BMW X3 plug-in hybrid dropped, leaves no entry for brand in fast-growing EV SUV segment


The BMW X3 xDrive30e plug-in hybrid has been dropped for the 2022 model year, the automaker confirmed in a press release of its updates for the new model year.

With the all-electric iX3 not slated to reach the United States, that leaves BMW without a plug-in offering in the entry luxury SUV segment, which is quickly being populated with new EV models.

BMW had just added the revised X3 plug-in hybrid to its lineup for the 2020 model year. The X3 xDrive30e used a 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine and 8-speed automatic transmission, with an electric motor crammed into the transmission housing. Total system output was 288 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.

The all-wheel drive X3 xDrive30e was rated at 18 miles of electric range with an efficiency rating of 60 MPGe combined. In hybrid mode, it achieved EPA-rated fuel economy of 24 mpg combined. BMW also quoted a 5.9-second 0-60 mph time.

2020 BMW X3 xDrive30e

When the revised X3 plug-in hybrid launched, the all-electric BMW iX3 was due to arrive in the U.S. around this time. BMW then cancelled plans to bring the iX3 here, so we\’ve reached out to the automaker to see if the withdrawal of the X3 plug-in hybrid is related to that.

Both the X3 xDrive30e and iX3 are derivatives of the popular X3 SUV. For 2022, 6-cylinder X3 models do get a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, with regenerative braking derived from plug-in hybrids, according to BMW. The larger iX SUV, along with the i4, are due at U.S. dealerships soon, however.

Meanwhile in recent drives, we\’ve found the latest plug-in hybrid entries from BMW to feel conflicted in their priorities—neither emphasizing the electric side as much as they could nor selling the driver on performance or efficiency advantages. So perhaps we won\’t be missing out on much, after all.


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