BMW iX Review

April 01, 2023
EV Universe
EV Universe

To the established ways of getting into a swimming pool – dip a toe and inch in or dive head-first – BMW has added a third. Having started their electrification journey cautiously with the i3 hatchback, they now jump into the deep end with the iX.


Where the i3 was small and quirky with a limited range, optionally aided by a small gas engine, the iX is a polished, pure electric, mid-size SUV. Built in Germany, with an emphasis on sustainability, it delivers the driving excitement associated with the BMW brand while also being practical, roomy and efficient. Here’s a closer look in our review.


BMW iX Overview



Similar in size to the BMW X5 SUV, the electric iX seats five comfortably and has plenty of space for their luggage. Performance and range are impressive, thanks to a dual motor design and a high capacity battery. Styling is sleek and aerodynamic with flush doorhandles, narrow LED headlights and a sculpted hood. The grille, though unnecessary on an electric vehicle, is an enlarged version of the familiar BMW “kidney” shape, hidden behind which lurk assorted cameras and sensors.


After being announced in mid 2020 the iX xDrive 50 debuted in 2022, to be joined by the more powerful iX M60 in ’23. This overview covers the iX xDrive 50 with some comments on what to expect from the M60.


EVU Hot Take:


  • Superb acceleration
  • Next gen BMW interior
  • Handling for such a large vehicle


  • Styling is hot or cold
  • Rear seating is slightly odd with the low seating
  • Range and Performance


BMW iX Driving

The powertrain comprises two motors, one at each axle, powered by a 111.5 kWh battery. This endows the iX with the potential for all wheel-drive, (hence the “xDrive” moniker,) although the 268hp front motor turns on and off as needed to supplement the one at the rear. With this motor capable of 335 hp, total power is a supercar-like 516 hp. The 2023 iX M60 has a maximum horsepower rating even higher, at a combined 610 hp.


Select Sport mode and the iX maximizes acceleration. BMW quote a pin-you-back-in-your-seat 0-60 time of 4.4 seconds. A low center of gravity, achieved by placing the battery under the floor, only encourages drivers to “push on” through the curves. Enthusiastic driving however, takes a toll on range, so most drivers will put their iX in “Efficient” mode to achieve a range between 305 and 324 miles. (The variation is accounted for by wheel size choice with the smallest 20” rims giving the highest efficiency.) There is also a third driving mode, this one labeled “B”. Selecting “B” enables one-pedal driving with sufficient regenerative braking to rapidly bring the car to rest.


The iX incorporates significant upgrades over the now discontinued i3. The motors, which BMW makes, have a significantly higher power density than before and the lithium-ion battery has a higher energy density. There’s also a heat pump for warming the cabin efficiently, and advanced battery thermal management technology to prolong its life and maximize capacity.


BMW Ix side profile


BMW iX Charging

On Level 2, which is the 240V supply buyers will have in their garages at home, the battery needs almost 11 hours to charge completely from empty. On a road trip though, find a DC fast charger to add 90 miles of range in just 10 minutes.


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BMW iX Interior

Two features dominate the interior: a wide display screen seemingly suspended in front of the driver and extending more than halfway across the cabin, and a hexagonal steering wheel.


BMW Ix side profile


The screen contains both primary displays along with access to the heating, ventilation and a/c system, infotainment, navigation and so on. The unusual steering wheel geometry, which is in truth a rounded-off hexagon not far from being a circle, eases entry and exit from the driver’s seat, and perhaps provides something of a talking point.


The center console holds a crystal dial that operates the iDrive 8 system of displays and controls, along with the gear selector switch. There’s also a panoramic glass roof that lightens the cabin. Were it to allow in too much sunlight, it’s electrochromic, meaning it can be darkened until almost black.


Upholstery options are Sensatec, (a synthetic polymer-based material,) cloth or leather.


BMW iX Cargo

As with the external dimensions, cargo space is similar to that of the X5. This means some 36 cubic feet behind the back seat and 77 cubic feet with it folded down. Unlike some other EVs, there is no supplemental front trunk, or “frunk” for additional storage where the internal combustion engine would otherwise go.


BMW iX Safety

The iX comes with a comprehensive suite of driver assistance tools as standard. Bundled under the heading of “Driving Assistant” this includes forward collision alert, cross traffic alert, lane departure warning and blind spot warning. There’s also an exit warning that looks down the side of the car for cyclists when drivers side doors are opened. Upgrading to the optional Driving Assistant Professional adds lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control.


BMW Ix safety


BMW iX Infotainment

The standard audio system comprises a 205 watt amplifier and 12 speakers. Audiophiles may choose to upgrade to the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound system that provides “4D” audio (meaning sound preferences are customizable for each occupant).


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BMW iX Options

The major package is “Ultimate Package 2”. This includes Driving Assistant Professional plus glass and wood controls, air suspension and “Active Steering”. This latter item refers to rear wheel steering, which increases cornering performance and low speed maneuverability. There’s also a Sport package with low profile tires. Interior options include ventilated seats and multi-function seats.


BMW iX Sustainability

Recognizing that many buyers will be interested in minimizing their carbon footprint, BMW is keen to emphasize the lengths they’ve gone to in reducing the environmental impact of the iX. This includes using renewable electricity at the factory in Germany where it’s built, incorporating a high proportion of recycled materials, particularly aluminum, and striving for weight reduction with extensive use of carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP).


BMW Ix sustain


BMW iX M60

Drivers who feel the iX isn’t quite fast enough should wait for the M60 version. Trading a little range for more performance, BMW claims this is capable of 0-60 in 3.6 seconds, or 0.8 seconds faster than the iX. That may not sound a lot, but in a drag race, it’s significant. Range drops to 288 miles.


BMW iX Pricing Review

The iX xDrive 50 starts at around $85,000. Selecting some of the options discussed above can quickly push that price tag into six figures. The M60 is set to start at about $110,000 and again, unrestrained checking of options boxes will push that up significantly.



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