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07 Aug 2021

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Artificial sound could still be improved

A healthy range, generous specification, and an attractive asking price make the BMW iX3 a very convincing option as your first electric car.

With a full suite of petrol-powered variants as well as an impressive plug-in hybrid already available, the much-loved BMW X3 is now getting yet another option added onto its range with the arrival of this new all-electric iX3.

So, is the electric option now the way to go with your X3?


Blue accents and those 20-inch aerodynamic rims visually distinguish the iX3 from its petrol-powered siblings
Charging infrastructure may be lacking here in Singapore, but the iX3 easily counters with BMW's fifth generation electric drivetrain, which offers up quite the punch.

And by punch, I mean all 282bhp, coupled with 400Nm of torque, and a century sprint time of just 6.8 seconds. Those are figures that already have the 2.0-litre variants of the X3 firmly beat, and which will still give its 3.0-litre sibling plenty to worry about.

And sure, that's plenty of power on Singapore's roads but the iX3 is still very approachable for anyone thinking of making the switch from a petrol-powered car. Call for a quick burst of power from the electric SUV and you'll find that it is delivered in a linear fashion, so even with sloppy footwork you won't be throwing your passengers back and forth.

The iX3 may not be manufactured in Spartanburg U.S.A, but everything in the cabin feels solidly built and well put together
Keep the pedal depressed for longer, however, and the electric motor will no longer shy away from displaying its full strength.

Acceleration is quick, effortless, and, as BMW states, the new generation electric motor does not ease off on power delivery even at high rpms, translating into strong acceleration even when you're already up to highway speeds.


Once up to speed you'll also find the BMW iX3's adaptive recuperation a real treat. I found it worked remarkably well to slow you back down to a safe distance whenever a car cuts into your lane, handy for any half-conscious trips home after a tiresome day at work. As per the power delivery, braking force from the system is applied in a smooth and linear manner.

You get added acoustic glazing for the front windows, a Harman Kardon surround sound system, and Vernasca leather on all 'Impressive' trim models
The car is also mighty efficient, with our first drive, conducted along a pre-planned route that comprised mostly of highway work, yielding a final energy consumption figure of 6.1km/kWh. Driven this way, you'll get a final range of 451km, not anywhere far from BMW's claimed 459km to 520km official WLTP figure.

Fully loaded

But that's enough about the drivetrain. Slow down for a bit and you'll find that this iX3 is generously specified. On the inside, you get a panoramic sunroof, Vernasca leather seats, as well as a Harman Kardon sound system. And the iX3 also is equipped BMW's Driving Assistance Professional suite of safety systems, all standard with the 'Impressive' trim the car is sold as here.

Also added for the 'Impressive' trim is the drive sound from BMW's IconicSounds Electric system, which plays a rather charming little whine that gets just a touch of bass the harder you accelerate. And even if you don't quite like the note, BMW states that more soundtracks will be added via over-the-air updates in the future so there's a whole new experience to look forward to.

Charging from a 7.4kW charger will take 10 hours, but the iX3 can be charged at a maximum 150kW from a direct current supply
On the outside you'll find that the iX3 comes with 20-inch rims as well, although admittedly, they sport a rather funky design, being high aerodynamic efficiency items.

And from the impressions of this initial drive, I'd say you shouldn't let the fact that the iX3 is manufactured in China put your off purchasing one either. Everything in the cabin still feels as assuredly well-built and well-screwed together as in any other X3.

Totally affordable

So, it's all good for the BMW iX3 yes? Well, here's the final highlight that will surely convince you to make the switch to electric: At $251,888, this iX3 can be had for $2,000 less than the 2.0-litre entry-level X3 sDrive20i (all prices as of 6 August 2021).

And at that price, I think the BMW iX3 should be your default option of the range, so long as you have convenient access to a wall charger, of course.
Car Information


: -

Engine Type


Electric Motor

Engine Cap





210kW (282 bhp) / 6000 rpm



400 Nm / 1700 rpm



Single-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Energy consumption



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car review  first drive  bmw  ixe  bmw ix3  electric  suv  x3  electric suv