The new BMW iX (2022) is much more than just a striking appearance. The electric SUV has many advantages. But unfortunately we also have to note that the basic version – the iX xDrive40 – has some serious drawbacks. And that’s why you don’t want this version.
What is striking about the electric BMW iX?
That should be clear: we can hardly call the new electric BMW iX the most beautiful. BMW designers are increasingly turning to controversy these days, with a nose in which the classic BMW ‘kidneys’ – as with the 4-series Coupé and the electric i4 – have been transformed into large-format Theo-en-Thea teeth . With its tweaked headlights and large black triangular plates in the front bumper, the BMW iX might as well have been an angry ninja hamster from a Nickelodeon cartoon.
Apart from that nose piece, the BMW iX is a successful design. Not a big one. bulky, bulky SUV like the BMW X5 or (even better) the X7, but an (for an SUV) elegant model with a relatively low roofline and design elements that we have not seen on a BMW before – such as the beautiful narrow taillights. The interior of the iX is beautiful, with a slightly curved, frameless instrument display, a futuristic-looking hexagonal steering wheel, the finest materials and a high-quality finish.
The BMW iX reminds us a bit of an i3 on steroids. Under the skin, all kinds of lightweight materials have been used and durability has been number 1. For example, you can see the carbon structure of the body frame in the door styles, which also contains a lot of aluminum. An olive leaf on the dashboard shows that the synthetic leather has been dyed with olive extract.
The BMW iX stands on a completely newly developed platform, in which the battery pack is integrated into the floor. Indeed: just like Tesla, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6. This has resulted in a low center of gravity, which in turn is beneficial for the handling characteristics. Each iX variant has two electric motors, each of which is responsible for driving the front and rear wheels. Even with the basic version – the iX xDrive40 tested here – you are not short of power. Both electric motors produce a power of 326 hp and a torque of 630 Nm. This will get you to 100 in 6.1 seconds.
What are the advantages of the BMW iX?
The electric BMW iX is such a great travel car! Equipped as High Executive, the car has seats that are the pinnacle of seating comfort. They are heated, they ventilate, they have a built-in massage function and they can be adjusted in all directions. The soft synthetic leather, which is quilted in a diamond pattern, is also part of the High Executive package.
The fact that you sit so comfortably is also due to the spatial experience, made possible by the flat floor. With a few simple presses on the buttons, you activate the adaptive cruise control and the car automatically colors between the road lines. The extensive instrumentation – with touch and rotary/push button operation – offers plenty of options in the configuration of the information supply. An important addition is the connection of your phone via the My BMW app. This allows you to view numerous data about the car, monitor the charging process and determine in advance how warm you want the interior to be when you leave. If you do this while the car is at the charging station, the heating of the interior saves valuable energy on the road.
And what are the downsides of the iX?
Speaking of energy… The BMW iX xDrive40 has a battery pack with a net capacity of 71.0 kWh. That sounds more than it is. According to the books, the average power consumption is 19.3 kWh/100 km, and according to WLTP calculations the car has a range of at least 372 kilometers. But the practice is unruly: during our range tests with the iX – in which storm Corrie made itself known – we were nowhere near these figures. In the best case scenario, the on-board computer noted a range of 280 to 300 kilometers. For a car like the BMW iX, that is no more than mediocre.
Are we finally serving the BMW iX with that? No, because you can also buy the electric SUV with a larger battery pack. That has a net capacity of 105.2 kWh. A range of more than 400 kilometers is therefore certainly within reach. And that fits the iX, as a sublime long-distance cruiser, much better.
Other drawbacks? Well, we could call the high weight of the car, although that is an ailment of any EV. Despite all the exotic materials, the iX xDrive40 weighs no less than 2340 kilos. Then the battery pack can hang so low in the car, you cannot avoid so much mass on the road. The coil springs have a lot of work to do, and you can feel it. The BMW iX xDrive50 – with the large battery pack – has air suspension with level control as standard.
When is the BMW iX for sale in the Netherlands and what does it cost?
You have probably encountered the electric BMW iX once ‘in the wild’, because the first copies have been in the Netherlands since September 2021. The prices of the BMW iX start at 87,330 euros for the xDrive40 with the smallest battery pack. An upgrade to the iX xDrive50 (with 525 hp and a battery capacity of 105.2 kW) costs 20,209 euros, because the prices of this version start at 107,239 euros. The top model is the iX M60 (619 hp, 105.2 kWh), the first fully electric product from BMW’s M department. This version is listed for 134,839 euros.
What do I think of the BMW iX?
The BMW iX xDrive40 is an impressive car. Especially because of the high-quality travel comfort that it has to offer. It is disappointing that in practice he does not go further than 300 kilometers on a battery charge. In that regard, it is better not to buy the entry-level iX, and save up for the version with the large battery pack. Perhaps an extra push in your back, if the decision button has to be cut: for the additional cost of 20,000 euros that the xDrive50 costs extra, you also get more power and an air-suspended chassis. To do!