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Following the i3 and i8, the BMW iX3 is the brand’s first electric SUV and the winner of this Year’s Business Motoring Awards Best Medium SUV category.

And the electric model has a good  base to start from – the X3 in petrol, diesel and hybrid form, is BMW’s best-selling car. The electric version has been added to the existing hardware so outwardly little looks different from the rest of the range which was recently face-lifted.

What is different is the 282bp, 74kW electric motor which is not the biggest around but it does have a WLTP range of 285 miles. This is BMW’s latest generation of battery, electronics and motor. The battery has much improved energy density allowing more ‘oomph’ from a smaller size.

It has smart looks, comfortable and practical interior and great to drive. With the iX3, the German brand has fettled its existing model to accommodate the battery pack. This is placed below the floor which has an effect on interior space as well as reducing ground clearance – which is not entirely ideal with an SUV/Crossover, but compromises are only to be expected when adapting an existing model.

The car’s automatic regeneration system is pretty clever. It takes signals from the sat-nav to anticipate junctions, tight bends and speed limits while the radar sensors pick up traffic speeds in front. This means that when you lift off the accelerator the system sets the regeneration level to try to slow you smoothly down.

As ever on BMWs, there’s a lot of technology available and the brand has come a long way in reducing the amount of switchgear and dials over the years. It’s all easy enough to use with proper knobs and buttons to control climate and driving modes and assists.

Everything is kept pretty simple although you can go deeper into the car’s systems and settings by using the infotainment screen.

While standard equipment levels are high, there is an options list which, according to BMW, has been ‘carefully curated’. This may be as a result of the current semiconductor shortages, so more may become available in time.

The BMW Live Cockpit Professional 12.3” display provides the information your drivers want, when they want it. Intelligent Driving systems from BMW ConnectedDrive offer assistance with navigating busy traffic and effortless

The 510-litre luggage compartment provides plenty of room for every outing, while the luxurious cabin features generous legroom to ensure each passenger travels in comfort. The BMW iX3 M Sport offers user-choosers the best of both worlds – delivering a high performance (0-62mph acceleration in just 6.8 seconds), while allowing maximum comfort with 5 doors and 5 seats

BMW also gives figures on full-life CO2. For example, run the iX3 on green electricity will see a reduction of 60% in CO2 over the equivalent diesel version. Even the cobalt and lithium are fully audited for fair production.

Business Motoring BMW iX3 review here.

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