The first local EV launch of the year is courtesy of SMC Asia Car Distributors Corporation with the BMW iX3, which is the Bavarian automaker’s most affordable all-electric option (until the iX1 arrives on our shores, that is).
Unlike its futuristic, head-turning sibling (the iX), this electric Sports Activity Vehicle aims to ease existing customers into the world of electric motoring by offering a different approach—literally by turning the X3 electric.
The sole variant is the iX3 M Sport package with the “Inspiring” equipment line, which comes with the M Aerodynamic Package, the M Shadow Line (black accents), the 19-inch alloy wheels, and the adaptive LED headlights.
Otherwise, you’re looking at an LCI (face-lifted) X3, just with blue accents and a closed-off grille. That’s it. Nothing too alienating with this vehicle’s exterior.
The vehicle is underpinned by the fifth-generation eDrive system, and comes with a single-motor mounted at the rear good for 286hp and 400Nm. Zero-to-100km/h time is 6.8 seconds, and the top speed is limited to 180km/h.
There is a 74kWh (80kWh total) battery pack that is supposedly good for up to 460km of range, and it can fast-charge (via a Type 2/CCS) at a rate of up to 150kW to either add 100km of range in 10 minutes or put in an 80% charge in 34 minutes.
The cabin also has that familiar experience for previous-generation BMW owners, as it still utilizes the iDrive 7 system (with physical climate control buttons). This has a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and an infotainment screen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, and a Harman Kardon sound system to play the Hans Zimmer-composed “Iconic Sounds” driving effects as you putter along silently.
You get an interior with a panoramic glass roof, three-zone climate control, ambient lighting, black Sensatec leather, open-pored ash trunk wood trim with Pearl Chrome accents, and blue accents scattered all around the cabin to let you know you are driving an electric car.
The rear row still has a transmission tunnel as the platform is shared with its ICE counterpart. Rear trunk space comes in at a still-practical 510L, which can be expanded all the way to 1,560L with the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats.
Safety-wise, it comes with High Beam Assistant, Parking Assistant, Cruise Control with braking function, Acoustic Protection for pedestrians (EV sound emitter), Active Protection, Park Distance Control with front and rear parking sensors, and a tire pressure monitoring system.
The EV will be priced at P4.59 million. BMW Philippines will throw in a free wall box charger that will be installed in the customer’s home, and will come with the standard five-year comprehensive factory warranty and a six-year BMW Service Inclusive warranty. The battery will have an eight-year warranty.