By Alexi Falson, 06 Apr, 2022
Review - BMW iX
AF By November 15, 2021
The introduction of the all-new BMW iX SUV range marks a significant milestone for BMW’s model range and future direction, with more of the company’s creations set to feature either a fully-electric or hybrid powertrain as we move closer to 2030.
In a very deliberate move, BMW has responded to customer demand for its SUV lineup and allowed the iX to lead the charge for its electric offensive, but just how good is one of BMW’s earliest all-electric creations, and how well does it stack up against the existing range of battery electric SUVs? Let’s find out.
Starting Price: $135,900
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BMW iX (xDRIVE40) Specifications
|Transmission||1 SP AUTOMATIC|
|Engine configuration||NOT APPLICABLE / 0 valves|
|Engine RPM||0 / 0|
|Fuel tank size||0.0|
|Fuel usage specs||0.0 / 0.0|
|ANCAP security rating||UNRATED|
For more details and other variants, check BMW iX car page.
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How Much Does It Cost?
The BMW iX range kicks off from $135,900 for the entry-level xDrive40, with prices jumping to $141,900 for the xDrive40 Sport variant. For those looking for some added range from their all-electric SUV, BMW also offers the iX with a larger battery pack, in the form of the xDrive50, which is priced from $141,900. Finally, the iX range tops-out in the form of the flagship xDrive50 Sport, which is priced from $169,900.
BMW offers the iX with a number of optional packages, including a comfort package for $3,500, an enhancement package for $9,500, and finally, an indulgence package for $8,500.
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What Features Does the BMW iX Have?
The entry-level BMW iX, the xDrive40, comes riding on a set of 21-inch alloy wheels, and receives premium features like LED headlights, keyless entry and start, Shadow Line exterior package, an active driving assistant, leather upholstery with heated and massaging front seats, four-zone climate control, semi-autonomous parking assistance with cameras and both front and rear-mounted parking sensors, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, 14.9-inch infotainment system packed with voice recognition, DAB+, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Harman/Kardon sound system, wireless smartphone charging, ambient lighting package, a pair of Mode 2 and Mode 3 charging cables, as well as a five-year, unlimited-charge subscription to Chargefox’s network of fast-chargers around Australia.
Moving to the xDrive40 Sport adds a set of 22-inch alloy wheels, a blackened finish for the head and tail lights, upgraded brakes with blue calipers, a body-coloured front splitter with black side sills and a metallic paint finish for the bodywork.
Stepping up to the xDrive50 Sport adds a set of BMW’s Laserlight headlights, as well as adaptive air suspension package, active steering, a large panoramic sunroof with electrochromatic shade settings, as well as a set of soft-closing doors.
12.3-inch digital driver’s display
14.9-inch infotainment system with DAB+, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Premium Harman/Kardon sound system
Wireless smartphone charging
Adaptive cruise control
Parking cameras with front and rear-mounted sensors
Keyless entry & start
Leather upholstery with heated & massaging front seats
Semi-autonomous parking assistance
Four-zone climate control
Mode 2 and Mode 3 charging cables
Five-year, unlimited subscription to Chargefox
22-inch alloy wheels (Sport variants)
Upgraded sports brakes with blue calipers (Sport variants)
Blackened head and brake lights (Sport variants)
Metallic paint finish (Sport variants)
Laserlight headlights (xDrive50 Sport)
Active steering system (xDrive50 Sport)
Air suspension (xDrive50 Sport)
Panoramic sunroof with electrochromatic shade setting (xDrive50 Sport)
BMW iX (xDRIVE40) Colours
|Phytonic Blue Metallic||Black Sapphire Metallic|
|Blue Ridge Mountain Metallic||Sophisto Grey Metallic|
|Alpine White Solid||Mineral White Metallic|
Is it Comfortable to Drive?
It only takes a few seconds behind the wheel of the BMW iX to realise that the future is extremely exciting.
Whichever iX model you go for, the entry-level xDrive40 or the almighty xDrive50, your right foot has access to far more power than you’ll ever need at any given moment, thanks to the set of powerful electric motors that are mounted over the front and rear wheels. If power figures mean anything to you, there’s 240kW/765Nm on offer in the base model, which jumps to 385kW and the same 765Nm of torque in the xDrive50. Translated to English, these figures mean that the iX is packaged with immensely impressive power figures.
On the road, BMW has designed the iX to behave in a familiar manner to its non-electrified siblings, making for an easy transition from one of its petrol or diesel SUVs. That is, at least, until you stomp on the accelerator and the iX throws you back into your seat in a manner that very few cars on the road can, let alone SUVs. With the iX put into comfort or eco mode, however, the accelerator is much more forgiving, and makes the car extremely user-friendly, smooth and completely effortless to drive.
One thing that might take drivers new to the world of electric vehicles by surprise is the regenerative braking system, which captures a lot of the energy lost while braking, transferring it back into the battery pack for use later. In town, this means that you can simply lift your foot off the accelerator, and the regenerative brakes will start slowing the iX down without any input from the brake pedal. Once you’re used to it, the iX offers one-pedal driving, and makes for an even more enjoyable vehicle for daily driving and commuting. What’s more, the iX also receives four-wheel steering, which makes the car significantly more agile when maneuvering through traffic and car parks, giving it the hallmarks of the perfect silent urban commuter.
While the batteries make the iX quite a heavy car on paper, BMW’s suspension system and, in particular, the adaptive air suspension available on the xDrive50 Sport make the car an extremely pleasant place to sit, even on the worst of Australia’s road surfaces. You’ll barely notice that added weight, and because the batteries are mounted low down in the chassis, the centre of gravity sits lower than it would in a typical SUV. This means that around town, the iX manages to remain compliant and comfortable, offering an extremely relaxing and silent drive through town, and on the open highway it works wonderfully at offering a magic carpet-like ride.
As a complete package, the BMW iX is proof that the future of the SUV segment, and the automotive world as a whole, is no doubt electric. With huge amounts of power at your disposal, packaged into an exceptionally comfortable cabin, the iX offers an extremely well-rounded and sophisticated drive that manages to somehow feel familiar at the same time.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
The launch of an all-new electric vehicle from BMW has also introduced an all-new cabin design that emphasises occupant space and comfort more than any of the company’s previous SUVs. In the front of the cabin, the driver and front passenger are treated to a wonderfully futuristic interior design that effectively removes all physical buttons with a series of touchscreens and BMW’s i-drive dial sitting between in the centre of the cabin.
The elimination of the traditional engine has given BMW’s team of designers significantly more space and flexibility with the execution of the cockpit, and they’ve done a great job in using this free space. Some of the best examples of this in practice are the new flat floor design, and the new-found empty space between the driver and front passenger that would otherwise house a large transmission tunnel. No transmission means no tunnel, and no tunnel means the driver and front passenger are treated to a heap of space in the well-appointed interior. The driver also has a huge amount of forward visibility over the low-slung dash that makes city driving more approachable for shorter drivers.
In terms of practical elements in the front of the cabin, the driver and front passenger receive the usual set of door storage for large drink bottles, while the re-designed centre console now offers two levels of storage; one beneath for a set of cup holders, loose items and smartphones, which is topped by a large folding armrest storage area. All up, the iX retains all the practical hallmarks of a large SUV, and even improves upon the recipe thanks to the flexibility its designers were handed.
The good news keeps coming when you move to the rear of the cabin where you’ll find an extremely comfortable bench seat that sits atop the completely flat floor, and an extremely impressive amount of space for second row passengers. Even the tallest of adults will not have a problem getting comfortable in the rear of the iX’s cabin, which offers some of the leading leg and headroom space that we’ve seen for the segment. The flat floor also means that any passengers sitting in the middle of the two rear seats won’t have to deal with the awkward centre transmission tunnel.
When it comes to boot space, the iX has a boot rated at 500L, which expands to 1,750L with the rear seats folded down. While these figures aren’t the best in the segment, they’re still suitable for growing families. On that note, parents will be glad to know that the iX has easily-accessible ISOFIX anchor and top tether mounts, and the doors open wide enough to make the process of installing bulky child seats a simple task.
How Far Can the BMW iX Drive on a Single Charge?
Just how far you’ll travel in a BMW iX depends on if you’re opting for the base model xDrive40, which is powered by a 77kWh battery pack, or the range-topping xDrive50 variant, which receives a significantly larger 112kWh battery pack.
Officially, the BMW iX xDrive40 has a range figure of 425km when put under WLTP test conditions, while the xDrive50 has a WLTP-certified range of 630km.
How Long Does it Take to Charge the BMW iX?
Again, the charging times depend largely on which variant you’ve purchased, with the xDrive40 being packaged with 150kW charging capabilities, while the flagship xDrive50 can charge at speeds of up to 200kW. This means that a charge from 0-80 per cent using a DC fast-charger takes just 30-minutes for both the xDrive40 and its bigger sibling.
Alternatively, you can provide the xDrive40’s battery pack with around 95km-worth of real-world driving in just 10-minutes using a DC fast-charger, while the xDrive50 receives 150km of driving range with a ten-minute charge.
At home, with the help of a 7kW wall charger, you’ll fully charge the battery pack of an iX xDrive40 in just under 11-hours, while the same process takes more than 16 hours for the xDrive50.
Is it Safe?
The BMW iX is yet to be awarded an official safety rating by ANCAP or the European NCAP organisation. However, to sweeten the deal for buyers, BMW is packaging the iX with a comprehensive list of safety kit, which includes autonomous emergency braking, front and rear cross-traffic alerts, lane change and lane keep assistance, blind-spot monitoring, evasive steering, adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera and front and rear-mounted parking sensors, as well as a host of airbags around the cabin.
Our Verdict: Is the BMW iX Worth it?
The BMW iX is an extremely impressive car, which is made even more impressive by the fact that this is BMW’s first foray into the world of large, all-electric SUVs. While some buyers might be concerned about any sacrifices they’ll be making by stepping into an electric vehicle, the iX is absolute proof that the future is both fun and relaxing, and asks for no requisite sacrifices - just an admittedly premium asking price, for now.
The iX is such a convincing slice of the future of motoring that you’d be forgiven for thinking BMW has been in the business of making battery electric SUVs for decades now. If you have the budget to match, we’d highly recommend adding the BMW iX to your shortlist for large, all-electric SUVs. Speaking of which, if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925
Five Specs You Need to Know
Three-year, unlimited KM warranty
77kWh battery pack in xDrive40; 112kWh pack in xDrive50
No official ANCAP safety rating, yet
425km of range for xDrive40; 630km for xDrive50
Five-year, unlimited use subscription to Chargefox network
Stunning interior design
Exceptional power makes for effortless daily driving
Lack of physical buttons can be distracting if needed while driving
Added weight from battery pack
Underwhelming boot size
OnlineAuto Rating: 8.5/10
BMW iX Competition
|Tesla Model X|
|Tesla Model Y|
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