8 ‘Hidden’ new Features on the 2022 BMW iX3

The 2022 BMW iX3 celebrated its world premiere at the 2021 Chengdu Motor Show on the 29th of August, and it is available to order in Europe now. In Germany, where its launch was due this fall, prices start at EUR 67,300.

The new iX3 is mainly about a design refresh and some equipment upgrade, which the media has covered reasonably well. However, a deep-dive into the media document reveals that the new model has a few extra tricks up its sleeve. We round them up in this story.

10 mm slimmer headlamp contours

The 2022 BMW iX3’s newly designed parts at the front are slightly different in size. The lower air intake, for instance, is larger. Another example is the headlight contours, which are around 10 mm slimmer. The kidney grille also has a larger footprint. These changes make the new model visually more striking.

New gear selector

2022 BMW iX3 gear selector
The 2022 BMW iX3 features a shiny new gear selector that is small and stylish. Image Source: BMW Group

In addition to the relocation of the start/stop button from beside the instrument cluster to the floor console, another design change is the usage of a new gear selector similar to that of the 2022 X3 and 2022 X4. We saw this short and more luxurious gear selector design in the G20 3 Series before it appeared on the SUVs. The iX3 gets a slightly different version with blue illumination to allude to the model’s eco-friendliness.

BMW Digital Key

The BMW Digital Key is an optional connected car feature of the 2022 BMW iX3 that allows users to use their smartphone as a digital vehicle key. It works using Near Field Communication (NFC). All the driver needs to do to unlock the vehicle is approach it and hold up their compatible device with the stored digital key in the My BMW app to the door handle. The driver can start the vehicle after putting that device in the wireless charging tray.

BMW Digital Key for iX3
Image: BMW Group

Only Apple iPhone XR, Apple iPhone XS, Apple iPhone XS Max, and later Apple iPhone smartphones, with iOS 13.6, and Apple Watch Series 5 and newer Apple Watch models, with WatchOS 6.2.8, are compatible with BMW Digital Key. The vehicle owner can share the digital key with up to five other users. There’s also an option to share it in a configuration that limits some of the vehicle’s capabilities and functioning of its features like top speed, motor power, radio volume, etc.

Enhanced voice control

The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant has gained some new skills. For example, the user can now regulate the air conditioning with voice commands. The system can recognize whether the driver is using voice control or the front passenger, and it can react accordingly, say, by changing the requested temperature change on only one side. Moreover, the experience has become interactive, with new graphic symbols showing up on the touchscreen during usage. The graphic leans towards the active speaker, making its attention to the speech input appear more life-like.

New BMW News app

New BMW News app
The new BMW News app provides a significantly greater variety of news reports. Image Source: BMW Group

The 2022 BMW iX3’s infotainment system offers a revamped BMW News app. Introduction of personalized news and news feeds, integration of additional and major news providers, and audio quality improvement by reading out the news via the speakers instead of a text-to-speech are the main changes in the new BMW News app.

Faster acceleration

2022 BMW iX3 charging and performance diagram
The 2022 BMW iX3 should provide a more dynamic driving experience on highways than the 2021 BMW iX3. Image: BMW Group

The 2022 BMW iX3 takes the same time as the 2021 BMW iX3 to speed up from 0-100 km/h (3.7 seconds) and 0-100 km/h (6.8 seconds). However, its 80-120 km/h acceleration time is 2.5 seconds instead of the old model’s 4.1 seconds. That’s a noteworthy improvement of 1.6 seconds. The new model should allow passing other vehicles quicker and more confidently on highways, with greater power bursts at triple-digit speeds.

1 km extra Range

The 2022 iX3 consumes as low as 18.5 kWh of electricity per 100 km (62 miles)*, but according to the German BMW Group press site, curiously, the restyled SUV travels slightly longer on a full charge. While the original iX3’s range is 460 km*, the 2022 iX3’s range is listed as 461 km*.


Improved cooling

2022 BMW iX3 facelift front live image
The new iX3 features a larger ten-stage active air flap control. Image Source: BMW Group

Keeping the kidney grille of the iX3 closed leads to lower air resistance, but there’s cooling required to maintain the temperature of the drive components and brakes at an optimal level. That’s where the new ten-stage active air flap control feature comes into play. With the facelift, the active air flap control has grown in size.

Featured image: BMW Group