including Sport mode, you won’t lose much comfort. Adaptive dampers are still forgiving. In addition, rear-wheel drive gives the iX3 a typical “Bavarian” characteristic. Simply put, it can be fun. The exits from the curves are pleasant, only with really sharp handling can you feel the weight of the 240/40 R20 tires have something to do with it.
However, BMW will ask for at least 70,100 euros for all this. And in our case with the Great Package, which has onboard features such as a head-up display, gesture control, sports seats or ambient lighting and a full suite of assistance systems, up to 75,216 euros. It might get your mind at first, but you’ll also spend the same money on a well-equipped X3 xDrive 30d 6-cylinder diesel engine, even if you pay €20,000 more with an ATV and a “purely” new electric BMW iX. In addition, a completely “overgrown” electric X-3 is not much more expensive than less powerful and less distinctive competitors from the Volkswagen workshop.
Dimensions, sizes and weights
|Luggage volume (liters)||510 –|
|standby weight (kg)||2260|
|engine||Synchronous Electric Motor (Rear)|
|the above. Power (kw)||210|
|the above. Torque (Nm)||400|
|moving in||single stage|
|Max Speed (km/h)||180|
|0-100 km/h (sec)||6,8|
|Battery Capacity (kWh)||80 (usable 74)|
|Consumption by Manufacturer (kWh / 100 km)||17,8|
|Consumption during the test (kWh / 100 km)||17,6|
|Max charging power (kW)||150|
|Impressive edition price||€75,216|
|The price of the tested model||76,685 €|
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