New 2021 BMW iX3 electric car on sale in the UK from £61,900

The pure-electric BMW iX3 SUV is available to order now, with prices starting from just under £62k and rising to almost £65k

The all-electric BMW iX3 is available to order in the UK. Prices start from £61,900 for the entry-level Premier Edition, and climb to £64,900 for the flagship Premier Edition Pro model. As such, the EV isn’t eligible for the Government’s £3,000 plug-in vehicle grant.

First deliveries for the new BMW iX3 are expected to arrive during summer next year – and, when it reaches the UK, it’ll wade into an expanding marketplace of premium pure-electric crossovers. The segment is currently dominated by the Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge, but will soon be bolstered by the Tesla Model Y and Audi Q4 e-tron.

As standard, the iX3 Premier Edition features 20-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, an automatic tailgate, adaptive dampers and a choice of either brushed aluminium or gloss black exterior trim. Buyers also have a choice of four metallic paint finishes – Carbon Black, Mineral White, Phytonic Blue and Sophisto Grey.

Inside, buyers get a leather dashboard, a wireless smartphone charger, heat reflective glass and a pair of electrically adjustable and heated front seats in a choice of four leather upholstery finishes. Like the petrol-powered X3, buyers also get a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 10.25-inch touchscreen, which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The iX3 Premier Edition Pro comes with a few extra convenience features, such as gesture control, automatic high beam control and a head-up display. There’s also additional lumbar support for the seats, an automatic parking function and an improved Harman Kardon surround sound system.

New 2021 BMW iX3: powertrain and platform

BMW adapted the standard X3’s platform with a new rear subframe that houses an electric motor and an 80kWh battery pack. The system’s capacity looks comparable to its rivals, but BMW says that the iX3’s cells are 20 percent more energy dense than its previous batteries, meaning the new EV should have the upper hand when it comes to packaging and weight.

The battery pack feeds a 282bhp electric motor mounted on the rear axle – and BMW says the powertrain serves up a maximum range of 285 miles, a 0–62mph time of 6.8 seconds a top speed of 112mph. In terms of acceleration, the German brand also claims the iX3 will keep up with its petrol powered sibling, the X3 xDrive30i.

BMW’s latest electrical architecture also offers support for 150kW DC fast-charging meaning that, if you can find a suitable charging point, the iX3 will recover an 80 percent charge in just 34 minutes. Single-phase 11kW AC charging can also be used in a pinch, but charge times will increase dramatically.

BMW makes a lot of noise about the iX3’s long-distance cruising abilities. The lighter, more energy dense battery results in greater energy efficiency on the move, and BMW suggests that on longer trips with plenty of motorway driving, the range of the iX3 will hold up better than heavier rivals.

This efficiency is thanks in part to the iX3’s regenerative braking system, which uses GPS tracking and traffic data to automatically select the level of recuperation based on the road conditions. For example, if the car senses standing traffic ahead, it will automatically engage the maximum recuperation setting, without any intervention from the driver.

Alternatively, the driver can take manual control of the regenerative braking via the drive selector. Selecting D summons three recuperation levels - high, medium and low, while moving the drive selector to the B position enables high enough energy recovery for one-pedal driving around town. 

New 2021 BMW iX3: design and interior

BMW has given the standard X3 a minor design tweak to help it fit the image of its electric line-up. First off, the front bumper has been smoothed over and the SUV’s kidney grilles have been blanked-off – both in the name in aerodynamic efficiency.

There’s a new set of aerodynamic alloy wheels too, which improve the standard car’s drag coefficient by around five percent – and which BMW says are worth an extra six miles of range on a full charge. Finally, at the back, there’s a new rear bumper that forgoes the petrol SUV’s exhaust cutout.

Passenger space is largely unaffected by the switch to electric power – although the iX3 does lose 40 litres of luggage capacity over its combustion-engined sibling. Despite this, there’s still 510 litres on offer with the rear seats in place, which can be increased to 1,560 litres by folding the rear bench seat flat.

The iX3 also debuts BMW IconicSounds Electric – a system of subtle, synthesized noises pumped into the cabin to match acceleration and braking inputs. The sounds have been created in collaboration with famed film composer Hans Zimmer.

What does the new BMW iX3 have to beat? Check out our list of the best electric SUVs on sale now

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