The BMW iX is the latest to join the ranks of electric SAV or “sport activity vehicle.” With its smooth and powerful drivetrain and premium luxurious construction, the BMW iX carries you around town on a cloud of comfort. The range is generous and allows you plenty of mileage to commute to work and run daily errands.
Now that the BMW iX has been in production for a little over a year, we have enough insight to determine if this sporty electric car is a success or a flop. How does the iX hold up to competing models like the Tesla Model X and the Audi E-Tron?
In today’s article, we’ll explore this question and provide all the features, specs, and pricing info to determine if the BMW iX is the future of luxury EVs.
6 Facts about the BMW iX
- The BMW iX eDrive50 can top 60 mph effortlessly in 4.4 seconds, which is nowhere near the 3.6-second time of the iX M60.
- The range is better on the cheaper iX eDrive50 due to its lower power consumption.
- The BMW iX is loaded with safety techs like blind spot detection, lane departure, and active driving assistance.
- The iX has an innovative grille with unique self-healing technology. Rock chips and minor scratches can be pulled right out with heat from a sunny day or even a hair dryer.
- In addition to BMW’s four-year, 50,000-mile warranty, you also get a battery warranty for eight years and a rust perforation warranty for 12 years.
- EVs like the BMW iX entitle many drivers to federal tax credits, offering yet another incentive to get an electric vehicle.
BMW iX Specs
|2023 BMW iX xDrive50||2023 BMW ix M60|
|Max Range||324 miles||280 miles|
|Battery||111.5 kWh high-voltage lithium-ion||111.5 kWh high-voltage lithium-ion|
|Engine||Dual all-electric motor||Dual all-electric motors|
|Transmission||Automatic transmission, single-speed with a fixed ratio||Automatic transmission, single-speed with a fixed ratio|
|Weight||5659lbs (2566kg)||5769lbs (2616kg)|
|0-60 MPH Time||4.4 seconds||3.6 seconds|
|Top Speed||124 MPH||130 MPH|
BMW iX: Where to Buy
With soaring demand for electric vehicles, BMW enjoyed the most profitable quarter to date, with record revenue being achieved from their EV lineup. Among the best-sellers was the new BMW iX. Since 2021, the company has been plunging its efforts into increasing EV market share. If 2022 is any record of the company’s success, they are doing a great job at it.
The starting price for the 2023 BMW iX has settled around $84,100, but most dealers won’t see the new model until the end of this year. That’s not to say you can’t secure one right now. BMW is accepting preorders for the upcoming model year. If this season is anything like last year, you will see the new iX models shipping in early March.
The History of the BMW iX: What To Know
While electric vehicles have been soaring in popularity recently, you will discover that they have always been on BMW’s mind. Research and development on electric cars date back to the early 1970s when BMW produced an all-electric car for the 1972 Munich Olympics. Capable of driving 37 miles on a single charge, this early electric BMW would lay the groundwork for what came later.
BMW entered the electric vehicle market on a large scale starting in 2013 with the release of the i3. While the i3 was not as successful as other compact EVs like the Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt, it still secured BMW’s place in the EV market.
Many people criticized the i3 for being ugly, overpriced, and underpowered. The engineers at BMW would learn a lot from their first commercial EV and, in 2017, they began developing the new i4 Gran Coupe with the iX “sport activity vehicle” to begin the following year.
BMW iX Versions: Each Edition
There are two different variations of the BMW iX, designed to cater to a specific audience. While they might look similar at first glance, subtle differences lend themselves to offering a different experience on each model.
Standard version – MSRP $84,100
At first glance, the xDrive50 is similar to BMW’s combustion SUVs, such as the X5 and X6. But don’t be fooled by the similar size and shape; the iX offers similar performance in an all-electric platform. While you might not need to go zero to 60 in 4.4 seconds on your daily commute, it certainly contributes to the car’s overall appeal.
Starting at over $80,00 puts the BMW iX right in the middle of the price war between the Audi E-Tron and the Tesla Model X. The BMW stands out with a sportier driving experience and a more premium finish.
Sporty version – MSRP $108,900
As the xDrive50 comes with so much technology and performance, many people wonder what the iX M60 offers to back up the significantly higher price tag. The answer is summed up in one word: performance.
BMW calls the iX M60 “all-electric adrenaline,” and they are not wrong. With 610 horsepower, the iX M60 rockets from zero to 60 in just 3.6 seconds.
Not many agree on whether the premium price tag is worth it, especially considering that the Tesla Model X performance models are not much more expensive than the BMW iX and offer significantly better performance.
BMW iX: Range and Recharging
The BMW iX offers a competitive range considering its size. With a range of 324 miles on a single charge, the xDrive50 is far more efficient than its sportier alternative. While the iX M60 offers more horsepower and the fastest top speed, it suffers from a lower range. The M60 is capable of reaching 280 miles at the highest.
BMW estimates that you can recharge your iX from zero to full on a Level 2 home charger in a little over 10 hours (provided you have the necessary hardware). It is also capable of fast DC charging via 195 kW, which will recharge the battery from 10% to 80% in roughly 40 minutes.
BMW iX: Interior
One of the most important aspects of a car is its interior. The interior is where you’ll spend all of your time with the BMW iX, so you’re right to have high expectations.
The iX definitely lives up to the BMW reputation, with one of the most high-tech yet comfortable interiors we’ve ever seen. Hopping into the spacious driver’s seat, you’re surrounded by a subtle yet striking finish, exuding the high-end essence that you would expect from a BMW.
The first thing you’ll notice after the sport “hexagonal” steering wheel is the expansive infotainment system. Combing a 14.9-inch touchscreen display in the center with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, you are left with a single curved unit extending across nearly the entire dashboard.
Audiophiles will love the interior thanks to BMW’s expert audio selection. The Bowers and Wilkins audio system is one of the best speaker systems seen on an electric vehicle, with advanced features like “4D Bass,” which uses seat vibration to emulate increased bass. The result is a truly unique and immersive experience while enjoying music on your drive.
One complaint about the interior of this car is the lack of storage space. While the 35.5 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats is more than cars like the Audi E-Tron and Jaguar I-Pace, it is not as much as the Tesla Model X. Additionally, cabin storage is suboptimal, without much space reserved for small items and luggage.
Still, considering the space the battery takes up, passengers have plenty of legroom and headroom available. With a flat floor throughout the entire cabin, you get enough room to stretch out and fit up to five passengers. Adjustable seats with built-in heating add up to a very comfortable experience.
BMW iX: Construction
BMW has always been famed for quality build construction. Based on a unique electric drivetrain architecture, BMW built the iX with an aluminum spaceframe supporting an inner carbon fiber reinforced plastic.
While most of the chassis and frame design is unique, the electric platform is constructed with similar components to BMW’s other vehicles. The result is an architecture that is fully compatible with the company’s existing manufacturing plants.
Constructed out of steel, aluminum, thermoplastics, and carbon fiber reinforced plastic, the BMW iX body is designed to keep the car’s weight to a minimum. The car has many unique qualities, like double-wish front suspension and multi-link rear suspension, offering rear-wheel steering capabilities.
This enhanced level of control is complimented by the dozens of sensors throughout the car, providing you with a level of driving feedback unparalleled in other cars. The front of the iX is completed with the advanced front grille.
While the grille maintains BMW’s classic look, it adds a modern flare and a host of additional technology. Baked into the front of the car, you’ll find all of the sensors and radars for adaptive cruise control, parking assistance, and collision monitoring. Additionally, the grille is covered in an innovative “self-healing” coating, allowing it to absorb rock chips and minor scratches.
BMW iX: Technology
The iX is BMW’s most technologically advanced vehicle to date. Among its highlights are an electrochromic sunroof, an augmented reality overlay for the navigation system, and a remote parking system that remembers how to enter and exit tricky parking spots.
Also new to the iX is BMW’s iDrive 8 infotainment system, which offers an improved user interface, more customizable profiles, and more robust voice controls. The iDrive software allows you to customize all the icons and settings. You can add your eight most frequently used apps to the main menu to simplify routine tasks.
Navigation and Controls
The “Hey BMW” hot word can also be used to access some inputs via steering wheel controls, gestures, and voice control. Navigation and radio are built-in, but most drivers prefer to use their phones. Depending on your phone, you’ll be able to use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You can also easily plug your phone in via USB-C or pair it wirelessly via Bluetooth.
Navigation instructions appear on the driver’s gauge cluster, a unique touch added to enhance the driving experience. You’ll find touches like this throughout the car and its tech.
BMW Designed everything meticulously around enhancing the drive. Advanced semi-autonomous driving, collision monitoring systems, parking assistance, and adaptive cruise control make up the most technologically advanced driver’s car on the market.
The Public Response
Sales figures of the BMW iX speak for themselves. While only 347 units were sold in the US in the first quarter of 2022, that number increased throughout the next two quarters.
As of October 2022, BMW has sold 3,154 units in the United States alone. While this is nothing compared to the Tesla Model X, which sold 14,299 models so far in 2022, it is a significant figure for the company’s earliest EVs.
While many reviewers praise the BMW iX for its sporty handling and tech-filled interior, there are still complaints. The biggest stumbling block for many buyers is in the aesthetic design itself.
The large front grille is a departure from earlier BMWs that sported a smaller grille. As a result, the new design may be a turn-off for some people.