It’s true that the Tesla Model X is still the only electric three-row SUV on the market. The 2022 BMW iX does not change that fact. However, it does put some pressure on Tesla in the EV SUV space, and that’s still months ahead of the Mercedes EQS SUV and Rivian R1S. If the third row isn’t a must-have for you, the iX is a fantastic alternative to Tesla.
At first glance, the BMW iX’s look probably isn’t for everyone. At this point, BMW grille talk is an overplayed song, but the massive twin kidneys on this SUV are too big to ignore. Hey, at least they have some pretty cool hidden features. Beyond the controversial front fascia, the rest of the exterior is neatly styled, with futuristic cues all over. The crimson red and copper pairing on our video car is my favorite spec, mainly because of its Iron Man–like vibe.
BMW saved its best design work for the cabin. Large swaths of eco-friendly leather drape over the seats, dash, and door panels. In place of the usual metal or plastic are shiny crystals for the seat controls and infotainment control wheel. The iDrive 8 infotainment is a massive improvement over the prior generation, with a huge 14.9-inch center touchscreen and more responsive software. This is far and away the best interior space of any BMW on sale today.
With 516 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque on tap, the iX xDrive50 is a deceiving monster in a straight line. It’s the same size as an X5 SUV, but it boogies with M3 pace in a straight line. And even with a curb weight of nearly 5,800 pounds, the big BMW handles itself with grace in the corners. It’s more engaging to pilot than any of its similarly sized combustion siblings. There is already a more powerful iX M60 version, but this car feels exciting enough to be the pinnacle of the range.
At the charging station, the iX puts in a solid performance. It is not Tesla-fast, but nearing 200kW means that it gets the job done plenty fast. This is a bigger battery to fill than some of the staple EVs like the Ioniq 5 for example, so it’s good that BMW delivers a decent charge curve. That said, peak speeds above 250 would be a nicer scenario.
The iX xDrive50 shows that BMW is serious about making quality electric vehicles that challenge segment leaders. Though some may rule it out because it can’t accommodate three rows worth of passengers, the iX is otherwise a solid SUV.