New hybrid BMW X3 xDrive30e: specs, prices and range

BMW continues its electric vehicle offensive with plug-in hybrid versions of its X3 SUV

James Wilson
Jan 24, 2020

As part of a mass update to its hybrid offerings, BMW has revealed the new X3 xDrive30e plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). Prices start at £47,565 and order books are now open. All-electric range is promised to be up to 34 miles and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are claimed to be just 49g/km.

BMW is doing its best to stay ahead in the fast-paced world of electric cars thanks to a total of six PHEV models that are either currently on sale or about to be. The X3 xDrive30e is one of the latest models to join BMW’s bank of hybrids and has a tough job on its hands thanks to some very competent competition – chief amongst which is the Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine.

Quick facts

  • New plug-in hybrid X3 model
  • Prices start from £47,565
  • Claimed electric range of 34 miles
  • CO2 emissions as low as 49g/km
  • Total power output of 252hp
  • Order books opened December 2019

The X3 sits in the middle of BMW’s SUV line-up, offering the kind of size and practicality that will easily handle the demands of being a family car or even chauffeuring a dog or two. That is not to mean it has limited appeal, though – the previous generation X3 attracted buyers from all walks of life thanks to a refined driving experience, solid build quality and decent performance.

Why has BMW added a hybrid? To try and meet market demand - this is evident in the release of X5 and X1 hybrids as well. Governments and buyers want reduced exhaust emissions and adding electric motors and batteries is one way to do this. That said, there is more to know about the new BMW X3 xDrive30e than the fact it has a few extra wires under the bonnet.

BMW X3 xDrive30e hybrid specs and models

Echoing the trim levels available with petrol and diesel X3 models, hybrid BMW X3s are offered in SE, xLine and M Sport guises. SE spec brings adaptive LED headlights, air-conditioning, Bluetooth, adaptive cruise control, electric folding mirrors, heated front seats, automatic tailgate and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Moving up to xLine spec brings LED fog lights, front sports seats, larger 19-inch alloys wheels and a smattering of interior and exterior styling tweaks. Finally, top of the range M Sport models boast an upgraded information and media system, 19-inch alloy wheels and more sporty exterior styling.

For those wanting as many bells and whistles as possible, BMW also offers a number of optional extras and/or bundles of kit referred to as ‘packs’. For example, there is the Premium Pack, which costs £1,930 and brings a panoramic roof, electronic memory front seats and front-seat lumbar support.

Likewise, there are Technology, Visibility, Comfort and M Sport Plus packages which cost £1,900, £495, £890 and £1,700 respectively. It is worth noting that not all standard trim levels are available with these packs, for example, only M Sport models can be specified with the M Sport Plus package.

BMW X3 xDrive30e hybrid prices

Production of the new BMW X3 xDrive30e in began December 2019, which means deliveries should realistically be expected by the end of 2020’s first quarter. Prices are naturally dependent on the trim you pick, with entry-level X3 xDrive30e SE models starting at £47,565, mid-range xLine models starting at £48,465 and range-topping M Sport models priced from £50,215.

Of course, should you get drawn into any optional extras the price will soon rise. There is good news for company car buyers, as thanks to low CO2 emissions, the benefit-in-kind rate for all models is just 16%.

BMW X3 xDrive30e hybrid performance

Underneath the body of all BMW X3 xDrive30e models is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine paired with an electric motor. These are connected to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and BMW’s four-wheel-drive xDrive system. All together the drivetrain produces a combined 252hp and 420Nm of torque.

Figures like these mean that sprinting from 0 to 62mph takes 6.1 seconds, which, for reference, is 0.4 seconds faster than the impressive Ford Fiesta ST hot hatch. Top speed sits at 130mph. BMW includes a system which gives a boost in performance when required, called XtraBoost, which brings another 41hp at the touch of a button.

Official figures for economy and CO2 emissions are claimed to be up to 128.4mpg and as low as 49g/km (respectively). Two things to note here, firstly, the equipment you spec can impact economy and emissions – large alloy wheels are normally quite damaging – and secondly, BMW isn’t quoting figures gained from the latest, most realistic emissions and economy test (called WLTP), meaning drivers should take these numbers with a pinch of salt.

BMW X3 xDrive30e hybrid electric range

With an all-electric range of 34 miles (courtesy of a Lithium-ion battery pack under the rear seats), most drivers should have enough charge to complete their daily commute without using a drop of petrol. BMW states it will take less than two hours and 36 minutes to charge a plug-in X3, although it quotes this figure using a 16 amp power supply – in the UK most domestic sockets are rated at just 13 amps.

For those who want a better battery-powered range, an all-electric X3 is expected to make its debut in 2020 – however details of its specification are thin on the ground presently.

BMW X3 xDrive30e hybrid rivals

The most obvious rival for the plug-in hybrid BMW X3 comes from Sweden in the form of a hybridised Volvo XC60. Across the board it is a close match. The X3 PHEV is more affordable, but the XC60 plug-in hybrid has more power. The BMW has a slightly longer all-electric range, but the XC60 has slightly lower CO2 emissions, and so on and so forth.

Volvo isn’t the only other manufacturer doing battle with BMW in this area of the car market, Audi is in there too thanks to the relatively recently launched Audi Q5 TFSI e. With an all-electric range of just 26 miles, the Audi seems a touch on the back foot, but it returns strong with a starting price of around £49,000 and decent performance (although though it is still massively lacking compared to the Volvo above).

Furthermore, if some of the claims car manufacturers are making come true, there will be many many more PHEV models to rival the X3 plug-in very soon. For example, Land Rover is working on a plug-in hybrid version of its Discovery Sport and Mercedes recently revealed a PHEV version of its GLC SUV.

The story doesn’t end there either, if you are looking for a more affordable option, Kia, Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Ford all offer (or will shortly be offering) plug-in hybrid SUVs.

BMW X3 xDrive30e hybrid technology

Technology available on the X3 xDrive30e is largely the same as that which comes with standard X3 models. That means an 8.8-inch central information and media unit takes centre stage on the dashboard, plus everything from adaptive cruise control and head-up display to BMW’s gesture control and adaptive headlights are available.

Hybrid buyers are treated to a unique digital cluster, which replaces traditional dials in front of the driver. Plus when driving under battery power alone and at low speeds, the BMW X3 xDrive30e makes a noise to alert pedestrians to its presence – this is actually a legal requirement under EU law.

Similar to its other models, BMW offers eDrive services with the X3 xDrive30e. This allows buyers to unlock their car, change the cabin temperature and even flash their car’s headlights from their smartphone.

BMW X3 xDrive30e hybrid design

Those hoping for a revolutionised interior and exterior design compared to non-hybrid models will be disappointed as most will be hard pushed to spot the difference. On the outside, the only obvious giveaways are the xDrive30e badging and charging flap found near the front left wheel arch. Inside, aside from the unique dash display and slightly less space in the boot, hybrid and non-hybrid models are identical.

BMW X3 xDrive30e hybrid dimensions

While the BMW xDrive30e is no city car, it is still much smaller than large SUVs such as the Range Rover and Audi Q7. X3 PHEV models measure in at 4,708mm long, 2,138mm wide (including wing mirrors) and 1,676 high. This helps translate to 450 litres of boot space, which is 100 litres down on non-hybrid models.

 

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