BMW used to be an industry leader for EVs, being one of the first to launch a bespoke ground-up electric vehicle, the i3, which proved hugely successful even in spite of its look. But after it launched the i3, BMW did not bring out another bespoke EV for almost a decade, until now when it revealed the iX SUV, a technological tour de force with a face only a Bavarian mother could love.
You can’t not be impressed by the iX - it is a huge, imposing SUV that stands out thanks to its bold style, it looks like nothing else on the road and it also drives remarkably well too, in true BMW tradition. Its interior is the best part of the package, though, at least based on my experience with it, since it really makes occupants feel like they are actually aboard some sort of concept, not a production model - it’s a special place to be.
My tester was the base iX, the xDrive 40, so it’s the least powerful and lowest-range model available. It has a 76.6 kWh battery pack with a 71 kWh usable capacity, enough for a claimed WLTP range o 425 km (264 miles). During my early spring test, with relatively warm temperatures, the vehicle’s range prediction never went above 305 km, although I did not try to drive if efficiently - this figure is for my brisk driving style, with the vehicle in sport mode most of the time.
You can realistically expect to achieve some 350 km on one charge if you drive it with care and not constantly stomp on the accelerator pedal, as I did in order to experience the 630 Nm (464 pound-feet) moving the 2.4-ton body with remarkable ease. With 326 horsepower combined from its dual-motor setup, the iX 40 sprints to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.1 seconds or to sixty miles per hour in 5.8 seconds; top speed is 200 km/h or 124 mph.
Now let me tell you that the claimed sprint time really doesn’t do the level of acceleration that you feel in the car justice. When you punch it in Sport mode, it surges forward with surprising gusto and it feels quicker than the figures suggest - you honestly don’t need any more performance for a vehicle this big and heavy, although you may want toe more powerful variants’ larger battery and increased range.
Being on-board the iX is really special, regardless of where you sit. From the driver’s seat, you appreciate the remarkable visibility (better than other comparable SUVs), the quality, design and tech that surrounds you and, as I previously stated, the feeling of driving something very special. Make no mistake, this iX interior is classes above a Tesla Model X for fit and finish, especially specced like my tester was with more sustainable materials.
Gallery: 2022 BMW iX xDrive 40 road test gallery
The BMW iX is really good from many different standpoints, and you don’t really need to look past the base model if you want a quick SUV - the 40 powertrain does the trick. However, it would have been nice if BMW allowed you to opt for the big battery with this motor configuration, instead of having you get the 50 or M60 models that get a 105 kWh battery, but really more performance than a vehicle this big and heavy really needs, at least if you look at things sensibly.
Make sure to watch my detailed in-depth review of the iX where I go over most of the things that matter about it and I show you which areas it is weird in and where I think it shines.