BMW X3 Hybrid xDrive30e

Plug-in hybrid version of best-selling X3 SUV.

BMW’s X3 has long been one of its most popular and successful models. Versatile and spacious, it’s big enough for a family and compact enough to slot into urban parking spaces. We’d call it an SUV because that’s how the sector is known, but BMW prefers ‘sports activity vehicle’, perhaps recognising that most are unlikely to be used for regular off-road duties. Now, the X3 gains a Plug-in Hybrid version, offering an appealing combination of performance and low emissions as well as a 34-mile EV-only range.

Design

From the outside there are few indications that this is an X3 with dual power sources. Look closely and you’ll see that the charging port is located on the left-hand side front wing and the model name appears on the right of the tailgate. Apart from that it’s pure X3; short overhangs, long bonnet, a pronounced horizontal shoulder line and balanced proportions. A well-judged blend of sophisticated and sporty, with a touch of rugged thrown in. Luggage space is an ample 450 litres with the rear seats up while the versatile 40:20:40 rear seating makes it easy to accommodate people, pets or sports kit. As with the other X3 models, the X3 xDrive 30e is available in SE, xLine and the range-topping M Sport trims.

BMW X3 Hybrid

Technology

As standard in SE trim the X3 xDrive30e features BMW Live Cockpit Plus with an 8.8-inch control display. Bluetooth hands-free phone operation, the BMW iDrive 6 System, natural voice commands and ambient lighting are also standard across the range. Move up to M Sport and the cockpit gets an upgrade to BMW Live Cockpit Professional with navigation function, which includes a digital 12.3" instrument display and high resolution 10.25" control display. Another option, BMW Icon Adaptive LED Headlights, combines BMW Selective Beam, cornering lights, daytime running lights and adaptive headlights.

BMW X3 Hybrid

Performance

The plug-in BMW hybrid powertrain of the 30e combines a 2.0-litre four-cylinder TwinPower turbo petrol engine with an electric motor for a combined output of 252hp, with a further 41hp temporarily available via XtraBoost, BMW’s on-demand performance system. Using the full 293hp potential of XtraBoost, the zero to 62mph sprint takes just 6.1 seconds. Power reaches the tarmac via an eight-speed transmission and BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system. The hybrid powertrain is impressively fuel efficient – the official figure for CO2 emissions is 49 g/km, with a WLTP combined fuel economy in the 128.4 – 117.7mpg range, depending on your chosen spec. However, these top line economy and emissions figures are dependent on taking full advantage of the battery and electric motor, which can deliver a 34-mile range in pure electric mode.

BMW X3 Hybrid

Safety

The X3 xDrive 30e comes as standard with front, side and overhead airbags to protect you should the worst happen. Active Guard, which is also standard, includes Frontal Collision Warning, Automatic City Collision Mitigation and Braking as well as Daytime Pedestrian Detection. The optional Active Protection system will pre-tension safety belts and close windows and sunroof if an accident is about to happen. After an accident occurs, the brakes are automatically applied until the car reaches a standstill. 

Verdict: The BMW X3’s credentials as the ultimate all-rounder are even more compelling when you factor in the new plug-in hybrid powertrain. The X3 xDrive 30e delivers exceptional CO2 and mpg figures as well as smooth, effortless performance when electric and petrol power are combined. And the 30+ mile EV range will enable many owners to commute to work with zero emissions.

BMW X3 Hybrid

X3 Hybrid 360° View