With the ability to drive 50km with only electric power, wring additional boost from the electric motor, and the ability to charge the battery at a wall plug, the BMW X3 Plug-in Hybrid most certainly delivers up a power of choice.

The plug-in hybrid capabilities augment the X3's already stellar features – a premium and luxurious cabin, plenty of safety and assistance features, as well as stellar handling capabilities that we've come to know and love from the Bavarian marque.
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Overall the car the very reliable and fuel comsumption is quite acceptable with the new hybrid tech. The performance at ... -  Read More
The BMW X3 is a compact SUV that we know and love.

It looks athletic, the cabin is premium, spacious and high-tech, and of course, on the road its delivers road-handling prowess typically unmatched by other cars in its class.

This plug-in hybrid (PHEV) offering, the X3 xDrive30e, delivers all that, and then some. From the outside, you will be hard-pressed to tell the difference from a ‘standard' X3, except for the extra charging flap and the 30e badging.

However, get in, start the car, and it immediately feels different. On top of the ample use of blue-tinted graphics across the various digital surfaces, you'll also notice a lack of an engine sound. This is because as long as there's juice left in the battery, the car will always start in electric mode.

Set to MAX eDrive mode, the car has a real-world all-electric range of about 47km. This means that with judicious charging (and access to charging facilities), you could conceivably drive to work and back every day on electric power alone, leaving petrol engine duties for longer drives on the weekend.

Or simply leave it in its Auto eDrive mode (which optimises the efficiency of both the petrol engine and electric motor), and you can use the car just as you would any other compact SUV. It's comfortable, easy to drive, and yet still delivers a sporty driving experience when you want it (with additional burst of speeds helped by the eBOOST function).

This flexibility of use is what is most appealing about the X3 PHEV. On one hand, it's a fully featured premium compact SUV with all the bells and whistles you expect from a BMW product. On the other, if you are able to maximise the car's electric capabilities, you can significantly reduce your petrol bills.

Why does the X3 xDrive30e emerge victorious in its class? Quite simply, it's because it's the X3 that we know and love. Just, better.