What Car? says...
The BMW iX3 marks a change of direction for the famous German brand, at least when it comes to building electric cars.
What do we mean by that? Well, BMW’s only previous EV (electric vehicle) was the much smaller i3 hatchback, and that was built from the ground up to run on batteries. It had oddball looks, a lightweight carbon-fibre construction and fancy rear-hinged rear doors; at the time it seemed like the future had come early.
But there were a couple of problems. Firstly, EVs didn’t catch on as quickly as many had anticipated. Indeed, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that it suddenly became clear that they wouldn’t just be a sideline but would eventually replace petrol and diesel cars altogether. Secondly, it turned out that many buyers didn’t necessarily want an electric car that looked different from a ‘regular’ car.
That probably explains BMW’s change of tack. The iX3 is, as you might have guessed already, essentially an electric version of the BMW X3 – BMW’s Audi Q5 rival. It has no complex carbon-fibre construction or unconventional styling. In fact, the only things that mark it out visually from petrol and diesel versions are a solid plastic grille, aerodynamic alloy wheels and a smattering of blue highlights.
Perhaps more pertinently, though, the iX3 has a long range between charges, the ability to charge up quickly and a relatively tempting price tag. But how does it compare to its key electric SUV rivals, the Audi E-tron, Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes EQC? And is it a better buy than lower-riding alternatives, such as the Tesla Model 3? Click through to the next page and our review will tell you everything you need to know.
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