2021 BMW iX3 electric SUV revealed: price, specs and release date

New BMW iX3 electric SUV has a 280-mile range and a tech-filled interior...

2021 BMW iX3 front

On sale Summer 2021 | Price from £60,000 (est)

The new BMW iX3 SUV represents a U-turn for the brand when it comes to launching electric cars. You see, back in 2013, when BMW unveiled the radical i3 electric hatchback, it seemed as though the brand’s zero-emissions models would always be designed from the ground up to be that way, rather than being based on a pre-existing car. The iX3, however, is the opposite: it’s an electric version of the current X3. And while there could be few finer cars on which to base an electric car – the X3 is a five-star car, remember – only time will tell whether BMW’s approach will pay off.

2021 BMW iX3 rear

2021 BMW iX3 power and range

Certainly, the iX3 has been given the right tools for the job. For a start, it can travel farther on a single charge than either of its closest rivals, the Audi E-tron and Mercedes EQC, with an official range of 285 miles. The Jaguar I-Pace can take you farther still, though, with an official range of 292 miles. And while you might think that the iX3’s design is a little conservative, small tweaks designed to make the car glide through the air with as little resistance as possible – such as redesigned front and rear bumpers, a closed-off grille and aerodynamic alloy wheels – combine to add six extra miles to its range.

Power comes from a single 282bhp electric motor, which can propel the iX3 to 62mph in 6.8sec. Both the E-tron and EQC can handle the same sprint in less time, but BMW is hoping you’ll have a more enjoyable time getting there from behind the wheel of the iX3. We have reason to think you will, too, because putting a smile on your face is one of the reasons why the 330e version of the 3 Series saloon is currently our favourite plug-in hybrid.

The iX3 can charge at a rate of up to 150kW, allowing you to reach 80% of capacity in just 34 minutes, although charging points capable of supplying that kind of juice are in short supply in the UK at the moment. 

2021 BMW iX3 parked

2021 BMW iX3 interior and practicality

We're yet to see inside the iX3, but it's not expected to look much different from the regular that of the regular X3, and that’s no bad thing. A 12.3in digital instrument cluster and 10.25in infotainment screen are standard, with the latter being accessed via a control dial between the front seats, rather than by touch only. That means the iX3’s infotainment should be easier to use on the move than the all-touchscreen setup found in the E-tron and the combination of touchpads and touchscreen used in the EQC.

Unique touches include electronic sounds to give the iX3 more character when you’re driving along, particularly when braking or accelerating, plus a soundtrack when you push the starter button that has been designed in collaboration with composer Hans Zimmer.

With 510 litres of space available in its boot, the iX3 falls only slightly behind the regular X3 for carrying capacity. You’ll be able to fit more holiday luggage into it than you could in the EQC, but the E-tron will take considerably more. As with its rivals, the iX3’s rear bench can split and fold to maximise space – useful when you’ve underestimated how small that chest of drawers looked online.

2021 BMW iX3 rear

2021 BMW iX3 price

Prices for the iX3 are likely to start at around £60,000, representing a substantial premium over the combustion-engined X3 but placing BMW’s newest model broadly in line with its E-tron and EQC rivals. The good news is that, as with Audi and Mercedes, discounts are both healthy and easy to come by, so substantial savings could be made in time. For example, discounts of close to £10,000 are available on the current X3 through our New Car Buying service.

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