At long last, we managed to snag the BMW iX and iX3 in their range-topping Sport and M Sport Impressive trims, giving us a good look at both cars out in the open air. This gives us a good opportunity to put Munich’s two electric SUVs side-by-side for a full gallery, which you can peruse below.
Sitting as the entry into electric BMW ownership (well, until the iX1 arrives), the iX3 can be had under the RM300,000 mark, although this Impressive variant carries a price tag of RM318,609, The larger iX in its sportier, um, Sport form is yours for RM396,714.
Both figures are on-the-road without insurance, inclusive of a two-year, unlimited-mileage warranty and an eight-year/160,000 km battery warranty. You can, of course, get these cars with the full six-year warranty and service package, which will bump the prices to RM334,249 and RM415,084 respectively.
These numbers also include the sales and service tax (SST) rebate valid for another three days; they will increase to RM328,160 and RM407,430 from July 1 onwards, or RM343,800 and RM425,800 with the warranty and service package. A Power Package, which adds a 22 kW BMW i Wallbox AC charger and a Type 2 charging cable, costs an additional RM5,000 on the iX3 and RM4,600 on the iX.
Let’s start with the more expensive of the two, the iX. We’ve shot the regular xDrive40 before (you can watch the video review here), but this is the first time we’ve gotten our hands on the Sport. The more aggressive front and rear bumpers – the former with triangular black panels, the latter with a body-coloured diffuser – are unique to this car, as are the gloss black body cladding and larger 22-inch Style 1020 two-tone alloy wheels.
Inside, the minimalist cabin has been dressed up with black headlining, a Sky Lounge panoramic glass sunroof, crystal glass switchgear (including the iDrive rotary dial) and open pore decorative trim. The Mocha or Black Sensatec faux leather upholstery and Gold Bronze interior accents continue to be part of the standard specification.
Other bits of kit unique to the Sport are Laserlight headlamps with blue detailing, blue brake callipers, a 360-degree camera system and an 18-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. These add to the iX’s standard equipment, which include keyless entry, push-button start, four-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats with driver’s side memory, a Qi wireless charger, park assist and the BMW Curved Display that incorporates a 12.3-inch instrument display and 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen.
The Sport variant retains the xDrive40’s mechanicals, with twin electric motors developing a sum total o 240 kW (326 PS) and 630 Nm of torque. So equipped, the X will sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds and reach an electronically-limited top speed of 200 km/h. A 76.6 kWh lithium-ion battery provides a range of 425 km on the WLTP cycle.
The iX accepts up to 11 kW of AC charging, meaning that it won’t be able make full use of the optional wallbox’s output; a full charge takes seven hours and 15 minutes. The car will also support up to 150 kW of DC fast charging, filling the battery from 10% to 80% in 31 minutes.
Now, let’s move on to the iX3. Imported from the BMW Brilliance plant in Shenyang, China, it’s powered by a single rear motor producing 210 kW (286 PS) and 400 Nm, enabling it to get from zero to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds before topping out at 180 km/h.
While the 73.8 kWh lithium-ion battery is smaller than that of the iX, its lighter weight and lower power allow it to be more efficient, with a range of between 453 and 461 km on the WLTP cycle. Despite its slightly smaller capacity, the pack actually takes a little longer to charge than the iX’s – around seven and a half hours with 11 kW of AC power, or 32 minutes with a 150 kW DC fast charger.
The iX3 is based on the facelifted X3 and, like its Malaysian-spec petrol siblings, comes with the M Sport package as standard. The Impressive variant is again set apart via Laserlight lamps and larger wheels (20-inch Style 890 M rollers here), plus acoustic glass front side windows, gesture control, a 16-speaker, 464-watt Harmon Kardon sound system, a 360-degree camera system and IconicSounds Electric driving sounds.
Otherwise, the standard specification is identical to the lower-end Inspiring and includes keyless entry, push-button start, Vernasca leather upholstery, a Sensatec-wrapped dashboard, brushed aluminium trim, galvanic silver switchgear, adaptive dampers, power-adjustable front seats with heating and driver’s side memory, triple-zone automatic climate control, a Qi wireless charger, a panoramic glass sunroof, park assist and a hands-free powered tailgate.
Impressively (pun completely intended), both cars you see here come with the full Driving Assistant Professional package, offering autonomous emergency braking, evasive steering assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane centring assist, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. A tyre pressure monitoring system and adaptive high beam are also standard-fit.
GALLERY: BMW iX xDrive40 Sport in Malaysia
GALLERY: BMW iX3 M Sport Impressive in Malaysia