2020 BMW X3 Plug-in Hybrid SUV

#8
in Compact Suvs
2020 MODEL
$48,550
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8.0

Overall Rating

INDIGO

2020 BMW X3 plug-in hybrid SUV Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: July 17, 2020
Aditya Suresh's image

Aditya Suresh

Automotive Journalist

Electric vehicles were never meant to take your breath away, at least not all of them. But when you take in the BMW badge into the mix, it’s a whole other story. The sole purpose of buying a BMW is to get the driving experience you’ve always wanted. The plug-in-hybrid versions build by BMW caters to that need wholeheartedly. 

The X3 is an expression of power and poise. With the hybrid powertrain thrown into the mix, you get a crossover than handles like a sports car, cruises like a luxury sedan, taking all rough terrains like a piece of cake all the while having outstanding fuel efficiency.

See detailed review »

Pros

Spacious interior

Wide variety of personalization packages

Best in class torque delivery

Great driving dynamics

Best in class cargo capacity

Cons

Android Auto is absent

Stiffer suspension

Packages are heavily priced.

What's New?

A completely new variant for the US.


2020 BMW X3 plug-in hybrid SUV Latest Update

Features

vehicle bio

base price

$48550

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

130 mph

drivetrain

AWD

engine type

displacement

122 cu.in.

horsepower

180 hp

torque

310 lbs.-ft.

transmission

8-speed Steptronic transmission

chassis

frame type

Unibody

brake rotors (f/r)

12.1/12.1

dimensions

wheelbase

112.8 in.

length

185.9 in.

width

74.4 in.

height

66 in.

curb weight

4586 lbs.

capacity

passenger volume

101.4 cu ft.

cargo volume

62.7 cu ft.

towing capacity

4400 lbs.

payload capacity

904 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.1 sec.

standing ¼-mile

15.1 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

175 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

20/27/23 mpg

ev range

354 mi.

highway range (evs/hybrids)

477.9 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr. /50000 mi.

corrosion warranty

12 yr. /unlimited

roadside assistance

4 yr. /unlimited


Pictures & Videos

Exterior
Interior
Videos
2020 BMW X3 plug-in hybrid SUV Exterior video
2020 BMW X3 plug-in hybrid SUV Review video

Styles

2020 BMW X3 plug-in hybrid SUV in Alpine White color 2020 BMW X3 plug-in hybrid SUV in Black Sapphire Metallic color 2020 BMW X3 plug-in hybrid SUV in Carbon Black Metallic color 2020 BMW X3 plug-in hybrid SUV in Dark Olive Metallic color 2020 BMW X3 plug-in hybrid SUV in Jet Black color
Alpine White

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

8.5

Engine And Performance

8.0

Fuel Economy

8.0

Interior

8.5

Exterior

8.0

Safety

8.0

Competition

7.5

8.0

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2020 BMW X3 plug-in hybrid SUV 30e

30e

power
180 hp
fuel
Premium unleaded
mpg
23 combined

$48,550


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
xDrive30e 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 8A) Starting at $48,550 MSRP (20/23/27) 180 hp, 2 L, Inline 4, premium unleaded
8-speed Steptronic transmission all wheel drive 5

Expert Review

8.0

Overall Rating


BMW X3 plug-in-hybrid is the perfect balance between efficiency and power. From the scintillating yet smooth drive from the electric motors to the loud roar from the fuel-injected gasoline engines, the BMW packs everything for you in the nimble X3. The 2020 BMW X3 hybrid version comes in a single trim named as the xDrive 30e, the x standing for an AWD setup. Although you can opt from a wide range of feature-rich packages. 

X3 plug-in-hybrid comes with a single-engine option-a 2.0L inter-cooled turbocharged inline-4 and an electric motor that is rated at 80 kilowatts. The X3 goes up against some of the heavyweights in this segment such as the Audi Q5 plug-in-hybrid, Mercedes Benz GLC 350e, and the NX 300h from the Japanese seasoned automaker Lexus.

2020 BMW X3 plug-in-hybrid SUV Side View
2020 BMW X3 plug-in-hybrid SUV Side View

8.5/10
Features

 

8.0/10
Engine and Performance

 

8.0/10
Fuel Economy

 

8.5/10
Interior

 

8.0/10
Exterior

 

8.0/10
Safety

 

7.5/10
Competition

 
 

2020 BMW X3 plug-in hybrid SUV Features

8.5/10

The X3 xDrive 30e is a one-off trim level, which comes under BMW’s hybrid badge. It belts out 288 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. And as it’s an xDrive, it comes as a standard AWD.

Model

X3 xDrive30e

MSRP (2.0L turbo I-4 + 12 kWh battery)/(AWD)

$48,550

Key Features

Dynamic Cruise Control

 

3-spoke power telescopic leather-wrapped multi-function sport steering wheel with controls

 

Live Cockpit Professional

 

Automatic 3-zone climate control including micro-filter and automatic air recirculation

 

Park Distance Control, front, and rear

 

18" Y-spoke wheels with all-season run-flat tires

 

Chrome exhaust tips

Featured Packages

Package

Convenience

Premium

Executive

MSRP

$2,250

$4,000

$6,750

Key features

Lumbar Support

In addition to the features from the convenience trim

In addition to the features from the premium trim

 

Comfort Access keyless entry

Heated front seats

Gesture control

 

Panoramic moonroof

Head-up display

Surround View with 3D View

 

SiriusXM Satellite Radio with a 1-year subscription

Heated steering wheel

Ambient lighting

     

Adaptive full LED lights

     

Active Park Distance Control

     

Automatic High beams

What do we recommend?

The BMW X3 xDrive 30e does great in terms of performance, the car delivers punchy acceleration and great power delivery, backed with a subtle interior finish. However, if only the best of the best can impress you, we’d suggest you go for any one of the available features packages namely Convenience, Premium, and Executive, with the feature list getting bigger as you go up the ladder.

2020 BMW X3 plug-in hybrid SUV Engine and Performance

8.0/10

It’s not often, that you test a hybrid version of a car for its performance characteristics. But when that hybrid has a BMW badge on the nose, you are bound to know that the Bavarians have put the same amount of effort into showing its performance prowess as much as their expensive taste and fuel efficiency. The hybrid powertrain is shared with the 330e sedan. The engine is a mild yet efficient 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 engine and an electric motor that is rated at 80 kilowatts, all of them which are integrated through a slick 8-speed Sport Automatic transmission. Together, they belt out a combined output of 288hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. The power delivery is so much more visible off the line with the electric motor buldging out an additional 41hp, as if though you feel there were six cylinders under the hood, not four.

Models

BMW X3 

Audi Q5

Lexus NX 300h

Mercedes Benz GLC 350e *

MSRP

$48,550

$52,900

$46,160

$50,650

Engine

2.0 L Intercooled Turbo Gas/Electric Inline-4

2.0 L Inline-4

2.5L DOHC 16V Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

2.0 L Inline-4

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

8-speed Sport Automatic

7-speed automated manual

Electronically Controlled CVT with Paddle Shifters

7-speed shiftable automatic

Horsepower (hp)

288

362

194

241

Torque(lb.ft)

310

369

258

273

Despite having a small engine, Audi has done a commendable job in generating so much power from a 2.0L engine. The Bimmer comes a close second in terms of power delivery. The rest of the competition lies far behind while talking of performance prowess.

How fast it the BMW X3 off the line?

As mentioned above, the torque delivery at full throttle is so much more efficient and effortless, that the 0-60 MPH run is pegged at a respectable 5.9 seconds and a top speed capped at a healthy 130 mph. Quarter mile time for the non-hybrid X3 has been included, but then we have no doubt, that the 2020 BMW X3 plug-in-hybrid will cross the quarter-mile mark in under 15 seconds. The X3 PHEV takes on more aggressively than any of its competitors, and that’s what gives it the edge over the rest.

2020 BMW X3 Plug-in-hybrid 0-60 MPH in just 5.9 sec

Model

BMW X3 

Audi Q5

Lexus NX 300h

Mercedes Benz GLC 350e *

0-60 MPH(sec)

5.9

5.0

9.1

6.2

Quarter Mile(sec)

15.1

13.6

15.3

-

Top Speed(MPH)

130

130

124 (electronically limited)

130

Engine

2.0 L Intercooled Turbo Gas/Electric Inline-4

2.0 L Inline-4

2.5L DOHC 16V Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

2.0 L Inline-4

Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/yr)

5.5

2.7

4.7

3.9

Audi Q5 plug-in hybrid has the best in class off-the-mark capabilities as it can shoot from 0-60 mph in just 5.0 seconds, while all the other cars need more than 5 seconds to showcase this skill. Major credit for this sprint goes to the power figure difference between the Audi Q5 and all the other rides. Lexus, on the other hand having the biggest engine of the lot and being the lightest of the lot, fails to leave a mark with its below-par, 9.1 seconds 0-60 haul.

What’s the handling like of the BMW X3?

This SAV(Sports Activity Vehicle) is clearly suited for an urban environment as well as for rough terrain. The combined duo of the inline-4 and the electric motor produces power that is effortless and easy on your hands. This helps to haul the Bimmer crossover to be trashed around on corners and mile-long straights. with pretty much no effort whatsoever. The electric powertrain also provides easy and quiet motoring throughout. The X3’s suspension might annoy some people. The X3’s abilities are reserved in the suburbs and it waits for the chance to be let loose on open mountain switchback roads, where it calls it a home. Bimmer’s hefty weight is an acceptable fact. However, the body roll does not really affect this car’s stability, as the ride feels planted at all times without ever losing its line. 

2020 BMW X3 Plug-in-hybrid Front View

What about the braking performance?

The BMW X3 plug-in-hybrid is a great sprinter, no doubt about it! But with that, she is also a great halter. The X3 plug-in-hybrid comes equipped with standard low-speed automatic emergency braking, which is a great addition. But as the X3 is dubbed as a performance-oriented crossover, large brake rotor discs will be required to bring this heavyweight to a complete halt. And evidently so, the Bimmer is equipped with 13-inch rotors both in the front and the rear. 

Model

BMW X3 

Audi Q5

Lexus NX 300h

Mercedes Benz GLC 350e *

Brake Rotors front (in.)

13.0

13.7

11.7

14.2

Brake Rotors Rear (in.)

13.0

13.0

11.2

12.6

Curb Weight (lbs.)

4586

4685

4180

4564

60-0 MPH (ft.)

114

112

128

115

Unfortunately, the stopping distance for none of the vehicles in this segment is mentioned albeit the NX 300h which stops at a competitive 128 ft. Although in retrospect, the GLC 350e should stop better, with the largest brake rotor discs of the bunch, but with it being on the heavier side of the spectrum, you never know how far it goes before coming to a complete halt. 

2020 BMW X3 plug-in hybrid SUV Fuel Economy

8.0/10

It is pretty difficult to judge the fuel efficiency of the X3’s hybrid version, as BMW has yet not let out the MPG figures for the same, and hence it wouldn’t make sense to compare it with the other SUVs in the segment. But one slight hindrance is that the US customers might have to wait for a bit longer, as BMW needs to tailor to the US-market emissions rules. For people hell-bent on having an all-electric vehicle. Our recommendation would be to wait for a bit longer as BMW said it will introduce an all-electric X3 in late 2020.

Model

BMW X3 

Audi Q5

Lexus NX 300h

Mercedes Benz GLC 350e *

MPG (city)

20

25

33

22

MPG (highway)

27

29

30

27

MPGe (combined)

60

65

-

56

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

13.2

15.3

14.8

13.2

Range

(City/Hwy/Combined) (mi)

354.0/477.9 407.0/499.5

488/444

382.8/469.8

The Lexus NX 300h being the lightest of the bunch is the most fuel-efficient offering of the bunch with it giving 33 MPG in the city and 30 on the highway. Apart from the Lexus, Audi also has done a fine job in giving 65 Miles to the gallon which is pretty good in this segment, considering its the heaviest of the lot.

2020 BMW X3 plug-in hybrid SUV Interior

8.5/10

Compared to the X3’s predecessors, it offers higher quality and a much better touch and feel. BMWs interior quality is unmatched. The X3 plug-in hybrid is no 7 series on the inside, but it comes with the same high-end features associated with a BMW badge. The cabin is spacious and provides comfortable seating for 5. The standard bolstered seats are fantastic to look at as well as extremely comfortable. These adjust to about 10 different ways. They have adequate space in the rear to accommodate 3 average-sized adults, but when it comes to headroom, because of its sloping roofline, some might find it a bit less.

2020 BMW X3 Plug-in-hybrid Front Seats

Model

BMW X3 

Audi Q5

Lexus NX 300h

Mercedes Benz GLC 350e *

Passenger Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

41.1/57.6/40.3

41.7/57.7/41.0

37.4/57.3/42.8

37.8/57.3/40.8

Rear (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

39.1/56.0/36.4

39.3/56.5/37.8

38.0/55.3/36.1

38.5/56.5/37.3

The X3 plug-in-hybrid outright offers better usage of cabin space with more passenger volume than the rest. The rest of the competition are on par with each other in terms of providing adequate space in the headroom and legroom department.

What are the interior features on offer:

  • Climate- control temperature and air-distribution settings
  • Tilt/telescopic steering wheel column
  • Dual cupholders in front and rear
  • Privacy glass
  • 10-way power front seats including 2-way power side bolster.
  • Leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel
  • HiFi Sound System with 12-speakers and a 205-watt digital amplifier

Infotainment:

In the X3 hybrid, BMW offers the latest iDrive technology, which includes the biggest and baddest infotainment screen in the segment, a 10.25” central infotainment display. The interface is also pretty intuitive. You can make use of the screen via touch, gesture, voice command option or the i-Drive controller stacked down below. However, Android Auto is still absent while Apple CarPlay is present. One more added feature, that is of massive use to the owners is the “Intelligent Personal Assistant” voice recognition software, which is pretty responsive and answers questions like, Where can I charge? And it points you to the nearest charging booth. 

What are the infotainment features on offer:

  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio Tuner
  • BMW TeleServices
  • Apple CarPlay
  • ConnectedDrive Services
  • USB audio connection and hands-free Bluetooth including audio streaming

How big is the Cargo Space?

The BMW X3 plug-in-hybrid offers a generous amount of space beneath its trunk hood, with a cargo volume of 27.2 cubic feet. The layout of the trunk has a wide and deep orientation which makes it suited to store a number of bags. The trunk opens wide, which makes the process of loading and unloading stuff a mere cakewalk. 

Model

BMW X3 

Audi Q5

Lexus NX 300h

Mercedes Benz GLC 350e *

Cargo capacity(cu.ft)

27.2

25.1

16.8

19.4

The BMW X3 again due to it’s longer wheelbase manages to take the crown as it offers the best in class cargo space of 27.2 cu.ft. The Lexus NX 300h finishes last with the least cargo space of 16.8 cu.ft.

2020 BMW X3 Plug-in-hybrid Interior
2020 BMW X3 Plug-in-hybrid Interior

2020 BMW X3 plug-in hybrid SUV Exterior

8.0/10

The front end is definitely an expression of power and poise with a bold looking double kidney grille. BMWs dynamic proportions are always a treat to watch out for. These powerful sculpted surfaces make an explicit statement of robustness. One major plus point is that BMW has not gone with the haunched back roof which one couldn’t ignore in its elder siblings. Instead, they have stuck to the original sporty flat roofline. The full-LED taillights give a 3-dimensional view and emphasize on how wide the X3 is. The best part about the X3 is that it is so low and planted to the ground to give it a more squatted look.

2020 BMW X3 Plug-in-hybrid Three Quarter View

Model

BMW X3 

Audi Q5

Lexus NX 300h

Mercedes Benz GLC 350e *

Curb Weight (lbs.)

4586

4685

4180

4564

Length (in.)

185.9

184.4

182.7

183.3

Width (in.)

74.4

74.5

73.6

74.4

Height (in.)

66.0

65.3

64.8

64.5

Ground Clearance (in.)

-

8.0

-

5.0

Wheelbase (in.)

112.8

111.0

104.7

113.1

Track Width (in.) F/R

63.8/64.4

   

63.5/63.1

The Lexus NX 300h has the smallest wheelbase of the bunch and also is the lightest of the lot. As is evident from the above data, the longer wheelbase of the Mercedes Benz GLC 350e translates to more passenger volume. The GLC 350e has a more squinted look just like the X3 all because of it having the shortest ground clearance in the said segment. The Q5’s heavier curb weight is evident in its ride and handling characteristics, with excessive body roll around corners. 

Some notable exterior features:

  • 18” Y-spoke wheels
  • Power folding, heated side mirrors
  • Satin Aluminum roof rails
  • Roof Spoiler with center brake light
  • Chrome exhaust tips
  • Satin Aluminum exterior trim
2020 BMW X3 Plug-in-hybrid Exterior
2020 BMW X3 Plug-in-hybrid Exterior
2020 BMW X3 Plug-in-hybrid Exterior
2020 BMW X3 Plug-in-hybrid Exterior
2020 BMW X3 Plug-in-hybrid Exterior
2020 BMW X3 Plug-in-hybrid Exterior
2020 BMW X3 Plug-in-hybrid Exterior
2020 BMW X3 Plug-in-hybrid Exterior
2020 BMW X3 Plug-in-hybrid Exterior
2020 BMW X3 Plug-in-hybrid Exterior

2020 BMW X3 plug-in hybrid SUV Safety

8.0/10

The current scenario demands car manufacturers to have their cars packed with safety features up to the brim, and BMW being, at the forefront of this revolution, has catered to the masses and provided us with all the necessary active and passive safety tech. When it comes to the matter of safety, you can be rest assured that BMW’s are pretty safe, whether it comes to the fact of preventing accidents or protecting you and your loved ones during accidents for that matter.

The 2020 BMW X3 has passed the crash test conducted by the NHTSA with flying colors attaining an overall rating of 5 stars across the board, albeit the rollover resistance test. The hybrid version has not been tested as of yet, although it can be expected to perform pretty well as well.

Some notable safety features on offer:

  • Front and rear Head Protection System (HPS)
  • LATCH attachments for child-restraint safety installation
  • Front safety belts with automatic pretensioners
  • Acoustic pedestrian protection
  • Automatic city collision mitigation
  • Adaptive brake lights
  • Impact sensor that activates Battery Safety Terminal

2020 BMW X3 plug-in hybrid SUV Competition

7.5/10

BMW X3 plug-in-hybrid vs Audi Q5 hybrid-

This is one segment and these are two particular SUVs, wherein picking the best one is troublesome. They convey similar driving characteristics. If you want a feature-loaded cabin without paying a lot, BMW X3 is the best option for you. On paper, the Q5 delivers better mileage, fuel efficiency, and interior space. In terms of outright handling and build quality however, it’s the Bimmer that has a clear edge over the Q5, by being a better car to be driving and driven in.

2020 Audi Q5 hybrid

BMW X3 plug-in-hybrid vs Lexus NX 300h- 

The Lexus NX 300h is the cheapest crossover hybrid from Lexus. The Bimmer feels a class above the NX 300h, once you sit on the inside. The Lexus does return better MPGe figures all the while being less powerful than the BMW X3 hybrid. In fact the least powerful in this segment. In terms of driving dynamics, both the crossovers are on the same page. However, Lexus is by far, the best in the segment and considering Lexus’s expertise in making hybrid vehicles, it should be the more dependable one out of the two. But if we were to put our money’s on one of the two, we would definitely lean towards the BMW X3 plug-in hybrid. 

2020 Lexus NX 300h

2020 BMW X3 plug-in hybrid SUV Final Verdict

The X3 is the kind of crossover every buyer looks for, with luxury, performance capability and a prestigious badge attached to it. Now with a plug-in hybrid variant. The X3 was already a well-made machine, some would say “Perfect”. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that it couldn’t be made better and that what BMW has done with the X3 plug-in hybrid. Come 2020, the Bavarians have totally nailed this task of making perfection even better.