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Several Items You Should Know About the BMW IX3

by John Murphy - 08 Oct 2022, Saturday 316 Views Like (0)
Several Items You Should Know About the BMW IX3

What is that?

This is the BMW iX3. It has been around the world for a while, but only recently started making its way to Southeast Asia. It has already been confirmed for the BMW Philippines market, where it will spearhead BMW's local automotive electrification efforts.

Isn't that the iX's job? 

The IX xDrive40 has been out since April. Thing is, it's big and well priced. At P6,290,000, it will take a lot of convincing to convince those not interested in early adopters to accept, at least if we are talking about opting for this over internal combustion counterparts of the vehicle.

No pricing details have been announced for the iX3, but we've heard it will be significantly more affordable than its larger sibling. More practical, more accessible and more portable.

First of all, we need to note that the unit we are working with here in Singapore is not necessarily the one that will be local specifications in the Philippines. Cloak? Cloak.

Very good. The push function is part of BMW's latest generation of eDrive system. This configuration includes a 74 kWh lithium-ion battery and a synchronous electric motor for a total capacity of 286 hp and 400 Nm of torque. These numbers are enough for a 0 to 100 km/h sprint in 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 180 km/h.

As with any electric vehicle, we have to talk about batteries. That should be enough for most use cases, more so in Singapore, which is a bit larger than Metro Manila. Juice is also not an issue (provided you have the infrastructure, of course), as the iX3 can reach 100km in just 10 minutes via a 150 kW DC charging station.

Looks familiar

It should. It is based on the same platform as the BMW X3, one of the best-selling models in the brand's global lineup, with the same shape, design and proportions. Sure, the front grille isn't open and there's a hint of blue dotted around, but there's nothing groundbreaking here in terms of looks. But with that? It's inside count. 

Please take the driver's seat for us.

It's a great place to sit, but not as high-end as the other two cars we got on this trip, the iX and i4 (which we'll cover in more detail in a separate story). The lack of a central curved instrument cluster/display and a flat-bottomed steering wheel found in other BMW products I offer makes it less obvious that you're sitting inside an electric car, that's it. It is a good thing if you're not particularly passionate about everything. iX's futuristic approach to cabin aesthetics.

As with all BMW vehicles, there is ample use of soft-touch end caps in areas such as the dashboard and doors. The dark material choice also gives the interior a sneaky vibe (which, by the way, is nicely accented with a blue border to indicate the EV side of the device). 

And in case you find the atmosphere a bit gloomy, opening the sunroof will provide more light to the space. 

And how does it go?

As you would expect an EV to: quiet, with instant torque. Vehicle thrust isn't as 'instant' as it is with something like the iX, which is to say fast for something heavier than 2,500kg. 

But what if you're trying to speed up on the highway right away? Sport mode can push your head against the back of the seat if you want. Also, those of you who are acclimated to the EV experience will launch well in efficiency mode. This option widens the range, and while it detracts from the experience a bit in the way of economy, it keeps performance more progressive all the time.

In terms of handling?

The IX3 is nimble. The steering wheel has a good weight, and BMW has taken care to make the structure of the object as balanced as possible. Then win until 43:57 distributes weight from front to back and also provides a stable ride. Of course, we weren't exactly lucky to start here - or it might just be the unspoiled streets of Singapore. Not that this technology works in the Philippine environment, but we really like all the driving aids that BMW has added to this package. 

In particular, the warning display is a nice feature to help you control. It displays speed warnings in compatible locations (no, Metro Manila probably won't when the car arrives), which is handy considering how easy it is to cross the limit due to the iX3's silence.

Anything else to note?

The central floating touchscreen is top-of-the-line. Alternatively, you can control it via a controller and dial mounted on the car's center console. We also had a bit of fun with the Thing's gesture controls, though we think it might start to feel novel after a while.