As the luxury echelon of carmakers race to match Tesla, and launch their own EV experiences there are winners, losers, and, what is it?
The BMW iX3 EV I have just returned to its regular keeper is one of the latter. Overall, I’m left with a rather underwhelming opinion of this SUV EV, but when you do the analysis there could be more pros than cons in BMW’s newest EV.
On a positive note, the conversion from ICE architecture to embrace a big, heavy battery pack and still retain some semblance of efficiency in terms of power to weight ratio, and balanced handling appears to be really well resolved.
As carmakers sprint to launch EVs, many are simply basing their EVs on current ICE models, and the marriage of the new powertrain demands, with the ICE equivalent, often fails to impress. The car I’m thinking about here is the Porsche Cayenne. The battery pack is at the rear, and on the road the car feels tail-heavy (which it is), and heavy in its responses – in fact compared to the fabulous driving experience I enjoyed in the Taycan Turbo S, the Cayenne running on volts is a Porsche that feels overweight and unimpressive to drive.
BMW has scored well here, because although I’m pretty sure the original X3 was never configured to accept a battery pack, the ix3 EV engineers have managed to squeeze the battery pack under the floor, giving a very stable, well-balanced EV you may have thought was designed for the job from the ground up.
It’s only a single motor vehicle, so there’s competitors with better on-paper performance, but quite frankly with an SUV I don’t think 0-100 is really the primary consideration. Let’s just say the performance is more than adequate. The reasons for buying SUVs have moved with the times.
We find it’s rare that today’s SUVs go off road, or that they’re brilliant at pulling out stumps. They’re mostly chosen by the lady of the house, to do the shopping, school and soccer runs, so it’s really interior configurations which are most important.
Having said all that I really do fail to see the sense in the $40 grand difference between ICE and EV versions of the BMW X3. I’d pocket the difference, and put it toward a really contemporary EV which is just as competent, and at $74K – it's the Kia EV6.
However, I know, I know – this doesn’t take into account the badge snobs!
Actually, at this stage in the maturity cycle of EVs I wouldn’t buy an EV at all. If I wanted to upgrade from my very economical Kia Cerato, I’d shell out for an Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce and really enjoy my ride!
No range anxiety, and fun, fun, fun every time you climb behind the wheel!