BMW iX review
BMW’s new iX electric SUV promises impressive range and performance, as well as a spacious interior. The styling might not be to everybody’s tastes, however.
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This is the new BMW iX. Essentially, it’s a big, practical, electric SUV that’s been designed to go up against the likes of the Jaguar I-Pace, Mercedes-Benz EQC and the Audi E-Tron. Hardly anything controversial about that as a concept, right?
Right. However, you might not be inclined to think the same thing about the way it looks. As with so many BMWs these days (we’re looking at you 4 Series), the new iX SUV’s styling is probably best described as, erm, interesting. Challenging, even.
From those sharp lines and creases on its bonnet and wheelarches; to its 22-inch alloys, massive, toothy grille and squinty headlights – it’s certainly a very busy-looking design. In white in particular, you could say that it looks like someone crashed the Space Shuttle Discovery into the back of some sort of giant robotic beaver. Someone should probably tell NASA…
Anyway, size-wise it’s a bit more conventional. BMW says that it’s roughly comparable to the current X5 SUV on the outside, but with an interior that’s closer to the bigger X7 in terms of the space that’s available. And while you won’t get the option of seven seats on this new electric SUV, its cabin doesn’t appear to be skimping on any sense of luxury, tech or eco appeal.
The dashtop is dominated by BMW’s new Curved Display. This high-resolution screen bank incorporates two separate displays (a 12.3-inch digital instrument binnacle and a 14.9-inch infotainment screen), bringing them together to form one eye-catching continuous unit. You’ll get a wireless charge pad, multiple USB-C ports and a range of connected services too.
Then there’s the funky hexagonal steering wheel, a redesigned centre console that retains an updated version of BMW’s excellent iDrive rotary controller; intricately styled air vents and subtle metallic trim finishers. It’s all very snazzy looking.
Meanwhile, the floor mats are made from a synthetic yarn that’s recycled from old fishing nets, and if you opt for a leather interior that upholstery is tanned using olive leaves. The wood is responsibly sourced, too.
Being a BMW, the iX should be one of the more entertaining electric SUVs out there. It’s certainly one of the most interesting to look at too...
We’d expect build quality to feel top notch, and given the fact BMW says its roughly the same size on the inside as an X7 it should be pretty practical too. Boot space, meanwhile, is expected to around 650 litres – which is roughly what you get in an X5.
On the engine front, there will initially be two variants of the iX available. Both have an electric motor at each axle for all-wheel drive and a battery pack housed low down beneath the floor, but performance levels are a bit different.
The entry-level xDrive40 model gets a 70kWh battery that’s good for a claimed range og 249 miles, while its motors make a combined 300hp. That’s enough for a 0-60mph of around six seconds.
Above that you’ll find the xDrive50, which has an even larger 100kWh battery that will see the iX travel 373 miles on a charge – or so BMW claims. This one produces a grand total of 500hp, and will hit 60mph in under five seconds.
Both cars have a slightly different maximum charge rate (150kW for the xDrive40 and 200kW for the xDrive50), but the long and short of it is that both will be able to use a DC rapid charger to go from 10-80% capacity in less than 40 minutes. Plug in at home, and they’ll no doubt replenish their batteries overnight.
We’re yet to drive the BMW iX electric SUV, but as soon as we do we’ll let you know exactly what we think of it.
In the meantime, head on over to our deals page to see how much money we can save you on a new BMW.