This plug-in version of the X3 sits near the top of the X3 range, eclipsed only by the M40i performance variant and the fully-electric iX3. This means a starting price of $104,900, which initially doesn’t bode too well for the BMW given its rivals can be had at a lower price.
The similarly-specified Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e starts from $95,700, the Volvo XC60 Recharge starts from $97,990, and the impressively-specified newcomer on the block, the Lexus NX450h+ is the best value of the lot at just $89,900.
You’ll note all of those plug-in models are of the higher specification in their respective ranges, with each manufacturer clearly trying to draw buyers into this tough-to-understand tech by compensating the curious with gear which would otherwise be optional on a pure combustion car.
There are technical elements which play into the value of each when it comes to the PHEV drivetrain which we’ll look at later in this review (it’s particularly important when it comes to how you use and park your car) but we can at least say the X3 xDrive30e comes with a healthy amount of equipment.
Most of this matches the xDrive 30d below it, including large 20-inch alloy wheels, a set of M sport trims, brakes, and adaptive suspension, 'Vernasca’ leather interior trim, adaptive LED headlights and LED tail-lights, ambient interior lighting, a 12.3-inch multimedia touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and built-in navigation, a second 12.3-inch screen for the ‘Live Cockpit’ digital instrument cluster, tri-zone climate control, a head-up display, electrical adjust for the driver and front passenger seats, a 12-speaker sound system, and the functionality for over-the-air updates.
The specific inclusions for the xDrive30e include free optional paint colours, a panoramic sunroof, lumbar support in the driver’s seat, front seat heating, wall socket to Type 2 and Type 2 to Type 2 public charging cables, and specific i-branded interior elements.
Normally the sunroof and premium paint are part of a $5400 option pack, while the heated seats, steering wheel, and lumbar support seats are normally a $1200 option, meaning the PHEV variant only leaves you $3400 and a set of ‘Laserlight’ LED headlights worse-off than if you were to apply the same options to the xDrive30d.
Not bad considering it also packs a 12kWh Lithium battery under the boot floor, and a secondary electric motor integrated into its transmission. More on this later.