It’s been nearly four months since the BMW X3 xDrive30e was launched in Malaysia, but we finally managed to get up close and personal with the plug-in hybrid SUV. As you’d expect, we captured a full photo gallery for you to pore over all the details.
First, let’s talk pricing. The xDrive30e is just over RM8,000 cheaper than the petrol-powered xDrive30i, retailing at RM321,139 with the standard two-year, unlimited-mileage warranty – or RM339,989 with a five-year warranty and service package. Both figures are on-the-road without insurance, inclusive of the full sales and service tax (SST) rebate, which is only available until the end of next month. With SST included, the numbers jump up to RM337,950 and RM356,800 respectively.
For that, you get the same plug-in hybrid powertrain as the 330e, led by a B48 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 184 PS from 5,000 to 6,500 rpm and 300 Nm of torque between 1,350 and 4,000 rpm. Those are the same outputs as the base sDrive20i.
Sandwiched between it and the ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox is a 50 kW (68 PS) electric motor, contributing to a total system output of 252 PS and 420 Nm of torque. Peak electric power of 80 kW (109 PS) is available under hard acceleration using the XtraBoost function, enabling the xDrive30e to make up to 292 PS for up to ten seconds. In this mode, the car is able to sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds, two tenths of a second quicker than the xDrive30i. Both of these models are all-wheel drive, incidentally.
Meanwhile, a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery, mounted above the rear axle, allows the xDrive30e to drive on electric power alone for up to 50 km on the WLTP cycle; it also helps it deliver a low (claimed) combined fuel consumption figure of between 2.0 and 2.6 litres per 100 km. Charging the battery takes 3.6 hours using a 3.7 kW AC wallbox, or around six hours with a domestic three-pin socket.
So apart from what’s under the bonnet, what sets the xDrive30e apart from the rest of the G01 X3 range? Not much, actually. You get the same updated styling that was introduced on the facelift, including slimmer trapezoidal headlights (adaptive LED units with hexagonal daytime running lights come as standard), a larger conjoined grille and pincer-style three-dimensional taillights.
The M Sport package, common to all X3s in Malaysia, throws on a large six-point centre air intake, L-shaped corner inlets, body-coloured cladding and a large diffuser-style rear bumper insert with trapezoidal tailpipes. Even the wheels are the same 20-inch Style 787 M two-tone alloys as the xDrive30i, hiding the same M Sport brakes with striking blue callipers.
Aside from the obvious charging port door on the left front fender (now emblazoned with the “electrified by i” badge), the xDrive30e’s unique aesthetic touches are limited blue rings around all of the BMW roundels. The latter extends to the inside, where the car also receives a brushed surface for the aluminium trim rather than the darkened rhombic pattern on other X3s.
The rest of the cabin is as per the petrol-powered variants, heavily revised and featuring a similar angular design to the G20 3 Series. The M Sport additions here consist of a thicker M Sport steering wheel, sports seats, alloy pedals, black headlining and M-badged side sill scuff plates. You still get Vernasca leather upholstery and a Sensatec faux leather-wrapped dashboard.
The position of the battery means that the boot of the xDrive30e is a full 100 litres smaller than the regular X3 at 450 litres. The higher boot floor also creates a small lip (covered by a stainless steel panel), plus a slight downwards step further back when the rear seats are folded, so the load bay is not completely flat. Even so, maximum luggage capacity is an impressive 1,500 litres, so you’re not losing out too much.
In terms of tech, the xDrive30e inherits the upgraded BMW Live Cockpit Professional infotainment system from the xDrive30i, incorporating twin 12.3-inch displays. The 16-speaker, 464-watt Harman Kardon surround sound system is also carried over, although the car at least gets a 360-degree camera system (a simple reverse camera is fitted to other models) to make up for the modest price decrease.
Otherwise, the equipment list is identical to the xDrive30i’s and include passive dampers (no stiffer M Sport suspension on PHEV BMWs), keyless entry with proximity locking and unlocking, push-button start, triple-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats with driver’s side memory and bolster width adjustment, a panoramic sunroof, passive cruise control, park assist, and a hands-free powered tailgate.
Safety-wise, the X3 comes as standard with the Driving Assistant Package, which includes autonomous emergency braking, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert with collision prevention. Six airbags, stability control and rear ISOFIX child seat anchors are fitted as usual.
The X3 comes in four colours, including the solid Alpine White (fitted to this unit) and metallic Brooklyn Grey, Phytonic Blue and Carbon Black. The standard specification includes the black interior seen here, although you can get a Mocha brown interior with Alpine White and Carbon Black paint at no extra charge. Browse full specifications and equipment for the facelifted X3 on CarBase.my.
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