The UK's biggest car-buying brand explains its decision.

WhatCar? handed the 2021 BMW iX3 its "2021 Best Large Electric SUV" award, and explained the decision in the video above. 

The BMW iX3 has a starting price of £61900 in the UK which translates to $84,318 in the US. That puts the iX3 in direct competition with electric vehicles such as the Audi e-tron, the Jaguar I-Pace, the Mercedes EQC, and the Tesla Model X.

BMW iX3

BMW elected not to import the iX3 to North America (at least for the moment), just as Mercedes decided against offering the EQC in the US and Canada. Perhaps that's partially due to the fact that both Audi and Jaguar have struggled to get much sales traction for the all-electric offerings that those companies have in Noth America. 

Even Tesla has seen Model X sales drop dramatically in the past two years. Perhaps the market for $75,000+ all-electric SUVs in North America just isn't there at the moment. It will be interesting to see how well the Rivian R1S does once it's available. We're pretty sure the initial demand will be robust, but with that wane after the first year or so? Time will tell. 

BMW iX3 specs:

  • EPA: 255 mi (410 km) *Estimated
    WLTP: 286 mi (460 km)
    NEDC: 323 mi (520 km)
  • 80 kWh battery (74 kWh usable)
    10 modules, 188 prismatic cells supplied by CATL, 400 V system
  • 0-62 mph (100 km/h) 6.8 seconds 
  • Top speed of 112 mph (180 km/h)
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Peak system output of 282 hp (210 kW) 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque
    current-excited synchronous motor, without the use of magnets
  • AC charging (on-board): 7.5 hours using 11 kW three-phase on-board charger
  • DC fast charging: 34 minutes to 80% (using 150 kW charger)
  • A heat pump system is standard
  • Curb weight 4,817 lbs DIN (2,185 kg)
  • Towing capacity up to 1,653 lbs (750 kg)

Gallery: BMW iX3 Premier Edition

Various What Car? editors and reviewers chime in to explain why they chose the BMW iX3 as the best large electric SUV for 2021. They site reasons including:

  • Good range - better than Audi e-tron
  • Enjoyable to drive
  • Agile driving
  • Brisk Performance
  • Roomy, well-made interior
  • One of the best infotainment systems available today
  • Composed with good traction in turns
  • Great over bumps
  • No compromise in space from the battery

The iX3 does sound like a nice electric package, but the price is going to be a limiting factor for sure, and most likely a big reason we don't get this EV in the US. It's also interesting to hear What Car? call the iX3 a "large" SUV. Here in the land of Ford Expeditions and Cadillac Escalades, the BMW X3 is classified as a "Compact luxury crossover SUV" or just a "Compact Sport Utility Vehicle", it's funny how that works. 

So check out the video and let us know if you agree with What Car?, or if you're more aligned with Carwow, which recently reviewed the iX3 and offered a very different opinion of the new electric Bimmer.