Introduced in July 2020, the BMW iX3, the pure-electric variant of the third-gen BMW X3 G01, received a facelift the following year, making this perhaps the fastest model in BMW’s history to get a refresh. The electrified luxury compact SUV is sold across Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Africa, but is a forbidden fruit in America.

While BMW has not officially confirmed why, we think that the absence of an AWD system and its relatively modest range may be preventing its launch in the U.S. market. Moreover, the iX3 is only made in China, which attracts a high tariff. However, the more advanced next-gen iX3 (2025) is expected to make its way to American shores. Recently I got to spend some time with the iX3, experiencing its design, comfort, features, as well as space. Here are my observations.


The BMW iX3 has an aggressive design, featuring sharp and narrow headlights. The contours of the headlights were redesigned in 2021, and this change, I feel, brings the iX3 closer to the BMW iX and i4.

Adaptive LED headlights with Matrix function are standard in the iX3. Moreover, there is an option to specify Adaptive LED headlights with BMW Laserlight, which includes blue inlays in the L-shaped light elements of the DRLs. The laserlight module increases the high-beam range to 650 meters. The bumper features a rugged and large lower grille and L-shaped side air intake grilles.

Thanks to the standard-fit M Sport package, the new iX3 has a sportier design and looks more normal. The exudes more aggression through its redesigned tail lamps with pincer-shaped contouring and horizontal turn signal indicators, and vertical air outlets.

A standard-fit M Sport package makes the iX3 look quite appealing. The larger lower air intake and L-shaped air curtains with blue accents at the outer edges of the front end that we have mentioned above are part of the M Sport package. This package also includes a 3D surface design on the front apron, the air breathers in the front side panels in an M-specific design, and the new rear diffuser with blue accents.


Inside, the BMW iX3 features the BMW Live Cockpit Professional with a 12.3-inch touchscreen. While the control display is bigger, the digital instrument cluster measures the same diagonally – 12.3 inches, compared to the model that launched in 2020. The iX3’s gear selector is reduced and features a classier design compared to previous iterations. New air vents with chrome trim, cup holders, and a new sports steering wheel with a single 6 o’clock spoke are also part of the interior changes in the recent model years.

BMW iX3 gear selector panel

The iX3’s BMW Live Cockpit Professional includes a new generation of navigation with BMW Maps. The cloud-based navigation system offers extremely fast and dynamic route calculations based on real-time traffic data.

The iX3 includes sport seats as standard. It feature new Sensatech perforated upholstery in either Black or Cognac. Customers can optionally go for Vernasca leather upholstery in Mokka, Oyster, or Black with blue contrast stitching. An Anthracite-colored headliner and new ‘Aluminium Rhombicle’ trim strips are standard.

I’m six feet tall, and given the flat roofline, I didn’t expect any issues with ingress or egress. Indeed, getting into the SUV was straightforward.

Once I settled into the driver’s seat, I immediately checked for all-around visibility, where I found no problems. The steering wheel with its manually adjustable column offered a good grip. I had plenty of clearance above my head, and the lumbar support was comfortable. The under-thigh support was enhanced by the extended cushion, adding to the seat’s overall comfort.

The quality of the materials throughout the interior was excellent. However, upon close inspection, I felt that the dashboard design is a generation behind compared to current BMW EVs, and should be refreshed in future model years. During my time with the car, I particularly enjoyed using the physical buttons and scroller on the steering wheel, and the iDrive controller was also a pleasure to operate, especially in an era when haptic touch and large screens are becoming ubiquitous.

In the second row, sitting directly behind the driver’s seat adjusted for my height, I found ample legroom and adequate knee room. The recline function, while offering some adjustment, didn’t help much in improving comfort, and the floor hump makes it a hindrance for the middle passenger to travel comofortably. The under-thigh support could be better, and a lower floor would be beneficial for a more comfortable knee-down seating posture for tall adults. Lastly, despite the presence of a glass roof, I had more than enough headroom.


The BMW iX3 uses a rear-mounted motor that generates 210 kW (296 PS/282 hp) and 400 Nm (295 lb.ft) of torque. The 74.0 kWh (net)/80.0 kWh (gross) Lithium-ion battery pack operates at 400 volts, providing it a range of up to 460 km (286 miles) in the WLTP cycle. Charging 10-80% takes 32 min at 150 kW DC. Using an 11 kW AC charger takes 7.5 hours for a full charge.

The iX3 comes with intelligent thermal management for the battery pack which automatically begins preconditioning the battery for charging when the navigation system foresees a stopover at a high-power charging station. This way, the battery pack gets the necessary heating/cooling in advance to be in the optimal temperature for charging at maximum power by the time the EV reaches the charging station.

Driving Impressions

Those who’ve driven the iX3 would also tell you that the electric SUV serves up the typical RWD vehicle fun, especially in Sport mode. The low placement of the battery aids in delivering a stable and composed ride, while the vehicle manages to handle corners with surprising agility for an SUV, featuring precise steering and a planted feel.

BMW iX3 side

The cabin is exceptionally quiet, but the iX3 may not fully satisfy those expecting traditional BMW sportiness, as the steering feels light at high speeds, and there can be noticeable body roll during aggressive cornering. Additionally, the range is modest compared to some competitors, which might be a problem for those who travel long distances frequently.

Also See: First Look Review: BMW iX1, America’s elusive small SUV


What is the BMW iX3’s release date?

The BMW iX3 has been available widely in Europe since 2021.

What is the price of the BMW iX3?

The new iX3’s prices in Germany start at EUR 67,300.

Which models are the the BMW iX3’s rivals?

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