BMW iX3 long-term test: report 2

Earlier this year, we named the BMW iX3 the best electric SUV to drive, but how easy is it to live with?...

LT BMW iX3 charging at motorway services

The car BMW iX3 M Sport Pro Run by Steve Huntingford, editor

Why it's here We want to see if this large SUV is a great all-rounder, rather than a one-trick pony

Needs to Combine its precise handling with comfort, refinement and range worthy of a £60k+ electric car

Mileage 1840 List price £63,970 Target Price £63,970 Price as tested £63,970 Test range 212 miles Official range 282 miles

9 April 2022 – Myth buster

From talk of mobile phones sparking petrol station fires, to the rumour that swapping lanes can fool speed cameras, there are a lot of motoring myths out there, and another is the idea that electric cars can’t do long journeys.

Don’t get me wrong, cruising at 70mph does drain your battery faster than pottering around town, and you’ll spend considerably more time topping it up than you would the fuel tank on a petrol or diesel car. However, a recent trip to North Wales in my BMW iX3 still proved surprisingly painless.

LT BMW iX3 in Wales

For starters, its range remained sufficiently healthy that I only needed one stop to recharge each way (plus an overnight plug-in at the hotel). And while long trips that I’ve conducted in electric cars in the past have turned into nightmares due to charging units being occupied or out of order, on this occasion there were no such issues.

Then there was the performance of the iX3 itself. Unlike some rivals, it does without fancy air suspension, yet the ride still adjusts to suit the way the car is being driven, so that the car wafts along the motorway in a very relaxing manner, without ever feeling floaty.

And while you do have to put up with some tyre noise – which is more noticeable than it would be in a petrol or diesel BMW X3 due to there being no engine note to drown it out – it’s not so loud that I found it overbearing.

LT BMW iX3 rear cornering

That adaptive suspension also came in handy when I turned off the motorway, because the iX3 resists body lean in corners well and feels surprisingly at home on Welsh mountain roads.

What’s more, the iX3’s headlights also impressed here; they’re insanely strong on full beam, which is very welcome when pretty much the only other illumination is coming from the Moon.

In fact, my only real complaint is that the trip highlighted another electric car myth: that choosing one automatically saves you money. I spent almost £75 on 'fuel' – £15 more than a colleague in his petrol Seat Arona.

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