The BMW iX delivers performance, quality & practicality - SUV VEHICLE

The BMW iX delivers performance, quality & practicality

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The BMW X5, the brand’s best-selling model in the U.S., is still a few years away from going all-electric. In the meantime, the BMW iX caters to customers who seek an all-electric SUV in this segment, and there are plenty of them. In 2023, the bespoke EV registered 17,301 units in sales in our market, nearly 25% of the X5 (72,573 units). Recently, I had the opportunity to check out the comfort, space, features and the design of the xDrive50 variant. Here’s what I think about the BMW iX after experiencing it in the metal:

Design

The BMW iX, like several recent BMWs, is stress-testing boundaries with an unconventional exterior. If BMW’s intention with this design was to ensure the iX stands out, I think it hit a home run on that. I like its powerful proportions, oversized wheels, and sleek lights. However, I think BMW could’ve done much better with the faux kidney grille, streamlining it to hark back to the classic BMWs.

The iDrive50 variant is available in Shadowline, BMW i Signature Blue Package, and Sport styles. The unit I saw was in the Shadowline trim, equipped with features like full-LED headlights with programmable LED daytime running lights, 20-inch aero wheels, Shadowline trim, and power tailgate.

Also See: BMW i7: First Look Review

Interior

When I sat in the BMW iX, I felt I was in a futuristic but still wieldy vehicle. I didn’t like the odd shape of the dashboard or the slanted vertical AC vents integrated into it, but it was like sitting in front of a piece of art in a luxury lounge, thanks to the dashboard’s minimalist design, and the freestanding curved panel with a single-piece glass surface that seamlessly combines the 12.3-inch instrument cluster and 14.9-inch infotainment system displays, and the Titanium Bronze accents.

In addition to the aforementioned design elements, the floating center console, the almost flat floor, and the single-piece panoramic sunroof (with an electrochromic shading function) gave me an open, airy feel. The pass-through between the front seats is a clear giveaway of the fact that the BMW iX is based on a dedicated EV platform.

If you were to ask me, the interior of the BMW iX looks the best in the Stonegrey microfiber/wool blend cloth upholstery, not the Black Sensatec upholstery seen in this unit. That’s an USD 500 option, and I’d happily upgrade, as it lends a distinctive, rich, and eco-friendly look to the interior.

The fancy wood trim in the center console conceals touch-control buttons, and that, along with the glass-effect surfaces on various controllers, is part of the standard equipment. The bright and shiny decor elements light up the cabin and, along with the brilliant mood lighting system, create a great ambience in the cabin. Overall, I felt that the quality of the materials was top-notch. If I wanted a proper luxury alternative to the Tesla Model X, the BMW iX would be a solid contender.

When I sat in the driver’s seat, I felt that it offered a perfect balance of comfort and sportiness. The hexagonal steering wheel, which included a heating function, was nice to hold. The steering column was electrically adjustable, though that wasn’t surprising considering the model’s price.

Thanks to the large windshield and backglass, expansive glasshouse, and optimally angled pillars, I found the outward visibility in the BMW iX to be very good. I’m six feet tall, and I had abundant headroom in the front. The under-thigh support and lumbar support were also good.

The rear of the cabin is very spacious. I had more than sufficient legroom and knee room. The lumbar support was fantastic, but under-thigh support could be a little better in future versions. The rear quarter glass panels are pretty well designed, and along with the big windows, they provide great exterior visibility. The floor is a little high for a tall person like me, and I hope BMW brings it down in the next-gen model or the successor.

Specifications

The BMW iX xDrive50 employs two motors for all-wheel drive capability, and it has a 105.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack positioned low down in the floor section to supply energy to the drive units. The motors give the EV 516 hp of combined power and 564 lb.-ft. of total torque. Weighing 5,659 lbs. (curb), the iX xDrive50 takes 4.4 seconds for a 0-60 mph sprint and has a top speed of 124 mph.

The 105.2 kWh battery pack takes 10.25 hours for a 0-100% AC charging session (max. 11 kW) and approximately 40 minutes for a 10-80% DC charging session (max. 195 kW). EPA says it gives the iX xDrive50 with 20-inch wheels a range of 307 miles, and what I find strange in this aspect is that this figure doesn’t reduce on upgrading to bigger (21- or 22-inch) wheels. BMW, on the other hand, claims on the online configurator that the iX xDrive can cover a distance of 311 miles if configured with 20-inch wheels, 307 miles with 21-inch wheels, or 305 miles with 22-inch wheels.

Also See: 2024 BMW i5 M60: First Look Review

It is interesting to note that the iX is built on a new dedicated EV platform, which won’t be utilized for another model. The exclusive underpinning is an aluminum spaceframe with select carbon-fiber portions (side frame, rain channels, roof frame, cowl panel, and rear window frame). Future BMW electric cars will use multi-energy platforms (the ‘CLAR’ that is shared with the combustion model) or wait for the Neue Klasse platform (an advanced bespoke EV architecture) that will be deployed starting next year.

Price

The BMW iX xDrive50 retails at USD 87,100 (excl. USD 995 destination & handling fee).

TopElectricSUV says

The BMW iX has a polarizing design, but it offers superb performance, great build quality, a high-tech interior that’s conventional just enough, and impressive comfort and driving dynamics.

BMW iX FAQs

What is the BMW iX’s price?

The prices of the BMW iX start at USD 87,100 (excl. USD 995 destination & handling fee).

Which electric SUVs are BMW iX rivals?

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