Donna Kelly has over 12 years of experience in the motoring industry, writing, test driving and tweeting about cars. Her weekends are spent trackside, covering racing events.
Practical, great to drive and with a better range than many of its rivals, the BMW iX3 is a popular lease alternative to the Audi E-tron, Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes EQC.
Our BMW iX3 review covers:
At first glance, it's hard to distinguish the iX3 from the X3, but look closer, and you'll notice some subtle styling changes.
At the front, its solid plastic grille (which has been sealed to help reduce drag) and blue highlights on the grille, badges and sills help set this electric SUV apart.
It also boasts large, aerodynamic 20-inch wheels, which are unique to the BMW iX3, helping to smooth airflow and improve range.
Inside, space is similar to that of the X3. BMW has cleverly shoehorned the iX3's big battery under the floor to help maximise space inside the cabin. The result is more room to lounge than in the Jaguar I-Pace, with space at the rear for taller adults to get comfortable and reclining outer rear seats for a more laid-back seating position.
At the back, the iX3's 510-litre boot is almost identical to the X3's, although some underfloor storage is lost due to the electric motor. While overall space is slightly smaller than the Audi e-tron, the iX3 still beats the Mercedes EQC, and its flat floor and wide, square opening makes loading bulky items a breeze.
All models come with 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats as standard, which fold down by pulling the latches at each side by the tailgate. When folded, load space is increased to 1,560 litres in total.
The differences between the BMW iX3 and the X3 are harder to spot inside the cabin. In fact, apart from a blue starter button and a few more blue accents, the interior is identical in design and layout.
As expected from a BMW, the cabin is well put together with lots of dense, squishy materials. While the iX3's interior isn't as glamorous as the Audi e-tron or Mercedes EQC, it feels comfortingly familiar and makes for a relaxed environment.
It also features BMW's brilliant iDrive infotainment system with a 12.3-inch display in the middle of the dashboard, allowing you to operate key functions via the touchscreen, secondary rotary controller or voice.
There are two trim levels to choose from, including the M Sport and M Sport Pro.
The entry-level M Sport model offers plenty of luxuries as standard, including a powered tailgate, a panoramic sunroof, heated front leather seats and 19-inch aerodynamic alloy wheels.
The range-topping M Sport Pro adds a head-up display, auto-dipping headlights, keyless entry, and 20-inch aerodynamic alloy wheels.
In terms of power, the iX3's 80kWh battery and solitary electric motor deliver an impressive 286hp for a blend of performance and efficiency. Its strong acceleration will take you from 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds.
But what makes the iX3 stand out from its competitors is its range. With an official range of 285 miles, the iX3 beats both the e-tron (up to 249 miles) and EQC (252 miles).
Charging times vary from 0 to 80% recharge in just 34 minutes using a super-fast 150kW charger, or a full charge from empty in around 12 hours using a home wall-box charger or three-pin plug. This equates to about £13 per charge, which is less than the equivalent diesel or petrol cost.
Out on the road, the iX3 is one of the most enjoyable electric SUVs to drive. Thanks to its well-weighted steering and good body control, the iX3 is more agile than the Mercedes EQC or the Volvo XC40 Recharge.
Adaptive suspension is also fitted to the iX3 as standard, so it's comfortable over rough surfaces or potholes, although the Mercedes EQC still stands out for overall ride quality.
As expected from an electric vehicle, iX3 is incredibly quiet to drive with no noise from the engine and transmission and only a little wind and road noise at higher speeds.
Yet, switch to Sport mode in the range-topping M Sport Pro model, and you'll get IconicSounds acceleration sound effects, which get louder as your speed increases, just like it would if there was a petrol engine under the bonnet.
Prices for the new BMW iX3 start from £63,260.00 OTR* or to lease from £673.17 per month.
Fancy going green for 2021 with the BMW iX3? Car leasing may be cheaper than buying the BMW iX3 with dealer finance or a bank loan, thanks to fixed monthly rentals and a lower initial outlay.
With car leasing, you also have the option to change your vehicle every two, three or four years, allowing you to take advantage of model upgrades and new technology releases.
*'On the road' price is correct at time of publication and includes one year's road fund license, DVLA first registration fee and number plate fee. Prices are subject to change. Always check with your nearest retailer.