While the internal combustion-powered X3 and XC40 have been competing against each other in the local market for years, these new electric versions will take this battle to another level.
We compare these electric SUVs below.
Both the iX3 and XC40 Recharge closely represent their fuel-using siblings, with only a few exterior changes.
For the iX3, these differentiating features are an enlarged kidney grille, slimmer lights, and a redesigned front bumper.
Further differentiating this electric SUV are three-dimensional LED tail lights, the M Sport styling package, and signature accents in BMW i-Blue on the rear diffuser and front bumper.
On the Volvo XC40 Recharge, the only difference is a closed grille.
On the inside, the BMW’s gear selector lever comes with i-Blue accents – while the XC40 Recharge has the company’s first completely leather-free interior.
Features present on both SUVs are LED headlights, automatic tailgates, and digital cockpits.
This digitisation sees the installation of a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster for each vehicle, while the infotainment display on the iX3 is 12.3 inches compared to 9.0-inches on the XC40 Recharge.
The operating systems differ, too, as the Volvo comes equipped with Android software allowing for smartphone integration and access to Google features – such as Google Maps, Google Assistant, and the Google Play Store.
BMW uses its own software in the iX3, which has cloud-based navigation, over-the-air software updates, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support.
Besides the larger screen, the BMW also boasts additional features not available on the XC40 Recharge – including adaptive suspension, a sport steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, and three-zone climate control – compared to dual-zone in the Volvo.
The XC40 Recharge makes up for this with heated front seats and steering wheel, automatic windscreen wipers, and a wireless charging pad.
The XC40 Recharge is equipped with a 75kWh battery and twin electric motors – one on each axle – creating a total output of 304kW and 660Nm.
This set-up allows for a range of 418km, an electricity consumption of 18.75kWh/100km, and a 0-100km/h time of 4.9 seconds.
Fast charging the Volvo at a rate of 150kW for 10 minutes then gives the XC40 Recharge 80km of range.
BMW provided the iX3 with an 80kWh high-voltage battery connected to a single electric motor that pushes out 210kW and 400Nm.
This results in a 0-100km/h time of 6.8 seconds, an electricity consumption of 18.5kWh/100km, and a driving range of up to 460km.
The iX3 can restore 100km of range from 10 minutes of fast charging at a rate of 150kW.
Many safety features are present in the iX3 and XC40 Recharge, such as active cruise control, a steering assist, lane assist, and parking assist.
They also have cameras to help with manoeuvring in tight spaces, with the BMW having a reverse camera and the Volvo having a 360-degree monitor.
The XC40 Recharge also boasts an excellent safety standard as it has won a Top Safety Pick+ award, while the BMW i3X is yet to be safety tested.
The Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge has a South African price of R1,200,000.
This price includes a 5-year/100,000km warranty and maintenance plan.
South African pricing for the BMW i3X has not yet been revealed, with the electric SUV set to arrive in South Africa in the first quarter of 2022.