- Striking stand-out looks
- Fully electric
- Typical BMW refinement
The iX is BMW’s new ‘technology flagship’ which combines emission-free driving with the brand’s hallmark sporting ability and efficiency.
As an all-electric SUV – or Sports Activity Vehicle as BMW would have it – it is a little bigger than an X5 and the first model based on a new, modular, scalable toolkit on which the future of the BMW Group will be built.
Design and Practicality
Its clear and minimalist design is also new and different, while its rather buck-toothed look will divide opinion.
Passengers benefit from the EV’s excellent interior space, with plenty of knee room in the front and rear of the cabin. Being all-electric, the iX doesn’t have to accommodate a bulky transmission tunnel, which means the floor is completely flat and particularly benefits those in the rear seats.
As a large, family SUV, boot capacity is a bit disappointing at 500 litres, but this rises to 1,750 litres with the rear seats lowered.
The maximum braked trailer towing capacity for the xDrive40 is 2,500kg.
Equipment and Technology
Its state-of-the-art cockpit is dominated by two 12.3-inch and 14.9-inch curved screens, slightly angled towards the driver. One provides information, while the other contains the touch controls. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both fully integrated. There is also voice command system and gesture control.
Many of the few remaining buttons, including the iDrive rotary controller, are finished in cut glass, which you will either find classy or a bit too ‘blingy’. That said, the interior is swathed in soft-touch fabrics and the level of comfort is supreme. It exudes quality. It is pleasing that BMW has kept the iDrive controller though, as it makes it easier to make changes while on the move.
Standard equipment includes four-zone automatic aircon, front-seat heating, USB ports located in the front and rear, head-up display, wireless charging, and 21-inch alloy wheels. BMW’s Parking Assistant function is also included for all models, with the system being able to identify a suitable parking space and then take control to park your car automatically.
Engine and Performance
The all-wheel drive iX is available as an xDrive40 and xDrive50, both available in Sport and M Sport trims. There’s also an iX M60 high performance version.
The xDrive40 packs 326bhp which rockets the 2,365kg beast from 0 to 62mph in 6.1 seconds – which is no mean feat. It has a claimed range of 257 miles.
Despite the hefty kerbweight, the iX is superb to drive; surprisingly sure-footed and agile through the twisty stuff, and the ride quality is excellent. Longer motorway journeys are just a dream, with barely a whiff of wind noise breaking the silence of the cabin.
BMW quotes an economy figure of 101.1mpg for the xDrive40 model, so I was pleased to return almost 91mpg during my time with the car.
The good news for family users is that Euro NCAP awarded the iX its highest five-star rating in 2021, with an impressive 91 percent score for adult occupant safety and 87 percent for child passenger protection. On-board safety assistance systems achieved an 87 percent rating.
The maximum charging capacity of the BMW iX xDrive40 is 150kW. This means a 10-minute plug-in time provides sufficient energy to add more than 56 miles of range. The high-voltage battery’s charge can be increased from 10 to 80 percent of its full capacity in under 40 minutes.
A large, all-electric SUV that is luxurious, supremely comfortable, great to drive and brimming with first-rate on-board technology. What is not to like? Okay, so the styling may be a bit outlandish to some, but if it looked like every other SUV on the market, then it probably would not be as appealing.
It sure is an interesting time for BMW, and their electric range is sure to interest and attract many with each new addition.