BMW

Review: BMW iX – A Deep Dive into the Futuristic Electric SUV

The BMW iX is the most advanced BMW electric car since the i3. Developed with extensive use of aluminum, high-strength steel, and carbon fiber, it features a 74kWh battery in the xDrive 40 and a 108kWh one in the xDrive50 and M60, all with four-wheel drive. It offers enhancements in connectivity, including 5G and future self-driving capabilities. Competing with the Audi Q8 e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace, the iX stands out for its comfort and silence. Despite superb driving dynamics, its agility falls short compared to rivals. It has a high-quality interior and various trims, although the hefty price and battery performance are points to consider.

Introduction

Hello auto enthusiasts and curious readers! Today, we’re diving deep into the world of electric vehicles (EVs) with a particular focus on one of the most radical and technologically advanced BMW models to date—the BMW iX.

What Car? Says…

The BMW iX is a game-changer in the automobile sector. BMW has a history of pushing the boundaries when it comes to EVs, starting with the BMW i3. The i3 was ahead of its time, showcasing lightweight carbon-fibre construction and fancy rear-hinged back doors. However, it didn’t become the blockbuster hit many had hoped for, possibly because it was too early for its market.

BMW has timed the launch of the iX perfectly, now that the market is more accepting of EVs. The iX leverages advanced materials like aluminum, high-strength steel, and carbon-fibre reinforced plastic. Available with a 74kWh battery in the entry-level xDrive 40 and a whopping 108kWh one in the xDrive50 and M60, this EV is ready to impress.

Performance & Drive

Driving Experience and Refinement

BMW’s iX is a triumph of engineering. Starting with the xDrive40, which sports 321bhp, this model can reach 0-60mph in a respectable 5.7 seconds. However, it does fall short of the Jaguar I-Pace, which accomplishes this in just 4.8 seconds. The xDrive40 offers an official range of up to 264 miles but manages just 178 miles in real-world conditions.

For those needing more range, the xDrive50 with its 108kWh battery gives you a real-world range of 273-284 miles, further than the Audi Q8 e-tron 55. The xDrive50 also boasts 516bhp, and it can reach 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds. If speed is your thing, the M60 version delivers 610bhp and accelerates from 0-62mph in a mere 3.8 seconds.

Driving Impressions

Though the iX might not be the most agile SUV on the market, it delivers exceptionally smooth rides, especially in xDrive50 and M60 trims which come with air suspension. This setup handles road imperfections better than the I-Pace and Mercedes EQC, offering a more composed ride at higher speeds. It’s also impressively quiet, with minimal motor whine and well-muted road and wind noise.

Regenerative Braking

One of the stellar features of the iX is its regenerative braking system, which offers multiple settings and an automatic mode that uses data from the sat-nav and onboard sensors. This makes braking smooth and easy, setting the iX apart from competitors like the I-Pace.

Interior

Layout and Materials

Step inside the iX, and you’ll immediately notice the upmarket touch. BMW uses sustainably sourced materials like wood, microfibre fabrics, and recycled plastics. The interior evokes a luxury feel comparable to the Mercedes EQC and Audi Q8 e-tron. Optional crystals can replace standard buttons for an added touch of class.

Infotainment System

The iX features BMW’s latest iDrive system, combining a 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel. The system is logically laid out and responds swiftly. You can control it via touch, rotary controller, or natural speech voice commands. The only downside is the lack of physical buttons for climate control, though voice control usually does the trick.

Comfort and Visibility

The iX offers plenty of adjustment options for both the driving seat and steering wheel, ensuring a comfortable position. The low window line gives excellent visibility, although rear visibility is somewhat compromised by chunky rear pillars. Full LED headlights come standard, and optional Laserlights are available for enhanced visibility.

Passenger & Boot Space

Spacious and Practical

Designed as an EV from the ground up, the iX boasts a flat floor, providing more legroom in both the front and rear. Storage is ample with various compartments and a spacious boot, which accommodates up to eight carry-on suitcases.

Rear Passengers

Rear passengers also benefit from plenty of legroom and headroom. The tall side windows and optional panoramic roof add to the airy feel. However, the iX is not available as a seven-seater; for this, you’d need to consider models like the Mercedes EQS SUV or traditional luxury SUVs like the BMW X7.

Boot Capacity

While the 500-liter boot isn’t the biggest in its class, it offers practical features like a square shape and a 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat configuration. Unlike some competitors, the iX lacks an additional storage area under the bonnet.

Buying & Owning

Cost Analysis

The iX xDrive40 is competitively priced against the Audi Q8 e-tron 50, Jaguar I-Pace EV400, and Mercedes EQC 400. The xDrive50 M Sport is pricier but comes with more features. When opting for PCP finance, the monthly cost aligns closely with the Mercedes G-Class or a diesel Range Rover.

Charging Efficiency

The 74kWh battery in the xDrive40 can charge at up to 150kW, while the 108kWh battery in the xDrive50 and M60 can charge at 195kW, both achieving 10-80% charge in around half an hour.

Safety and Reliability

The iX has been rated highly for safety, receiving a five-star rating from Euro NCAP. It offers superior child occupant protection compared to its rivals. BMW’s brand reliability is also commendable, standing above all the other brands mentioned in the review.

Conclusion

Key Strengths

  • Punchy performance across models
  • Comfort-focused features, especially in xDrive50 and M60 variants
  • One of the quietest interiors

Key Weaknesses

  • Higher-end models are substantially pricier
  • Some range limitations in the xDrive40

FAQs

Is the BMW iX a seven-seater?

  • No, it’s a five-seater. Consider the Mercedes EQB for a seven-seater electric SUV.

What is the BMW iX an equivalent to?

  • Main rivals include the Audi Q8 e-tron and the Jaguar I-Pace. The BMW iX3 is also worth considering for a five-seat premium electric SUV.

Is the BMW iX the same size as a BMW X5?

  • The iX is slightly longer but narrower than the X5. Both seat five, but the X5 petrol or diesel variants offer a larger boot.

Is the BMW iX a better choice than the BMW iX3?

  • The xDrive40 M Sport iX offers a more luxurious ride but at a higher price. The iX3 is comparatively easier to use and more affordable.

That’s a wrap on our comprehensive look at the BMW iX. If you have any questions or need further details, feel free to reach out!

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