BMW iX3 long-term test: report 5

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 rear - entering tunnel

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 2928 List price £63,970 Target Price £63,970 Price as tested £63,970 Test range 218 miles Official range 282 miles

31 May 2022 – Smooth progress

When I was a young road tester at What Car?, we always used to recommend BMWs in SE trim. Deep down, we knew we were fighting a losing battle; almost everyone went for M Sport regardless, because they wanted the sportier styling and bigger wheels that this brought. And it wasn’t that we didn’t get the appeal of these features. However, on a purely objective level, SE cars were better.

LT BMW iX3 M badge and side vent

You see then, as now, going for M Sport brought sports suspension. However, at the time this was about as forgiving as an angry Twitter mob. Add in the run flat tyres – with their stiff side walls – that were just starting to become common on BMWs, and the result was a ride that was firm enough to make your vision blurry.

But no longer. My BMW iX3 is an M Sport Pro (essentially an M Sport with some extra luxuries). But while this means it’s got stylish 20in wheels and sports suspension, trick adaptive dampers that adjust to the way the car is being driven ensure it’s just as capable of playing the comfortable cruiser as it is remaining composed in corners.

It also helps that, over the years, BMW’s engineers have got much better at tuning suspension to work with run flats and their inherently unyielding nature. In fact, until I found myself checking the iX3’s tyre pressures ahead of it featuring in our winter range test, I couldn’t have told you for sure that it even had run flats.

LT BMW iX3 - gaming in the back

It’s not just me that’s impressed, either. My wife only struggles with travel sickness in cars that sway from side to side, so is perfectly happy spending time in the well controlled iX3. Meanwhile, our five-year-old daughter finds it easy to play video games or fall asleep in the back on long drives, because the car isn’t bouncing and fidgeting in the way that M Sport BMWs of old did.

Don't get me wrong, the iX3 isn't really sporty; it's too tall and heavy for that. But if you're after a family-friendly SUV that's also enjoyable to drive, I reckon you'll be impressed.

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