Search CarGuide.PH

July 16, 2023

Review: 2023 BMW iX3 M Sport

The peculiar thing about EVs is that they tend to look like spaceships. Whether it’s to tout their impressive packaging or to visually communicate them at being at the bleeding edge of tech, they stand out. This is great for some, but for others who don’t want to daily drive something that looks like an extra from Star Trek, thankfully BMW’s come to the rescue with the BMW iX3.

Eschewing oddball looks or any fancy lightweight construction methodologies, the iX3 is as normal as they come. In fact, the only things that mark it out visually from its diesel-fed counterpart are the closed off grille, aero 19-inch wheels, and the smattering of blue highlights.

The same can be said about what’s found underneath. The body shell isn’t much different which lends you to believe that compromises had to have been done to fit the battery pack and electric motor. Not so.

In a bit of clever, BMW engineered the X3 from the get-go to take on a variety of powertrains, including this all-electric one. With that, there are no compromises except for the lower ride height (179 mm versus 204 mm). The battery size itself, at 80 kWh (74 kWh usable) is run-of-the-mill for its segment, but thanks to an energy-dense construction, delivers 460 kilometers between charges; that’s about 10 kilometers more than the Lexus RZ which is equipped with a larger battery and riding on a purpose-built EV platform. That’s all on paper, of course.

In the real-world Philippine setting, the iX3 manages 385 kilometers of range or 5.2 km/kWh (average speed of 18 km/h). Putting that into perspective, that’s about a week’s worth of driving around Manila before any sort of recharging’s required. Weirdly enough, the range readout is pessimistic, but perhaps that’s better than you getting stuck on the road with a dead battery.

Even better than its outright range is that driving this all-electric “Sport Activity Vehicle” feels ridiculously normal. It’s strong, but never brutal. With 286 horsepower and 400 Nm on tap, it gives a strong sense of urgency without threatening to snap necks or regurgitate lunches. In short, it’s an EV made for real people as opposed to YouTubers or TikTokers.

The iX3 may have the classic BMW rear-wheel drive architecture, but don’t expect it to drift or oversteer through corners. Instead, it’s all about being effortlessly agile and fast without becoming out of hand. With steel springs and adaptive dampers, it’s actually fun to toss around, easily belittling its 2.2-ton weight.

Filling a car with heavy batteries rarely does good things to ride comfort, but here, it’s perfectly balanced between body roll and ride suppleness. It rides well even on pockmarked roads like the truck lane on C5. The steering doesn’t offer much in way of feel (the Mazda CX-60 actually does better), but it weighs up naturally and its responses are progressive. At speed, there’s a bit more tire and suspension noise, but anyone used to a combustion engine vehicle will nonetheless give it two thumbs up.

Telling the iX3 apart from the combustion X3 is already hard outside, but it’s even more so inside. If it weren’t for the blue starter button and a few more blue accents, you’d never guess you weren’t behind the wheel of the regular model. But again, that’s the point. Besides, the X3 already has one of the best executed cabins in this price range, so why fix if it ain’t broke?

Ergonomics is tough to fault thanks to a logically arranged dashboard with proper knobs and buttons. The driving position is also spot-on. The iDrive system also remains one of the best in the business and is accessible either via a rotary controller between the front seats or via the 10.25-inch touchscreen. There are electric-specific menus and screens, but otherwise it’s very much standard BMW fare.

It’s worth mentioning at this point that the iX3 is made in China, but not that you can tell. The build quality, materials, and refinement are exactly what you’d get out of the Munich factory, or indeed the US factory where the normal X3 is made.

Now, because the iX3 doesn’t use a dedicated EV platform, there are some compromises when it comes to packaging. Mind you, you won’t complain if this were in a combustion engine vehicle, but compared to its rivals that ride on proper EV platforms, it just can’t hold a candle.

Those in front will have no problem as passengers will be treated to plenty of head and legroom, but the rear could certainly be roomier. Still, two large adults can sit comfortably at the back with knee and headroom to spare. Plus, the rear seats can be reclined too. But add a third passenger and things simply become agreeable (remember, the transmission tunnel of the regular X3’s still there). The same goes for the cargo hold which, at 510 liters, is big, but not as big as its rivals. It’s also smaller than the regular X3. And because of the battery pack, the underfloor storage can only accommodate the tools and tire inflator (the iX3 doesn’t ride on run-flats).

All in, the BMW iX3 is great to drive and is mighty practical for everyday driving. It’s great too for those who’d rather remain incognito. And with a P 4.990-million price tag, it comes across as great value too. The solitary variant comes fitted with the M Sport package that counts features such as 19-inch wheels, a power tailgate, Harman Kardon sound system, and panoramic sunroof as standard. The price tag also comes inclusive of a wall box charger too. Combine that with a lower running cost compared to its diesel-powered counterpart and it’s the pragmatic choice.

2023 BMW iX3 M Sport

click here for latest prices

Bottom Line
Pros Looks like a regular X3; well-balanced ride and handling; hard to fault ergonomics.
Cons Not as fast as other EVs, compromised packaging.
TL;DR It's the luxury all-electric SUV made for real people.
Year Introduced 2023
Warranty 5 years / 200,000 kilometers
8 years (for high-voltage battery)
The Basics
Body Type Mid-sized SUV
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/R
Under the Hood
Motor Type Electrically Excited Synchronous Motor
Maximum Output (BHP) 286
Maximum Torque (Nm) 400
Battery Size (kWh) 80 kWh (74 kWh usable)
Architecture (V) 400
Range, WLTP (km) 460
Range, As Tested (km) 385
Energy Consumption (km/kWh) 5.2 (average 18 km/h)
Estimated Charging Time, 1-Phase AC (0-100%) 7.5 hours
Estimated Charging Time, DC (10-80%) 0.53 hours
Charge Port Type 2 / CCS
Transmission Single Speed AT
Cruise Control Yes
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,734
Width (mm) 1,891
Height (mm) 1,668
Wheelbase (mm) 2,864
Curb Weight (kg) 2,185
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut (Adaptive)
Rear Suspension Independent, Multi-link (Adaptive)
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Vented Disc
Parking Brake Electronic, w/ Auto Hold
Tires Yokohama Advan Sport V107 BluEarth
245/50 R 19 W (f & r)
Recommend Tire Pressure (PSI) 39, front / 44, rear
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 8
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front & Rear
Parking Camera Yes, Rear
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR w/ pre-tensioners x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 3
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features Hill Descent Control
Tire Pressure Monitoring
Acoustic Protection for Pedestrians
Forward Collision Warning
Lane Departure Warning w/ Steering Intervention
Emergency Braking for Sides, Rear
Automatic Parking
Exterior Features
Headlights LED
Fog Lamps Rear (LED)
Light Operation Auto
Wiper Operation Rain-Sensing
Tailgate Power, w/ Hands-Free
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) Electric, 8-way, w/ Memory
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) Electric, 8-way
Seating Surface Leatherette (Senatec)
2nd Row 40/20/40 Split-Fold, Reclining, w/ Arm Rest
3rd Row None
Sunroof Yes
Multi-Information Display Yes, 12.3-inch
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, w/ Fold, Auto-dimming Driver Side
Rear View Mirror Auto-dimming
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Front, Dual Zone; Rear Single Zone, w/ Vents
Audio System Stereo
USB Type C
Smartphone Connectivity Apple CarPlay
Android Auto
# of Speakers 12, Harman Kardon
Steering Controls Yes


  1. I know this is the made in China BMW. Does that change anything from made in Germany BMW?

  2. Nothing wrong if made in China

    1. But of course better if made in Germany.

    2. In that case, you can't get one. Either made in USA or China. Of course, that's assuming you read the story before asking your question?

    3. Serious question.. Does it really matter to the intended target market where these cars are made? Or are the keyboard millinonaires the only ones who make a big deal out of it?


Feel free to comment or share your views. Comments that are derogatory and/or spam will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to moderate and/or remove comments.