The 2022 BMW X3 Is Killing the Plug-in Hybrid Powertrain in the U.S.

Most automakers continue to grapple with the best ways to sell battery-powered vehicles — whether hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or all-electric — because many areas lack the infrastructure to support these cars. In some cases, it makes more financial sense for a brand to sell them in limited markets rather than try to penetrate all of the major markets. Such is the case for BMW, which recently discontinued X3 xDrive30e sales in the United States.

The new BMW X3’s plug-in hybrid option

A dark-gray metallic 2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e luxury compact SUV travels on a country road along green hills
2022 BMW X3 xDrive30e in Sophisto Grey metallic | BMW Group

Sitting on 18-inch wheels and featuring BMW’s attractive exterior styling, the 2021 X3 xDrive30e is an impressive compact crossover. Its powertrain — including a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, 12-kWh battery pack, and eight-speed automatic transmission — produces 288 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque and hits 60 mph in just under six seconds.

Like its non-PHEV counterparts, the X3 xDrive30e handles well, providing good control in acceleration, braking, and cornering. It gets 60 MPGe combined city/highway and 18 miles when driving on the battery alone. The battery can charge in three and a half hours at a Level 2 charging station or 11.5 hours using a 120-volt outlet.

The X3 xDrive30e isn’t BMW’s only EV in the X3 series. It’s also the basis for the iX3, a pure EV with a 74-kWh battery pack purported to provide 286 miles of range. Early reviews note its adroit handling, thanks in part to adaptive recuperation and relatively light weight.

Though it doesn’t stray far from the exterior or interior luxury for which the X3 series is known, the powertrain provides 282 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Further, it can be charged to 80 percent capacity in only 34 minutes.

Unfortunately, the iX3 is available only in Europe. And BMW recently announced the 2022 X3 xDrive30e will be available only in Europe from now on as well, MotorTrend reports.

What powertrains are available?

So, does BMW plan to offer any hybrid options for its 2022 lineup? Yes. The six-cylinder all-wheel-drive M40i (paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission) option will include a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. This system will offer an extra 11 hp on top of the 382 hp its turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six already provides.

If you’re not looking for an EV, though, you can opt for an sDrive30i or xDrive30i. Both options come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four producing 248 hp. The sDrive30i is rear-wheel drive, while the xDrive30i is four-wheel drive. There’s also the sporty X3 M, boasting a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine producing a whopping 473 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque.

Want even more power? Opt for the X3 M Competition, harnessing 503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. The X3 M hits 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, and the X3 M Competition nails it in a rapid 3.9 seconds. The X3 M and X3 M Competition both come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and AWD.

Though BMW doesn’t plan to compete against the likes of the Tesla Model Y and Audi e-tron, the X3 series certainly presents stiff competition in the luxury compact SUV segment.

Other BMW X3 features

Of course, the 2022 BMW X3’s benefits extend far beyond impressive powertrain options. It features an admirable (though not segment-leading) 40.3 inches of front legroom and 36.4 inches in the rear. And behind the second row, you’ll find 28.7 cubic feet of cargo space. Again, not segment-leading, but enough to get you and your luggage where you need to go.

As is the norm with BMW models, the 2022 X3 features magnificent and premium interior materials and trim. The base model boasts a 10.25-inch touchscreen and other tech amenities, including dual-zone climate control and front power sport seats. It also comes with advanced safety features, such as automatic emergency braking, adaptive LED headlights, blindspot monitoring, and lane departure warning. These driver assists doubtlessly help contribute to the 2022 X3’s 5-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association.

And though these features come with the 2022 X3 xDrive30e PHEV, American consumers are out of luck. Still, if you’re not dead set on a plug-in hybrid, the 2022 BMW X3 is an excellent vehicle with plenty of attractive engine choices.

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