BMW iX offers luxury SUV with electrifying performance
BMW has changed its approach to electric vehicles. Like most other automakers, BMW started with the funky i3, a little subcompact box with a post-modern interior. The i3 is a good enough little car, and people did buy them, but now BMW has shifted to making electric versions of its standard vehicles, and that's likely to be much more popular. Take the BMW iX for example: it's about the same size as the midsize X5 SUV, which is a big seller for the German automaker. BMW has turned electrification into power and performance, and for European luxury car buyers, that could be just the right thing.
The iX is available in two forms, as the M60 or the less expensive xDrive50. Both versions come with a typical two-motor system, one for the front wheels and one for the rear wheels. In the M60 that we tested, the motors deliver 610 horsepower and 811 lb-ft of torque. As usual for an EV, there's no transmission to worry about.
If you bought the less expensive iX xDrive50, you'd still get 516 horsepower, 564 lb-ft torque, and a 4.4-second 0-60 time. Not bad considering you'll save over $24,000 with that trim level.
Let's talk batteries, though. The iX M60 battery pack has 106.3 kWh hours of net capacity, which is big enough to support the 274-288-mile range promised. When using a Level 2 charger at 40 Amps (which is typical for home-based charging systems) it will take 12.25 hours to charge from zero to 100%. Now, a real 0-100 charge scenario is pretty rare, so assume that with a basic home charger unit, you can get a full charge overnight.
When using the DC Fast Charge capability, a 10% to 80% charge takes 49 minutes at 100 kW, which is broadly available now. If you found a station with 250 kW, that same recharge will be done in 35 minutes. In our real-world testing, we took the iX from about 60% (210 miles remaining) up to 98% charge in 38 minutes on a 62 kW DC fast charger.
For a thorough test drive, we went over a small (1,500 feet high) mountain range, twice. The trip was 75 miles in each direction, and both times, the iX proved itself better than promised. For the second trip, we started with 276 miles of range showing. Like most EVs, the miles seem to tick off quickly before you get on the highway. Climbing the mountains, we were down to 200 miles of range by the time we'd done the 35 miles to the summit. But we gained back 40 miles of range on the downhill side, and then the iX seemed to travel several miles for every mile that counted down on the range estimate. We arrived at our destination with 210 miles of range remaining.
Inside, the iX offers a new take on luxury. The interior is futuristic and well-made. Our test unit had an optional glass-and-wood controls package ($1,150) that made the gear selector and seat adjustment controls all glass, with wood trim. Honestly, that's over $1,000 you don't need to spend. It really didn't add much to the experience.
Like many new EVs, BMW has integrated the driver information display screen and the infotainment screen behind a single pane of curved glass. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both supported, along with a well-refined voice control system and wireless charging. Audio in the top-end iX M60 is a lovely Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system.
The bottom line on the 2022 BMW iX M60 is that it's an amazing electric performance vehicle. However, if I was spending my own money, I'd opt for the less expensive xDrive50 trim. The reasoning is simple: the 2023 BMW iX xDrive50 starts at $84,100, while the M60 trim starts at $108,900. Besides saving over $24,000, the xDrive50 also has a bit more range, up to 324 miles. To my way of thinking, that makes the xDrive50 the one to get.
2022 BMW iX M60
Base price: $108,900
Price as tested: $115,870
Type: Midsize SUV
Motor: Dual electric motors (610 hp, 811 lbs-ft)
Transmission: Direct drive
EPA estimated range: 274 miles
Overall length: 195 inches
Curb weight: 5,769 pounds
Final assembly: Dingolfing, Germany
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