BMW expanded the X3 lineup earlier this year when the Bavarian automaker introduced the X3 plug-in hybrid. The 2020 BMW X3 xDrive30e goes on sale sometime early next year. Possibly in the spring with a starting price of $49,545, according to a new report from Cars Direct, which includes the destination charge.
The PHEV is $4,600 above the non-hybrid 30i, and $6,350 below the M40i. In terms of specs, the non-hybrid 30i makes 248 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque; combined system output for the 30e hybrid is 252 hp and 310 lb-ft, able to be temporarily upped to 293 hp with a press of the XtraBoost button. The 30i gets from 0 to 60 miles per hour in six seconds, the heavier 30e needs about 6.3 seconds.
The PHEV benefits from new displays, operating systems, and digital services. BMW’s digital instrument panel comes standard, featuring readouts that render what’s happening with the battery. The drive mode buttons have been reworked into the “drive experience switch unit,” making easy access to swap both drive modes and the hybrid modes, Hybrid, Hybrid Eco Pro, and Electric.
The hybrid systems have also been linked with navigation and sensor data for more frugal operation in Hybrid Eco Pro mode. And when searching for a public charging station, the navigation system will highlight nearby hotels, restaurants, and cultural sights so you can find something to do with your time during the re-juice.
One advantage the X3 PHEV has over its competitors is its smart packaging, which places the battery under the rear seat, moving the fuel tank to sit above the rear axle. This slightly restricting the crossover’s cargo space, which still measures 15.89 cubic feet (450 liters) of cargo with the rear seats up and 52.97 cu-ft (1,500 liters) with the seats folded down.
Compared with other plug-in hybrid luxury SUVs, the X3 xDrive30e is priced appropriately, undercutting both the Mercedes-Benz GLC350e ($51,645) and the Volvo XC60 T8 ($55,590).