BMW iX Review & Prices
BMW's big electric SUV is high-class, huge and rapid, but you may struggle to live with that styling
Find out more about the BMW iX
This huge and striking SUV is a 2023 carwow Buy It Award winner, BMW's biggest electric model and the German brand’s alternative to the likes of the Jaguar I-Pace, Mercedes-Benz EQC and 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 big 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 skimp on any sense of luxury, tech or eco appeal.
EV Range Test: Mercedes EQS vs Ford Mustang Mach-E vs BMW iX vs Tesla Model 3
That tech appeal is emphasised by a pair of huge screens that dominate the cabin. BMW calls the 12.3-inch instrument panel and 14.9-inch infotainment display its Curved Screen, and the continuous sweeping panel is an impressive sight from behind the wheel. You 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.
Being a BMW, the iX is one of the more entertaining electric SUVs to drive, as well as being one of the most interesting to look at too...
Build quality is top notch, and it’s very practical too with lots of space for five adults to stretch out. Boot space could be a bit more generous, though. With a 500-litre capacity, there’s less room for bags than you’ll find in the Audi e-tron.
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...
You can choose from three power outputs, depending on whether you are happy with a quick car or you feel the need to warp the fabric of space and time. All three have an electric motor at each axle for all-wheel drive and a battery pack housed low down beneath the floor.
The entry-level 336hp xDrive40 model gets a 70kWh battery that’s good for an official range of up to 257 miles, while the 523hp xDrive50, has an even larger 105kWh battery that will see it travel up to 380 miles on a charge.
If that’s not quick enough for you, the iX M60 has 619hp, a range of up to 348 miles, and a 0-60mph time of under four seconds.
The cars have slightly different maximum charge rates (150kW for the xDrive40 and 200kW for the xDrive50 and M60), but the long and short of it is that any iX will be able to use a DC rapid charger to go from 10-80% capacity in less than 40 minutes. Plug in at home with a 7kW charger, and a full recharge will take up to 16 hours.
The BMW iX has a RRP range of £72,195 to £114,420. However, with carwow you can save on average £8,345. Prices start at £65,423 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £701. The price of a used BMW iX on carwow starts at £48,720.
Our most popular versions of the BMW iX are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|240kW xDrive40 Sport 76.6kWh 5dr Auto [22kWCh]||£65,423||Compare offers|
|240kW xDrive40 M Sport 76.6kWh 5dr Auto [22kWCh]||£68,138||Compare offers|
It’s a lot. At the time of writing in the summer of 2022, the entry-level xDrive40 Sport Edition costs over £77,000, and if you want to be one of the first to own the lightning-fast M60 you’ll need to pay nearly £117,000. Get carried away with the list of options, and you can easily push those prices higher.
Luxury electric SUVs are never going to be cheap, but those prices make the iX more expensive than the likes of the Audi e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace.
Stunning performance and comfort, especially with air suspension, although the entry car without that tech can make bumps a bit obvious
The iX is a huge car, so it takes up a lot of space on a city street. On the other hand, visibility is good and BMW’s excellent surround-camera system is available to take the stress out of parking. In fact, the standard-fit Parking Assistant feature will park the car for you.
Being electric, there are no exhaust emissions to harm local air quality, which is a big plus if a lot of your journeys are around town. Another plus to choosing an electric car is the immediate performance from a standing start. Whichever version of the iX you choose, the BMW is quick off the mark to make the most of any gap in traffic.
Despite riding on alloy wheels measuring at least 21 inches, the big BMW is comfortable around town, especially if you go for the xDrive 50 which comes with air suspension. You can waft along undisturbed by potholes and other lumps and bumps in the road. The xDrive 40 does without air suspension and isn’t quite so forgiving of poor surfaces, but it’s still a comfy way to get around.
On the motorway
The thing that really strikes you about the iX on the motorway is just how quiet it is. There’s hardly a flutter of wind noise from the mirrors, and just a faint hum from the big tyres. You hear the sound of other traffic more than you do any noise from the BMW.
Whichever iX model you pick, the car will be up to 70mph before you know it. In fact, such is the refinement at speed that you’ll need to keep a very close eye on the speedometer to make sure you don’t go more quickly than you intend to.
On a twisty road
No car can rewrite the rules of physics, but the iX takes a good crack at it. The big BMW resists body lean well and is remarkably agile for a car weighing close to 2.5 tonnes. In the end, though, even BMW’s crack engineers have been unable to completely disguise the iX’s size and heft.
So, you can have fun on a twisty road, but don’t think the iX handles as well as the best sports cars. It will put its power to the road cleanly, as every model is four-wheel drive. That really helps make the most of the BMW’s performance in bad weather. And whichever model you pick, the iX will absolutely sprint between the corners.
A bit more weight and feel from the steering and losing a few pounds would make the iX even more rewarding to drive.
Lots of space for five in a cabin packed with tech, although the boot doesn’t quite have swallow-all capacity
The iX is a controversial looking car, but whatever you think of the exterior it’s hard not to be impressed when you climb inside the cabin.
That’s as it should be when you’re shelling out well over £70,000 but you can see where the money has gone when you settle in behind the wheel.
Talking of wheels, the one doing the steering is hexagonal rather than round, which will get on your nerves as you shuffle the wheel through your hands. Otherwise there’s a lot to like.
What really strikes you is the twin-screen cockpit. The two screens sit side by side to create what appears to be one huge display. Right in front of you is the 12.3-inch instrument panel. You can tinker with the display to change the information it shows you, and switching between the car’s different modes also changes the look of the screen. It’s easy to set the display to show the essentials – in a car this quick and quiet you’ll want to keep the speedo clearly in view.
The driver and passenger sit up high, just as you’d expect in an SUV, with a good view forward. Depending on your height and how you position your seat you may find the rear-view mirror gets in your way a bit, but it’s not too much of an issue.
Big rear pillars interrupt the view over your shoulder when reversing, but as every car comes with sensors and a rear-view camera, it’s not a dealbreaker.
There’s a wide range of adjustment to the seat and wheel, so drivers of all sizes and builds should be able to find a comfy position. We’ve found the seats really comfortable and supportive on long drives.
Storage is taken care of with big door bins, a reasonably useful glovebox, and a couple of handy cubbies.
Space in the back seats
There’s a lot of room in the back as well as the front. Being an EV there’s no need for a transmission tunnel, so the iX doesn’t have one. Instead, there’s a flat floor to leave plenty of space for everyone’s feet, even travelling with three in the back.
Legroom is more than generous, and there’s plenty of headroom too. Even in models with a panoramic sunroof there should be more than enough head space for six-foot passengers.
The iX is a wide car, and that pays off in the back with enough breadth to the cabin for three grown-ups to sit comfortably. Hidden Isofix points can quickly be uncovered if you’re travelling with young children.
USB-C ports in the rear of the front seats keep phones and tablets charged up.
If there’s one let down in terms of the iX’s practicality, it’s the boot. In isolation, the BMW’s 500-litre capacity isn’t too bad, but other electric SUVs offer more room for your bags. An Audi e-tron has the BMW well beaten, for example.
On the plus side, there’s no load lip which makes it easy to slide heavy items in and out. With the back seats lowered you really do have plenty of space to fill, although it’s a shame there’s nowhere to store the luggage cover. There is some space under the floor, but it’s taken up by the charging cables.
Stunning style, and high-tech infotainment, although the voice control can be a bit hit-and-miss
To say the iX’s interior is modern is to undersell it. To our eyes it looks like the cabin of a car from another few years into the future.
Traditional it is not. There’s a mixture of materials and finishes, but it all comes together to make a superb and harmonious whole – eyecatching, minimalist, and thoroughly luxurious. The standard of finish leaves a Tesla Model X far behind.
As we’ve touched on before, your view is dominated by the twin-screen displays that curve elegantly across most of the dashboard. BMW calls this BMW Live Cockpit Plus.
The screen in front of you takes care of driving essentials like the car’s speed and range, while the one to the left handles infotainment.
The 14.9-inch screen looks fantastic, as crisp and clear as a high-end television. Start to delve through the menus and it can be a little intimidating at first, but it’s worth sticking with it as it’s not really as difficult to use as it first seems.
You can prod at the screen and leave mucky marks or try the hit-and-miss voice controls, but we’d recommend you reach for the iDrive rotary controller. It’s much easier to use without becoming distracted while driving than poking at the touchscreen, hoping to hit the right icon without losing sight of the road ahead.
If you prefer, you can wirelessly connect your smartphone instead. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported.
Plenty of modern cars have air con controls buried in touchscreen menus. BMW has sensibly kept the temperature controls on show all the time, although you do need to delve into a menu to adjust the fan speed.
You can order your BMW with accessories including clip-in laptop trays and coat hangers, but we’ve found them fiddly to use and not designed with the same attention to detail or flair as the rest of the car.
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.
Every version of the BMW iX is fully electric, so there are no exhaust emissions. If you can recharge using energy from a renewable source, so much the better.
While all electric cars have no exhaust emissions, it doesn’t follow that they are all equally efficient. Miles per kilowatt hour of electricity is the equivalent of miles per gallon for EVs. The xDrive 40 achieves 3.0miles/kWh on the combined cycle. That’s respectable for a big electric SUV with such strong performance. The more powerful xDrive 50 achieves 2.9 mi/kWh.
So, the less powerful model will go further on a charge, right? Well, no, because BMW has given the xDrive 40 a much smaller battery with a 70kWh net capacity. The more powerful xDrive 50 gets a 105.2kWh, and therefore a much longer range.
It’s a shame the bigger battery isn’t available as an option with the base model, as the car’s range is quite modest. Officially it should cover up to 257 miles but reckon on closer to 200 miles in the middle of winter (EVs have a lower range in cold weather).
How does the official figures stack up in the real world? Well, we tested the xDrive 50 over mostly motorway miles and got 303 miles out of the battery, which is 82% of its claimed range of 369 miles. It was the only car in the test to achieve more than 80%, but its economy figure of 2.7miles/kWh was the worst – likely due to being very heavy and a boxy shape. For context, the Ford Mustang Mach-E achieved 3.3miles/kWh.
Whichever iX model you pick will currently sit in the 2% benefit-in-kind tax bracket, making the big BMW something of a bargain for company car drivers. For private buyers, there’s no Vehicle Excise Duty to pay at all, thanks to being a zero-emission vehicle.
Ultra-rapid charging is possible at 150kW or 200kW, depending on the model.
The BMW iX earned a five-star rating from the safety experts at Euro NCAP when it was tested in 2021. It scored 91% for adult occupant protection, 87% for child occupants, 73% for pedestrians and 81% for its safety assist systems.
Among the clever features contributing to those high scores are the airbag between the front seats, designed to reduce the risk of injury in a side-on collision. Others include a lane attention assistant, lane departure warning and speed limit recognition.
Every iX comes with an autonomous emergency braking system that can detect pedestrians and cyclists as well as other cars.
The iX is still a very new car, so it’s too early to make a definitive verdict on the BMW’s reliability. However, with fewer moving parts electric vehicles are generally more reliable than cars with an internal combustion engine.
That still leaves plenty of high-tech systems and gadgetry which could go wrong. Again, it’s early to say, but BMW tends to finish midfield in owner satisfaction and reliability surveys.
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.