BMW's electric onslaught continues, with the battery-powered X3 from under £60k
By PH Staff / Thursday, August 26, 2021 / Loading comments
The iX3 already seems to have been with us for an age. Which perhaps isn’t surprising when you consider that BMW started talking about its electric SUV in earnest last July – and has even gone to the trouble of updating the original design before putting the car into production. But now it’s here, finally, and in the UK the Premier Edition will start from £58,850, which actually undercuts the initial £60k estimates. The regular liquid-powered X3 starts from £43,370, although the electric versions get “significantly” more tech and equipment. That includes 20-inch aero-enhanced wheels, adaptive suspension, a panoramic roof and an automatic tailgate.
Upgrade to the £61,850 Premier Edition Pro – as seems likely many will – and that kit list is built on with Gesture Control, a Harmon Kardon sound system (including the Hans Zimmer co-developed BMW IconicSounds electric), Automatic high beam assist and Comfort access. Both models offer the same 0-62mph time of 6.8 seconds and 112mph top speed, along with a 279-mile WLTP range from the 74kWh battery. BMW reckons the “outstanding efficiency” of both batteries and motor ensures that fewer charging stops are required on a long journey “than a comparable electric vehicle whose efficiency is compromised by the presence of larger and heavier high-voltage batteries.”
Speaking of comparable electric vehicles, you probably don’t need reminding that the battery powered premium SUV market is booming. A Jaguar I-Pace is from £65k, but offers both more performance and a slightly greater range; similarly, the Audi e-tron is from £62k, but is larger and faster. The Mercedes EQC is the most expensive of the lot, from £65,720. That said, given the majority of cars will be bought on a monthly payment, they might all be considered viable iX3 alternatives.
The introduction of the i model means the X3 is the first BMW ever to be offered at the same time with petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid and fully electric powertrains in the range. It certainly doesn’t look like being the last. The iX3 is available for pre-order now, with first deliveries before the summer is out. Don’t be surprised if it proves more popular in real life than in the comments. Then it’ll be time for the much more interesting iX…
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