The BMW X3 plug-in hybrid arrives on the market in 2020 to undercut pricey offerings from Audi, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz. The 2020 BMW xDrive30e has a single electric motor, lithium-ion battery bank, and a twin-turbo engine. It’s also equipped with all-wheel drive.
Gone are the days when plug-in hybrids were thought to be slow. This hybrid from BMW promises an exhilarating driving experience that takes you around turns with a lizard-like grip and pushes through the corners with the power of 288 horses. Roof rails and high wheel wells combine with a wide kidney grille and polished aluminum wheels to make a crossover that marries off-road ruggedness with sport car thrills.
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2020 BMW X3 Plug-In Hybrid Performance and Electric Range
The 2020 BMW X3 has two conventional engine configurations – a 2.0 Liter turbo 4 and a 382-horsepower turbo 6. Starting in the Spring of 2020, BMW will add the plug-in hybrid version of the X3. It’s called xDrive30e.
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The plug-in hybrid X3 uses the 2.0 Liter twin-turbo 4 cylinder engine as a base. It produces 180 horsepower. It works in tandem with a single electric motor that produces 107 horsepower on its own with 80 kW / 109 PS. With both systems working together, the combined horsepower is rated at 288. The torque is 310-pound feet. The X3 plug-in hybrid is mated to an 8-speed sport automatic transmission. You can either cruise like an automatic or get sporty with steering-wheel-mounted paddle controls.
With an electric motor and battery bank, the X3 becomes a much heavier vehicle. It has a top speed of 130 MPH and can go from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. When you compare that to the performance numbers of the 2020 BMW X3 M40i, the plug-in hybrid is about a second and a half slower. It does have a launch control though, which automatically sets the throttle response and torque for a racing start.
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There are three driving modes for the hybrid system. There’s Auto eDrive, Max eDrive, and Battery Control. You really have unprecedented control over how the power of the hybrid system is allocated. The xDrive30e also uses regenerative braking to recoup some battery life. This gives it a larger driving range between charges. According to BMW, the X3 plug-in hybrid has a combined 60 MPG and an all-electric range of 20 miles. Another thing that makes the XDrive30e unique is that it operates in full all-wheel-drive even when operating exclusively on electric power.
The X3 xDrive30e doesn’t lag or handle sloppily. Even though it’s a plug-in hybrid, it still moves like a powerful rear-wheel-drive sedan. It grips the road with double-pivot front strut suspension up front and a five-link independent rear. You can toggle between ECO PRO, COMFORT, and SPORT driving modes. These mostly affect the shocks and dampeners.
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BMW X3 Plug-In Hybrid Interior Amenities
The 2020 BMW X3 is listed as a small crossover SUV. Its interior doesn’t leave much room for horseplay, but it’s quite spacious. The power liftgate comes standard on the X3 plug-in hybrid and the rear seats fold down flat. There are 27.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats up. There are 40.3 inches of front legroom and 36.4 inches of legroom in the rear. The 2020 Audi Q5 hybrid has 25 cubic feet of cargo space, but the 2020 Volvo XC60 T8 trumps them all in terms of interior volume.
Back to the plug-in hybrid from BMW. Nearly any amenity that BMW offers can be equipped a la carte. It’s a grab bag of luxury features for the xDrive30e. The interior looks more upscale with real dark oak wood trim and beige synthetic leather. You can add a leather-wrapped steering wheel, panoramic moonroof, ambient lighting, as well as heated and ventilated seats.
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Technology on Deck
The X3 plug-in hybrid is loaded with technology to keep you entertained, informed, and safe. The xDrive30e has Apple Car Play connectivity, but BMW vehicles come with their own application. You can use the BMW Connected app as a concierge to get traffic information, navigation, and schedule maintenance.
The dashboard display and instrument cluster are full of digital touchscreen controls. The xDrive30e has a signature 12.3-inch instrument cluster that relays information about your electric motor status and battery life. The video-game-like street map in the center of the display is also a nice touch. The 10.25-inch central display sits high in the dashboard, but that it makes it easily accessible for both driver and passenger. There aren’t many analog controls inside the new X3 hybrid, just a few for climate control.
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The Final Word
If you’re looking for an entry-level luxury vehicle, then the X3 plug-in hybrid from BMW is an excellent choice. If you are specifically looking for a luxury hybrid vehicle, then you could do some more shopping. The 2020 BMW X3 xDrive30e is a bit cheaper than its competitors, but you always get what you pay for.
The Volvo hybrid crossover has tons of interior space. The Audi crossover hybrid has superb handling and acceleration. The BMW crossover hybrid excels in top tier materials inside the cabin. With that being said, the 2020 X3 plug-in hybrid boasts an all-electric driving range of 20 miles and 60 miles per gallon combined.
The 2020 BMW X3 hybrid can get pricey if you pick and choose features. However, a nicely equipped luxury hybrid can be had for around $50,000. The X3 doesn’t win any beauty contests. Its style is a bit dated, but the interior technology is out of this world. Just get inside and drive; all else can be forgiven.