reset
Viewed : 7,851 times

28 Dec 2021

What We Dislike
It is relatively pricey
Exterior design may not be for everyone

The BMW iX is a fully-electric luxury SUV that's comfortable on the road and mighty impressive on the tech front.


The car you see here on this very page is more than just a regular electric SUV. It's the future of what luxury motoring should be and is the very car that promises the best in technology and innovation.

Following the i3 and the iX3, the BMW iX - as it's called - is the Bavarian marque's third fully-electric vehicle that goes up against compelling rivals like the Audi e-tron and the Jaguar I-PACE. Can it outdo them?

Third time's a charm

While it's not the prettiest on the road, the iX certainly looks bold and aggressive up front
On first glance, maybe not. Yes, it looks instantly recognisable as a BMW and every bit as futuristic and bold as you can possibly imagine, but I wouldn't go as far as to say it's a pretty car. It did catch plenty of stares from passers-by during my four-day test drive with the car, but that could be due to the undeniably distinctive design that sets the iX apart from everything else on the road, and its sheer size.

At 4,953mm long, 1,967mm wide and 1,695mm tall, the electric SUV is longer but narrower and lower than the BMW X5, which makes it quite a sight on the road.

That said, the real sight to behold has to be the cabin. Pop up the frameless door via the newly developed electronic door handles and the first thing that grabs your attention are the hexagonal-shaped multi-functional steering wheel as well as the free-standing fully digital curved panel that houses a 14.9-inch infotainment screen and a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel mounted on the dashboard.

Fully digital curved display takes centre stage
The graphics on the spanking new BMW OS 8 here (the iX is the first car to feature the new operating system) are nothing short of crystal clear, and the interface is superbly responsive to operate, whether through touch or through the crystal-finished rotary dial.

It's packed full of features - within menus and sub-menus and a whole lot of different icons - which can take you quite a while to get used to, but it's never daunting. Having buttons integrated into the wood-veneer panel surrounding the iDrive controller certainly help with the navigation around the new OS.

A benchmark for craftsmanship

Cabin is minimalistic and wonderfully put together
Everywhere else in the cabin sets the bar high. Really high. The right mix of metal (that has a nice gold hue to it), high quality leather and wooden trims all add up to provide an appealing, calm and functional place. You even get a panoramic sunroof that can have the glass roof turn opaque at the press of a button, shielding you from the sun.

It's in here that gets you thinking just how much more polished, advanced and expensive it feels compared the every other models in BMW's lineup (yes, that includes the BMW X7 and the 7 Series). Stepping into the iX has undoubtedly made me feel just how dated other BMW models are, even if they are brand new. If this is the glimpse of the motoring future, I have absolutely nothing to complain at all, but I digress.

There are USB-C ports for rear passengers to use
With relevance in mind, the iX's intention on being a functional SUV remains intact. Thanks to clever EV packaging, space is of abundance all around. The 'transmission tunnel' is literally flat, which makes it a cinch to fit three adults at the back, and there's 500 litres worth of boot space for your golf and grocery bags. Hell, there are even USB-C charging ports at the back of the front seats just so the rear passengers can charge their devices.

Gliding ahead

On the move, the BMW iX is typical EV. This means with a small flex of your right foot, the car will move off the line without any hesitation. Where this variant differentiates itself from the pack, though, is how composed it remains despite having a combined output of 240kW (322bhp) and 630Nm of torque being sent to all four corners.

The iX will finish the century sprint in 6.1 seconds
Yes, the car will send you towards the horizon every time you mash the throttle and, yes, it feels a whole lot faster in real-world driving than what its century sprint timing of 6.1 seconds would suggest. But the iX manages to do so in such an excellent refinement and finesse that you're often left wondering what engineering wizardry did BMW do, more so when there's no combustion engine to mask any unwanted sounds.

Needless to say, aside from the shattering straight-line pace, the iX SUV isn't the sort of car you'd enjoy hustling around the twisties. The hexagonal steering, while accurate, is a tad too light and vague. And although the structure of the car feels rigid and light (thanks to the extensive usage of carbon fibre reinforced plastic), you cannot defy the laws of physics around bends.

Various regenerative braking modes to select from
What it does best, then, is provide a serene and relaxing ride for all on board. With its well-judged setup, this car right here will nicely round off cracks and uneven road surfaces, sending none of the vibrations and thuds into the cabin. And should you need to shed speed quickly to avoid any sudden road imperfections, the well-calibrated brakes, as well as mighty regenerative braking that can be set to an adaptive, high, moderate or low mode, will get the job done easily.

The future of motoring

There's just no doubting that the BMW iX is a mighty competent electric vehicle that delivers high on functionality and quality, without overwhelming the driver. More crucially, it's a convincing effort from BMW, with a reasonable real-world range of close to 380km.

500 litres of boot space will see to your needs
During my time with the car, I managed to clock some 3.3km/kWh, which isn't far off from the official figure of 4.1km/kWh. And after driving for four days, I was still left with over 200km of range (thanks largely to the regenerative braking).

The only real problem with the iX, unfortunately, is the price. At $406,888 (as of 23 December 2021), it isn't exactly chump change and is pricier than the Audi e-tron and the Jaguar I-PACE (though it is a bigger car), but for loyal and well-heeled customers of BMW, this car could well be worth considering.

With all its intents and purposes, the BMW iX has done extremely well for its third EV. It's a car that has set the benchmark high in its segment and it offers the endless possibilities of what the future of motoring can be like.


Looking for a sizable electric SUV? Here are some other choices in this segment to consider:

The Audi e-tron is urgent and quiet, making every drive just a little easier

The Jaguar I-PACE delivers on futuristic looks, as well as a fun drive and a spacious cabin

Car Information

spacer
BMW iX Electric xDrive40 Sport 76.6 kWh (A)
Rate it
Promotion
There's a promotion for BMW iX Electric

Price

: POA

Engine Type

:

Electric Motor

Engine Cap

:

-

Horsepower

:

240kW (322 bhp)

Torque

:

630 Nm

Transmission

:

Single-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

6.1sec

Top Speed

:

200km/h

Energy consumption

:

4km/kWh

You may also like

1-10 of 20