BMW iX3: Our test, impressions & experiences

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BMW iX3: Our test, impressions & experiences-test

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A slightly different electric car test follows. Which may well be due to the fact that the BMW iX3 is staying with me for longer than the usual two weeks. As part of the FINN electric car subscription self-test, I secured the Stromer for 12 months as my everyday vehicle. In this test, I report on my first experiences and impressions of the BMW iX3 in everyday use. At a later point in time, this will be updated or supplemented by a corresponding additional article.

At the end of November 2021, the BMW iX3 found its way to me. It was delivered by a FINN deliverer, who first checked the papers, took photos and documented everything in order to officially start the e-car subscription with the handover of the vehicle. I already wrote about the slight delay in delivery, without information – or only on request – in the first article in the FINN series. On the first evening, of course, there was no more test drive on the program, but it shouldn’t be neglected in the next few days.


BMW iX3: Our test, impressions & experiences-test

It should be mentioned in advance that my impressions are completely subjective and therefore only reflect my own opinion. But think that the information, impressions and photos in this article can do their part to get a first impression of the BMW iX3.

As always; If you still have questions after reading the BMW iX3 test and driving report, just let me know and I’ll try to answer them. You are welcome to send me your personal experiences with the BMW e-car so that we can share them with the other readers. You can find out more about electric cars in general on this page.


BMW iX3: Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) with style

The BMW iX3 celebrated its European premiere in September 2021 at the IAA Munich. In the same month, production of the Stromer started in Shenyang, China, from where the e-car is not only sold in China but worldwide. The vehicle itself has been on the market since the beginning of 2021, but was also updated at the same time as the combustion engine was revised and thus became the electric vehicle with the shortest life cycle, before the facelift.


BMW iX3: Our test, impressions & experiences-impressions

As part of the model maintenance, the electric car has not lost its sporty character, but even more pronounced. With the additionally available M sports package, he then occurs even more massive / sportier. The production vehicle convinces with its redesign of the front and rear section, which thus also applies the reference to the conceptual, technological proximity of the BMW IX. Furthermore, new controls as well as an extended standard equipment can be found on which I will certainly go into the course of the test report.

The IX3 designates BMW as a pioneer for a new era of electromobility. What lies because this is the first model in which the BMW EDRive’s fifth generation technology is used. When purely electrical IX3, the synchronous electric motor is without rare earth and has an efficiency of 93%. Based on the BMW CLAR platform, the e-car is based on the same principles as petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrids. Compared to the other types of drive, the center of gravity is 7.5 cm lower. Which is certainly related to the weight of the 74 kWh (net)/ 80 kWh (gross) lithium-ion battery installed in the floor.


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This battery enables the E-SAV to have a range of 460 kilometers according to the WLTP cycle. It should be noted here that the BMW iX3 could not achieve this in everyday life. This is at least partly due to the low temperatures and adverse weather. But more on that in a later section.

The maximum output of the electric drive is 210 kW (286 hp) and a maximum torque of 400 Nm. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels, and acceleration from zero to 100 km/h takes 6.8 seconds. The Combined Charging Unit enables direct current fast charging with an output of up to 150 kW. This should go from zero to 80 percent when charging the battery in 34 minutes.


BMW iX3: Our test, impressions & experiences-test

BMW offers iX3 customers two equipment lines to choose from: Inspiring and the higher quality equipment Impressive. As part of my FINN electric car subscription self-test, I was able to receive my iX3 from BMW in the color phytonic blue and the Impressive equipment package for one year. This in advance for the classification of any equipment elements on the integrated photos. The actual differences between the equipment lines we will consider at a later date.

Compromise on four wheels? BMW’s Stromer on a multi-platform.

With the BMW iX3, the thought comes up relatively quickly that it could be a compromise solution on four wheels. Or also called Conversion Vehicle with teething problems in the scene. Because in contrast to the flagship BMW iX or the first-ever BMW i3, the iX3 comes on the same Cluster Architecture (CLAR) platform on which the other drive types are built. It is a modular platform that can be equipped with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. Basically, it is designed for a combustion engine powertrain and optionally has a 48-volt electrical system in a mild hybrid configuration. But it also supports plug-in hybrid and battery-electric drives.


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And yet the fully electric variant of the X3 – one of the most popular BMW models – manages to convince. Which may certainly be due to the fact that the Bavarian car manufacturer has transferred what it has learned from the BMW i3 to the current and future models. Because despite its stately dimensions of 4.734mm length, 1st.891 mm width and 1.668 mm in height and a wheelbase of 2.864 mm, the E-SAV is relatively energy-efficient. At least insofar as one is guided by the specifications from the technical data sheet (18.9-18.5 kWh/100 km). But more on that later.

What is special about the BMW iX3 is not only the fact that it perfectly embodies the “Power of Choice” approach of the BMW brand, but also that this is the brand’s first model at the Chinese production site in Shenyang of the joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive, also for global export is produced. Since its market launch, the Stromer has also undergone its first upgrade, which equips it with intelligent heat management for the high-voltage battery. This benefits the charging times, since the battery is preconditioned accordingly. Of course, this only works if you control the charging station via the navigation system and can plan the vehicle accordingly.

The e-car itself can be charged with up to 150 kW. Wherein the energy in this case flows into the lithium-ion battery with a gross energy content of 80 kWh, from which 74 kWh are used. This makes it possible for the E-SUV to drive up to 460 km in the WLTP cycle. In reality, as with other e-cars, but hardly achievable. Here the iX3 brings it to 380-390 km. The main things to consider at the moment are low temperatures, high heat output and the fact that longer stretches of motorway were also at the start.

But before we go into too much detail here, I would like to take a closer look at the battery. The latest generation of high-voltage storage has a particularly flat design. Located deep in the underbody, it can be integrated into the flexible vehicle architecture of the Sports Activity Vehicle. As a result, the center of gravity of the BMW iX3 is 7.5 cm lower than in the conventionally powered variants, with corresponding advantages in terms of lateral dynamics.

The BMW iX3 makes no compromises when it comes to the ecological balance. After all, the Stromer relies on an efficient drive, the extensive use of secondary raw materials in the production of cast aluminum components and thermoplastics, the absence of rare earths and the 100 percent use of electricity from renewable sources in production and manufacturing. As a result, the BMW iX inherently has a favorable life cycle assessment, especially when you compare it directly to a BMW X3 xDrive 20d powered by a diesel engine. The ecological balance is more than 30 percent better when using average European electricity in the usage phase and around 60 percent when only green electricity is used. An announcement!

With FINN, from which the BMW iX3 was subscribed for one year, it is positive to mention that they would shoulder the CO2 emissions of a combustion variant. Because the start-up is committed to offsetting the CO2 emissions of the car by supporting selected climate projects. And to make the combustion engines at least a little greener.

Fully electric through everyday life with the BMW iX3

The BMW iX3 makes it easy, easy. Especially in winter. Or precisely because of the cool season, I’m so good at talking about the Stromer. It may be because I installed the corresponding My BMW app on my smartphone for the electric vehicle for the first time. And this allows me, for example, to preheat the E-SUV with just one click immediately after getting up. Scraping ice is a thing of the past and the fact that you get into the warmed up car makes it easier to overcome the need to work from home in order to drive to the office.


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A supposed little thing, but it definitely makes a difference for me in everyday life. The fact that I talk to my vehicle is also new to me. Or at least used more intensively. Instead of entering destinations for the navigation system using the typical BMW rotary wheel, an announcement by voice command is sufficient. The air conditioning can also be controlled via it. Unfortunately, the steering wheel heating is not, as it is not installed in my model. But that may have less to do with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant than with my choice of model.

Let’s stay with the My BMW app for a moment, which is also a help when it comes to charging processes. On the one hand, the app offers a history of previous charging processes, but also lets me control charging settings accordingly or, to put it even more simply, see when the vehicle is fully charged after plugging it into the charging station. In other words, once activated, a push notification follows when the Stromer can be picked up from the charging station. It also enables corresponding evaluations/classifications afterwards. With a look at the app, I can see that I charged relatively similarly in the last charging process: 01:34 h for 55 kWh, 01:24 h for 49 kWh and 01:43 h for 58 kWh. Certainly something for fans of numbers. But why not use it when it’s already on offer.


BMW iX3: Our test, impressions & experiences-experiences

But now we’re getting away from apps and digital services and towards actually driving the Stromer. After all, that’s what it’s designed for. This shows that the BMW iX3 knows how to attract attention with its powerful, massive appearance. However, if you expect it to move sluggishly across the street, you are wrong. Despite its size, you can get from A to B quickly with the all-electric X3. Due to the low center of gravity, thanks to the battery in the underbody, the Stromer is close to the road and retains its stability even at higher speeds.

Because thanks to 210 kW/ 286 hp, the iX3 also gets off the ground quite quickly when it is necessary. However, it is much nicer just to cruise with it and let the landscape pass you by. In the first four weeks, the electric car accompanied me in a wide variety of situations and always performed well. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the trip to the office, errands in town and the surrounding area, visiting relatives in the distance or simply driving around a little and taking in the surroundings. It’s just fun.


BMW iX3: Our test, impressions & experiences-test

It is usually your own foot and the pressure it exerts on the power pedal that determines whether and how much the power consumption of the electric SUV increases. The technical data sheet states 18.9-18.5 kWh/100 km, which can definitely be achieved if you drive consciously and prefer not to use the sport modes. If you rely on the latter and definitely use electricity on the motorway, consumption, understandably, skyrockets. Values of around 32 kWh/100 km can then be achieved. But the principle of giving electricity = reducing the range also applies to all other e-vehicles.

Otherwise, the BMW iX3 offers exactly the level of driving experience that one expects and can expect from such a vehicle. Outside the city, the Stromer is more likely to be left in normal drive mode, while in the city you consciously rely on high recuperation with the “B driving mode” in order to glide through everyday urban life with that one-pedal feeling. Everyone should find out for themselves which driving style they prefer.

Thanks to a high level of comfort, well thought-out assistance systems and a wide range of multimedia connections and integrations – such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – driving is a pleasure either way. One of my small highlights here is the fact that I currently have three smartphones connected to the vehicle (company smartphone, as well as private smartphones from my partner and me) and yet the iX3 sometimes always managed to play the right podcast or conversation. Often did not work with only one paired device on other vehicles.

Range, consumption and charging options at a glance

In the previous sections I have already dealt with some aspects of fully electric driving with the iX3 from BMW. You could certainly already see that the Bavarian car manufacturer lived up to its premium promise. Both in terms of design, workmanship and performance. Let’s take a closer look at the topic of charging.

  • Rear-wheel drive with 210 kW/ 286 hp and 400 Nm torque

  • Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds

  • Top speed of 180 km/h

  • 74 kWh lithium ion battery (net usable) // 80 kWh (gross)

  • Energy consumption per 100 km (weighted) 18.9-18.5 kWh/100 km

  • Range (combined) 453 km according to WLTP

  • 0 g/km CO2 emissions, combined

Due to the longer period of time for which the BMW iX is available to me with the FINN subscription, everything that can be experienced with a Stromer was included, from pure city trips to interurban and motorway trips. So I had the opportunity to show a very good cross-section of the routes that the BMW Stromer would probably have to master under “normal conditions”. The current interim status – when the report is published – shows around 840 kilometers on the speedometer, which I have covered. Sufficient enough to get a first picture of the Stromer.


BMW iX3: Our test, impressions & experiences-impressions

Based on a platform that is used for both combustion engines and e-cars, the BMW iX3 struggles with the problem that it does not seem to have been fully optimized. And yet the Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV), which can be described as massive, achieves very decent consumption values. These deviate from the information from the technical data sheet 18.9-18.5 kWh/ 100 km. But not so strong that it cannot be considered “acceptable”.

If you look at the consumption over the approximately 840 kilometers that we covered with the Stromer, it shows that it levels off at 22.5-19.5 kWh per 100 km. However, it is the same for every Stromer that the battery will eventually run out. Then it has to be loaded. In the case of BMW’s iX3, this is done using the following options:


Charging time Wallbox 11 kW

7.5 hours

Wall socket, 3-phase, alternating current, type 2
From 0 to 100 percent


Fast charging station 150 kW

32 minutes

Public fast charging station, direct current, CCS
From 10 to 80 percent

The fastest possible charging option is therefore offered by direct current chargers with a charging capacity of 150 kW. Go from 10% to 80% in 32 minutes. In other words: every ten minutes at a fast charging station, the iX3 recharges electricity for a range of a good 100 kilometers according to WLTP. BMW classifies the whole thing a bit on the BMW iX3’s own website: A full charge costs €28.25 to €28.75 (WLTP). That means 100km can be covered for only €6.25. Based on WLTP consumption figures and an energy price of €0.33 per kWh.


Exterior and interior in focus

Hopefully, first experiences, described impressions and included photos have given you an impression of the iX3 from BMW. Now let’s dive a little more together and take a closer look at the exterior and interior of the electric car.


BMW iX3: Our test, impressions & experiences-experiences

The fact that the BMW iX3 is anything but reserved is not only shown by the photos included in the test and field report, but also by the previous data. And yet, or probably precisely because of this, it is important to emphasize that the Stromer should not only be measured and classified according to its external dimensions.

The BMW iX3 is offered in two equipment lines. Even the basic equipment Inspiring includes a multitude of details: Metallic paintwork and 19-inch aerodynamic wheels, LED headlights, a panoramic glass roof and automatic tailgate operation are just as much a part of it as the Driving Assistant Professional including cruise control with Stop & Go function , steering and lane guidance assistant as well as lane change and lane departure warning, park distance control with sensors at the front and rear, a tire pressure display and an alarm system.


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There is also a sports steering wheel, a storage package, ambient light, electrically adjustable seats with memory function on the driver’s side and automatic climate control operated with heat pump technology, including 3-zone control, auxiliary heating and auxiliary air conditioning. To be fair, I have to say that I jumped a little between interior and exterior here. But of course I want to give you the best possible overview of what the Stromer has to offer. The second equipment line makes things even more comfortable.


BMW iX3: Our test, impressions & experiences-impressions

In the Impressive equipment package, the E-SAV comes with 20-inch light-alloy wheels in a new, aerodynamically optimized design and Adaptive LED headlights. Furthermore, the electric car relies on special acoustic glazing for the driver and front passenger side windows. Supposed little things, which can make the difference on the street and with the corresponding noise from outside.

More interesting for me is the comfort access, which allows the car key to remain in your pants. Although I have to say here that this unfortunately didn’t always work and had to be dug out again and again. An enrichment, especially on longer journeys, is the BMW head-up display, which makes navigating from A to B even easier. Thanks for an overview.

In addition, Parking Assistant Plus including a reversing camera, reversing assistant and Surround View are on board in the highest equipment line. Especially with the BMW gesture control that is also installed, you first have to warm up. But it really doesn’t get any easier than turning the volume up and down with a circular motion. The corresponding sound comes from the built-in Harman Kardon Surround Sound System. What more do you want?

You don’t really have to waste a lot of words on the visual appearance itself. Instead, let the vehicle speak for itself. And yet it can be mentioned that the iX3 comes with the distinctive BMW kidney grille. This is larger than before and is brought into focus in a one-piece frame. The mesh-like structure directs the viewer’s gaze and, in my opinion, is a beautiful sight, especially in winter with a frozen front.

Otherwise, the e-car from BMW is characterized by powerful proportions, which are supported by precisely drawn lines and clearly designed surfaces. At first glance, the BMW iX3 combines a robust appearance with sporty approaches and a touch of premium. Can be seen. Especially in the phytonic blue color I chose for FINN.

The premium approach is consistently continued in the interior of the iX3. Modern operating and control elements, reduction to the essentials and a tidy menu navigation almost convey a touch of minimalism and reduction. At least if you draw direct comparisons to competitors. A little less would of course still be possible. But the BMW Personal Assistant in particular knows how to make a difference here and does without the corresponding buttons by offering voice control.

In principle, BMW focuses on what is happening on the road. All built-in systems and conveniences only serve to ensure that the driver can concentrate on that and not have to worry about other things. Or at least not many.


BMW iX3: Prizes & promotion through environmental bonus

If the previous impressions of the BMW Stromer have convinced you, then it is probably time to take a look at the prices. I also don’t want to ignore whether the subsidy through the environmental bonus for the Bavarian manufacturer’s electric car is an option.

Since February 2020 there has been more money if an e-car is sold under a list price of 40.000 euros is purchased. 6.000 euros instead of 4.000 euros will now be reimbursed from the purchase price. For plug-in hybrids in this price range, there will be 4 in the future.500 euros instead of 3.000 euros. For electric cars with a list price above 40.000 euros, the subsidy for pure electric cars will in future be 5.000 euros are, for plug-in hybrids at 4.000 euros. Furthermore, with the latest economic stimulus package, a maximum of 9.000 euros possible; if the net list price is below 40.000 euros lies. In the case of the BMW iX3, a reduced subsidy applies, so that with the environmental bonus and innovation bonus you can get a discount of 7.500,00 Euro comes.


BWW IX3

67.300,00 Euro

Equipment line: Inspiring


BWW IX3

72.400,00 Euro

Equipment line: Impressive

The BMW IX3 in Phytonic Blue, as well as the equipment line was impressive with me,. This begins thus, according to the previously listed price list from 72.400,00 Euro (gross). In addition, in the case of the E-vehicle from the Finn Electro-Car -on subscription, the sunscreen glazing from the B-pillar (480 euros) as well as the M High Gloss Shadow Line with extended sizes (200 euros). This has led to the total price of the electricity at 73.080,00 Euro was. The purchase bonus for electric cars as well as the innovation premium can thus be brought to deduction in this model. Therefore, there are also “only” 7.500 euros environmental bonus and innovation premium from the state.


Conclusion for testing the BMW IX3

The BMW iX3 as an everyday companion now has a different role than was the case with other test vehicles from various manufacturers. Which is certainly due to the fact that he accompanies me not just for a week or two, but for a whole year. Thanks to the FINN electric car subscription. Therefore, the impressions that I can collect in the future are certainly a lot more diverse. So if you have any questions, feel free to ask, try to answer them. Because despite all the effort, not everything can always be accommodated in a test and experience report. Questions about the FINN e-car subscription are also welcome.


BMW iX3: Our test, impressions & experiences-impressions

Sometimes I am convinced of the iX3. Despite the fact that it wasn’t intended as a purely electric vehicle right from the start, it is still convincing in everyday use. It is a good companion thanks to its low center of gravity, powerful drive and rapid charging capability of up to 150 kW. Not only on short but also on long distances. With numerous features and assistance systems, you sometimes don’t want to get out at all. And the discussion when traveling is no longer about who doesn’t have to drive, but who is allowed to drive. At least that’s how it works for us.

However, it must also be clearly mentioned that this vehicle with all its advantages comes with a corresponding price. Because not everyone can afford or like it. Even if it seems justified from my subjective point of view. So if you want to drive such a vehicle a little first to see if it is something for longer, you are well advised to go with FINN. Because this not only makes it easy to get a taste of e-mobility. But also driving higher-priced vehicles at fair subscription fees.

I myself am looking forward to the coming months with the BMW Stromer. Will certainly collect more impressions and experiences to report about it.


Together with FINN makes electric car news.net to test their electro car subscription for a year in self-experimentation. We look at all phases of the E-Auto subscription from the first contact with Finn, about the delivery, ride and pickup at the end of the term. Answer your questions and go to criticism. Our portal is provided for the test a discounted subscription, which, however, has no impact on our honest opinion written here.

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12 thoughts on “BMW iX3: Our test, impressions & experiences”

  1. A paid advertising papers of BMW AG.
    A colleague has this moving nonsense of “The Power of Choice” under 23kWh at 100km stirs there nothing, despite more tire pressure, warm weather and egg under the pedal

    Reply
  2. A rear sheathing … OMG, there are sandbags for the winter? We do not want to talk about the 80s and the software. The whole for 67,000 euros? So the Nix BMW. Bye Bye BMW.

    Reply
  3. 840 km driven are not exactly meaningful. The vehicle is a pre-facelift model, the current model looks much more modern. Consumption values are always very dependent on the driving style, but this also applies to combustion engines. Otherwise, I think the report is a success, and as I said, after a few months and then maybe several thousand kilometers driven, one can say more. Personally, I think such a car subscription or leasing is now very sensible, because I don’t think anyone knows exactly where the journey is going.

    Reply
  4. I’ve been driving the IX 3 for 4 months and can confirm the content of the report in every respect. A successful vehicle that gives a lot of pleasure…..

    Reply
  5. Great, informative and interesting test report. I ordered the BMW iX3 impulsive. I am currently driving the BMW X4 drive, which I am very satisfied with.
    Since my last 4 BMW’s were all ‘drive’, i.e. all-wheel drive (due to the sometimes adverse winter conditions in the Bergisches Land), I am a little concerned about the fact that the iX3 is not all-wheel drive. Have you ever driven the car in snow?? My dealer said that because the iX3 is more evenly heavy than the X3 due to the battery and the other processing, there would be no problems with snow.

    Reply
  6. Very detailed report, thank you. I don’t want to go into the details but I miss (considering the fact that the utility of future cars will depend more and more on the software quality) statements on required service inspections, OTA capabilities, charging stop planning, battery management, cell phone app capabilities, TCO , assistance etc.
    thank you.

    Reply
  7. I would miss a chic and modern ambience inside. With this car, you have the feeling of entering a car that is 5 years old in terms of look and feel. but of course, if you like driving a BMW and feel comfortable in the car, everything is fine.

    Reply
  8. For me, as a “still I3s driver”, the iX3 is the documentation of two factors: BMW still doesn’t want to and can’t build or develop BEVs. BMW simply stopped developing after the I3. I also wonder where generations 2, 3 and 4 of the BMW e-drive were when the iX3 represents Gen5.
    At no point are there technically outstanding properties; but a sporty price despite Chinese production. The best thing about the iX3 is that it is a BMW without a dealer look or. kidney disease is. After all.
    However, I do believe that the thing (as well as i4/iX) will sell internationally. At the latest, the Chinese are still paying for the image factor of the past years without demanding a technical equivalent. But even that will wear off and by then it will be dark in Munich at the latest.

    What I would like to add: BMW sales, at least here in the region, are completely combustion engine-oriented. When I asked about an I3 lease for an additional three years, I was advised that instead of making such a compromise, I would lease a M3 demonstrator at a bargain price. At least that would be a real BMW. Aha.

    Reply
  9. Hello, I would like to share my experience with my IX3, Impressive in terms of consumption/range.
    Leased in August, a range of 370lm was achieved in the summer months, under the premises – Eco Plus, hardly any air conditioning, very discreet driving style.
    In the cold weeks, I sometimes got a range display of 230 km after fully charging, sometimes only drove 230-250 km with a full charge.
    Basically, I’m very happy with the car, but the stated ranges (due to the temperature, of course) are beyond what is stated in various test reports.
    Has anyone had similar experiences, especially in the winter months.

    Reply
  10. Hello, thank you for the detailed report on the iX3. At the beginning of 2021 I had to decide between the X3 Hybrid and the iX3 and after many considerations I stayed with the hybrid although I would really like to be purely electric. We are the experiences in daily life with charging? What if you go to the mountains for skiing? Kind regards, Michael Nitz

    Reply
  11. What I would also be interested in:
    I can’t find a BMW iX3 in FINN’s entire current range of electric cars – was that a special offer for EA-news ?

    Reply

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