Cars > Electric

My first EV experience with the BMW iX3

A Bimmer designed for both the present and the future generations

The author's first EV experience is with a brand familiar to her. PHOTO BY PATTY MORATO-ROA

I got to take an EV home to the family for the first time, and it was a Cashmere Silver BMW iX3.

I admit that I geeked out over the entire experience. I picked up the test unit at the BMW Greenhills showroom, and drove it into a car elevator so I could exit the building in style.

My nine-year-old daughterwho had no choice but to come to work with me that daythought that was pretty cool. Okay, I thought that was pretty cool.

The iX3 is a familiar package to those used to older BMWs. PHOTOS BY PATTY MORATO-ROA

I currently drive an E70 X5, and the comparison here is…actually, there is no comparison. We can keep talking about the BMW’s classic designs starting with the grille all we want, but coming face-to-face with fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology, I look at my daughter and think: “This isn’t your mother’s BMW no more.”

We can interpret this positively or negatively, but to disrupt, innovate, digitalize, and satisfy the need for climate-friendliness is the name of the game in the automotive industry. Having said this, these steps toward the future leave me with equal parts uncertainty and excitement.

The iX3 only comes with the M Sport appearance package. PHOTOS BY PATTY MORATO-ROA

Mixed reactions aside, I see the vision, and I’m starting to like it. The iX3 is my first fully electric test unit, so please bear with me for having been too excited to see things with a more discriminating eye.

The blue accents on the front and rear bumpers, the M leather steering wheel, the door sills as well as the M badges on parts of the exterior were some of the features I was enthusiastic about.

Although I did suffer some range anxiety after being handed the key.

The interior looks very familiar to the author. PHOTOS BY PATTY MORATO-ROA

The absence of an engine under that hood and having to rely on a charged batteryalbeit a generously charged one for the weekenddid lead to random intrusive thoughts about stalling in the middle of EDSA traffic without a clue on how to jump-start a vehicle that doesn’t have an engine.

That said, I had over 250km to consume, more than enough to go around for my usual family weekend routine. Yes, there is a learning curve, but it’s reasonable. The first is the sound, or rather the absence of it (at least from the inside).

It wasn't so hard for the author to adjust to the EV life. PHOTOS BY RB ROA

“Is it on?” was the copy-paste question asked by every single person who joined me on my drives as soon as I pressed the start button. I did have to double-check every so often as to whether I turned everything off before alighting and locking up.

In terms of acceleration, the response is also slightly different. It took me a while to get used to the way the car slowed down when I lifted the accelerator pedal.

It’s not exactly abrupt, but it’s also not what I am accustomed to. However, the differences here and there are moderate, and it didn’t take as much getting used to as I had thought it would.

The iX3 is well-equipped for the lineup. PHOTOS BY RB ROA AND PATTY MORATO-ROA

Differences aside, the iX3 was a pleasure to take around. All that quiet inside made me appreciate the Harman Kardon surround-sound even more. Paired with ambient lighting, the experience is complete.

Another cool feature would be the acoustic protection for pedestrians. It’s actually a speaker that generates noise to alert pedestrians. I’m giving my age away when I say it sounds like The Jetsons and not at all like a typical car engine.

Having the iX3 for the weekend was indeed such a novelty. I was surprised as much as relieved to discover that the adjustments required of me to navigate my first electric vehicle were actually pretty minor.

This electric future is not meant for the author, but for her daughter. PHOTOS BY RB ROA

At times, I did forget it was an EV. I appreciate how I eased into “the future” so seamlessly considering my initial views and preconceived notions. I may still have a few reservations about the need for a fully electric future.

I still have so many questions, but either because I geeked out too much, or maybe because the iX3 was actually such an enjoyable drive that I’ve come to look at EVs in a much better light.

The focus on an environmentally healthy future is for the next generation to enjoy. So, it might not be your mother’s BMW anymore, because perhaps it was designed for your daughter.

Patty Morato-Roa

Patty had an early career as a TV and print model. She was also immersed in the motoring world at a young age having spent her childhood around annual car shows. She has worked as an editorial assistant, and dabbles in photography as well. She’s a wife of an avid motorcycle rider and a mom of two.