The saying goes that “EVs are for people who like their phones but hate driving,” and quite frankly the BMW iX3 does nothing to contradict that statement. At the same time, that’s exactly where our love for the iX3 stems from.
It all starts with price when it comes to our love of the iX3 so let’s get that out of the way early. While manufacturers often price their EV variants towards the top of the lineup, the iX3 starts from a modest $114,900 AUD plus on-road costs (you’re looking at around $124,000 drive-away). When you consider the entry X3 is priced from $81,500 drive-away it’s quite the hike, but you’re paying for more than a converted X3 here – it’s one of the most pleasant driving experiences you can have for the money.
|High Point||Low Point||Verdict|
|The quietest, most convenient, and overall nicest driving experience we’ve had this year. While its performance won’t get you behind the wheel, the effortless experience will. If this is just a teaser for future BMW EVs the competition should be worried.||With a curb weight of 2255kg and just 210kw of power, you won’t be blowing the doors off any hot hatches at the traffic lights anytime soon.||We love the iX3 so much we can’t imagine buying any of the other models in the lineup besides the bonkers X3M that’s in a league of its own. Of course, that’s if you’re in a situation where you have access to an EV charger as you still can’t rely on the charging network in Sydney.|
Yes, there are a few EVs that pull themselves from the status quo by offering face-melting acceleration, but that gets old quickly. Our love for EVs stays reserved for two categories. Take a guess which one the BMW iX3 falls into.
- Those that present the utmost convenience with a simple yet luxurious experience.
- Those that offer real supercar performance.
Vehicles that fall into category 2 (such as the Porsche Taycan) will often fall into number 1.
2022 BMW iX3 Review
What’s it Like to Live With?
After driving 1000km in a brand new Porsche GT3 the previous week, the contrast between vehicles couldn’t have been more stark. While they live at complete opposite ends of the spectrum in the car universe, we found hopping into either vehicle brought equal levels of satisfaction, albeit for completely different reasons.
On one end you have a track car that reminds you why you love driving every time you rev it out to 9000RPM, and on the other, a car that reminds you how pleasant driving can be when it’s boiled down to a convenient mode of transportation.
Is the iX3 an appliance? Yes. But the experience of daily driving, commuting, grabbing coffee, or heading up to the local shops is one of the best we’ve had in a car, period. Effortless in everything it does, it’s relaxing, convenient, and enjoyable for its simplicity.
Starting with keyless entry, you hop straight into the cabin, press the start button (accompanied by a Hans Zimmer sound), flick the drive selector to ‘B’ for one-pedal operation and cruise away in complete silence. Wireless Carplay and Android Auto will connect automatically on the 12.3-inch widescreen display that features gesture control. It’s an enjoyable and seamless way to get around and the 16-speaker Harman/Kardon stereo is only matched by that found in the Jaguar F-Pace SVR.
The Numbers Back Up the Experience
We managed 400km of range in city conditions (450-459km WLTP) from the 74kWh battery, and with fuel prices going through the roof across the country you’ll save a bucket load at the bowser thanks to 5-years of free Chargefox charging thrown in with purchase.
Crunching the numbers, you’ll expect to pay around $700-800 a year charging at home with electricity rates of $0.23-0.27/kWh. Compare this to around $2000 for the same distance in an ICE.
What’s it Like to Drive?
While bucket loads of power is an assumption when it comes to electric cars, the iX3 isn’t the fastest or most agile vehicle on paper. Headline figures of just 210kW and 400Nm to the rear wheels hardly jump off the page – let alone the 0-100km/h sprint of 6.8 seconds – but the rolling 80–120km/h figure of 4.1-seconds is more than quick enough for everyday driving.
Our favourite feature of the iX3 is the one-pedal driving mode. You can still move around like a normal car if left in ‘D’ – still has the same familiar pedals, steering wheels, and drive selector – but we highly recommend taking advantage of the one-pedal life by throwing it in ‘B’ mode if only for the regenerative braking range advantage.
In this application, the car uses sensors on the front to decrease or increase the strength of the regenerative braking as you approach an intersection or car in front. On some occasions it won’t come to a complete stop, however, once stopped it will hold itself on the brake so you can fully relax. You’ll never look at normal driving the same again and even if you’re not directly cross-shopping your X3 it’s a must-try at the dealer.
Tipping the scales at plus-500kg over the standard X3 it’s safe to say you can feel every ounce of the 2,255 kg kerb weight. Most noticeable when diving into a corner and weight transferring the vehicle left to right it doesn’t have a direct effect on driver input as the steering remains well balanced, however, reminds you of the sheer mass. Ride quality isn’t any better or worse because of the weight and other BMW’s such as the M440i we drove ride far better around the city. That’s not to say the iX3 isn’t up to ‘BMW’ standards, but the Porsche Taycan sets such a precedent for the way a European badged EV should ride it’s hard not to compare.
Should You Buy the BMW iX3?
The Jaguar I-Pace ($$142,580 AUD) is the only true competitor to the BMW iX3 on the Australian market at this point, however, that model is due for an update in the next 12-months. Looking up the scale and you’ll find the Audi e-Tron, Mercedes EQC, and flagship BMW iX for $20,000 AUD more. In reality, the iX3 is best aimed at standard X3 buyers who want to make the jump to an EV and we highly recommend you do so if it remains in your budget.
Servicing and Warranty
BMW refuses to budge from its three years/unlimited-kilometre warranty that’s one of the shortest in the industry. Audi now offers a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty for 2022 model years. Thankfully, batteries are covered by an eight-year/100,000km warranty.
There are two unlimited-kilometre service packages available for the iX3.
- Four-year/unlimited ($1200 for basic, and $4605 for coverage of expendables).
- Six-year/unlimited ($1650 basic, and $4605 for coverage of expendables).