Practical experience BMW iX3: does a conservative approach pay off?

‘6 minutes of work, 48 liters extra under the hood!’

Practical experience BMW iX3: does a conservative approach pay off?

Even though the BMW i3 and iX3 are similar in name, the two models cannot be much more different from each other. While the i3 was a compact car developed entirely as an EV, the BMW iX3 is a full-sized SUV that shares its basis with the current X3. We look at the user reviews and find out if that was a good move.

Many fans of electric driving prefer to see EVs that are developed as fully electric cars from the start. BMW has largely abandoned this approach, because only the large iX is such in the current range dedicated EV. Using a trusted platform has advantages, as the Mercedes-Benz EQC showed earlier in this section. Although there was still something to be said about the driving, the car turned out to be quite reliable.


iX3: practical SUV?

Anyone who chooses a large SUV usually expects some ease of use, and for most users the iX3 seems to offer sufficient in that area. Few owners broach the subject, but one rider who does is satisfied. “In terms of space, I find the iX3 more than adequate, including the trunk space, despite the fact that the battery and motor are in the back. The only disadvantage compared to the Tesla Model 3 is the small storage space at the bottom of the suitcase for storing the charging cables.”

Another owner is less happy, although that also has to do with the reference. “The BMW iX3 is not exactly a small car, but the interior space still disappoints me. You sit like a king in the front, but the back is significantly less spacious than in a Volkswagen Passat. Something that also applies to the trunk.”

Another striking phenomenon is that several owners have installed an aftermarket ‘frunk’ themselves. “6 minutes of work and an extra 48 liters under the hood! Handy for cables, compressor and junk that you rarely need; but would like to have it within reach…”, says one of these owners.

BMW iX3 with Belgian license plate

Good seats in the iX3

Owners are pleased with the iX3’s seats. “We are still very pleased with the chairs. Fully adjustable with an extendable part for the legs, good height-adjustable lumbar support and even the width of the cheeks is adjustable,” says the owner of a 2021 iX3 High Executive. “Sports seats are very comfortable and are slightly hard and well adjustable, almost as good as the comfort seats from the 5 Series,” writes another driver about his High Executive.

It does not mean that every iX3 fits equally well. “Few adjustment options for the seats,” notes the owner of an iX3 equipped as a ‘normal’ Executive. “Even though they fit well, I would have liked more options and a seat extension. Here too you are immediately stuck with the High Executive package.”


‘Drives like a BMW’

What every iX3 does seem to do is drive pleasantly. “The BMW gives me enormous driving pleasure. Despite the fact that the car is not inferior to the Tesla S in terms of weight and has only 1 engine, it remains a quick and easy-to-steer car,” said a satisfied driver. “The handling is really good for an SUV and, for example, much better than the X5 I used to drive. Of course it sometimes ‘wobbles’ slightly, which was never the case with a low road holding like that of the Tesla S, but the comfort of the higher road holding certainly outweighs that.”

A driver who previously owned a Volvo XC60 is also quite pleased with his BMW. “The comfort is really great. My XC60 was not really known as a ‘hard’ car, but the iX3 with its adaptive dampers is a lot more comfortable without it becoming swampy. The iX3 is also a lot quieter than my XC60.” This silence is also mentioned as a plus by other drivers.


Consumption and range

When it comes to range and energy consumption, riders’ experiences vary. “Range: if you drive normally (130 km/h is fine), you can reach 380+ kilometers. If you drive very economically (a lot of 80 and occasionally 100 on the highway), you can easily reach more than 400 km on a battery,” this iX3 Executive driver experiences.

Which consumption values ​​should you consider? The following owner provides insight: “Consumption in the past two winter months was approximately 248 Wh/km and that corresponds to expectations. The average over a year is around 192 Wh/km. It is of course a car with not the very best CW value. The drivetrain, on the other hand, is hyper-efficient.”

display BMW iX3 consumption

Another driver is less satisfied and achieves less favorable fuel consumption. “I think the biggest drawback so far is the charging capacity of the battery, including range. I have not driven more than 350 km during these winter months and the consumption remains around 24 kWh, no matter what I do to limit that consumption.”

If the battery runs out while en route, it can be quickly charged. The next driver experiences that this does not always happen as quickly as desired. “I had noticed several times that when fast charging at a temperature below 10 degrees, the battery initially does not charge faster than approximately 25 kW, and then only after about 10-15 minutes it goes to the promised 135-155 kW. Of course, that cannot be the intention of fast charging: you lose 10 minutes.”

Disruptions and irritations

Just like the aforementioned Mercedes-Benz EQC, BMW’s ‘on the safe’ formula seems to be working. If we can believe the reviews, the iX3 has no structural problems, although two owners report minor problems. One rider reports that the heater provides less and less heat during the ride and that the front axle makes a banging noise in colder weather. Another driver also reports noises. “A disturbing element are the ‘squeaking’ or ‘creaking’ brakes when performing shorter braking movements.”

Although the BMW iX3 was not designed from the ground up as an electric car, it appears to be a successful EV, according to most drivers. It is sufficiently practical, sits well, drives like a BMW and uses energy efficiently enough. Even when it comes to malfunctions and teething problems, the BMW SUV does not disappoint. The conservative turn that the brand has taken seems to have proven itself in practice.

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