The German brand’s second battery car voltage, iX, has reached COTY 2022 in the hope of repeating this achievement while enjoying a more convenient life.
Such is its novelty in the market, the iX was one of the most untested wildcards in the field. A variant available for testing was the entry-level xDrive40 in a sportier look that adds a body kit, performance brakes and 22-inch wheels. An xDrive50 mid-range engine is also offered, featuring a larger battery and more powerful electric motors initially, with the M60 arriving later in 2022 as the first-ever electric car.
As a full-size SUV similar to the BMW X5, the iX is significantly more expensive than the i3 but also sits right in the middle of a competitive lineup that includes the Audi e-Tron, Jaguar i-Pace, Mercedes-Benz EQC (we have 2020 COTY), and Tesla Model X This meant that the starting price for the xDrive40, or $141,900 for the xDrive40, or $141,900 for the xDrive40 Sport, didn’t immediately hurt the iX’s chances against the value benchmark.
BMW has also introduced within five years of free charging the Chargefox, and the German brand certainly didn’t flinch in its investment in building the iX, either. Based on the company’s CLAR group architecture, an aluminum frame is combined with a “Carbon Cage” frame that uses carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic to reduce weight and increase rigidity.
As with previous BMW i-badged models, including the i8 hybrid supercar, there is a CFRP exposed when the doors are opened. However, you may be spared losing it as all eyes are drawn to BMW’s most successful cabin since the i3.
Accessed via frameless doors with additional openings for signature door handles, the interior’s elegant simplicity, ample space and an array of textured textures are all noticeable – although not in the confines of the crystalline seat controls and gem-like console dial that hint at That BMW interior designers have stormed the Swarovski store.
Kurt thinks the cabin has a “splurge futuristic vibe.” Alex agreed. “The interior has a lot of wow factors. Some of it tucks away in the OTT zone, but I imagine it would blow people away in the showrooms.”
“An interior is oddly inviting and different but not just for being different. It’s a stunning interior that manages to be stunning while avoiding glamor,” said Dane, design expert Richard joined the fan club, describing the approach as “intentionally understated and simple.” , but with superior materials and excellent execution.”
“Lots of wow and powertrain, but poor chassis tuning” – Alex Inwood
The iX doesn’t disappoint in space, with tons of front and rear headroom and plenty of legroom — the latter backed by a three-meter wheelbase 28mm longer than the X5’s. The second row also accommodates three adults comfortably.
The test ground was the first opportunity to sample different technologies. The wide, sharp HUD display combined with the navigation steering impressed the augmented reality, although not every judge liked the behavior of BMW’s electronic aids in the dirt department.
Meanwhile, the hexagonal steering wheel is certainly new but was considered a design step too far.
However, iX itself was deemed worthy of taking the next step, securing enough votes to make it to the finals stage.
At the heart of the xDrive40 variant is a 77 kW battery, providing 425 km of WLTP-rated range and powering the front and rear electric motors that produce a combined 240 kW and 630 Nm. That range is on the field rather than great in the context of head-to-head competitors, while the quoted acceleration of 6.1 seconds puts it far below the group for a 0-100 km/h sprint.
The best variant can be made for the xDrive50 that uses a 112 kWh battery and more powerful dual motors to extend the range to the Tesla Model X that tops 630 km and cuts the time from 0-100 km / h to 4.6 seconds, second only to the American. Four-wheel drive cars. The catch is the big jump in price to $169,000.
However, the lack of speed was not touched upon as a concern for the xDrive40. “Quite quickly in a straight line and in corners,” Dan said, as agent for the entire group.
The judges all noted the intimidating and impressive quietness of the iX, a vehicle that belies its size to glide through the air with a class-leading 0.25 drag coefficient, and a vehicle that rides on special noise-reducing rubber.
Excellent visibility is provided by the wide windshield, tall side glass and advantageously sized rear window. And nobody bothered when I suggested the iX’s front seats were second only to the S-Class in terms of comfort.
In the harsh light of a brighter day for the Road Ring, though, some form over function quirks were revealed. The center console controls were hard to read, while the extra seat time didn’t bring the expected improvements in understanding the different controls and interfaces.
“The user interface is, in some places, clumsy and unintuitive,” Kurt said, continuing to cite the console matrix, drive mode selection, and re-brake mod as examples. Dylan reflected some general disappointment with the new generation iDrive 8 that debuted here. “If you show the iX infotainment system to a legislator, they will find a way to ban it immediately. It requires a PhD to work.”
Our Realistic Hard Road episode also highlighted some of the vulnerabilities in the iX’s dynamic armor that were unclear on the test ground. This included a riding anxiety not experienced with any of the other finalists across the long stretches of country roads in the loop. Would the xDrive50 with its standard air suspension be better?
There’s also a disappointment for any BMW enthusiast who craves an electric equivalent to the E70 X5 with great handling.
“Dynamically, it’s like you’ve got five strong guys on board, a tank full of fuel, and a whole lot of gear…except that’s just a lot of aging in the car,” Dylan said.
However, if the iX does not live up to the expectations of a traditional BMW driving experience, in many other ways it presents as the right flagship of the German brand’s EV range.
|Price / As tested||$141,900 / $147,600|
|Motors||Double (front + rear)|
|Transmission||Single ratio reduction, four-wheel drive|
|consumption||22.5 kWh / 100 km|
|length, width, height||4953/1967/1695 mm|
|safety||5 stars (ANCAP)|